SYSTEM OF A DOWN Drummer Admits He 'Lost A Ton' Of Social Media Followers With His Pro-TRUMP PostsJuly 9, 2022
SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan, who has publicly voiced his support for former U.S. president Donald Trump on a number of occasions, was asked in a recent interview with Sona Oganesyan if he ever feels the need to counter the negative way he is sometimes portrayed by the media if he just leaves it alone. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "You might get that inclination — you wanna defend yourself — but once you get into the defense mode, you've already lost the battle. You just have to stay steadfast [and] let people judge for themselves. Not everybody listens to everything that they're told. People will read between the lines.
"Let's look at, for example, Instagram," he continued. "I've hovered around 250 thousand followers for probably, like, three years or four years. When we were in the middle of the Trump-versus-Biden debacle and attempting to figure out who was gonna continue to lead this country, I lost a ton of followers every time I would post something that was either pro-Trump or pro my opinions one way or the other. It wasn't always that I agreed with Trump, but I agreed with the philosophy of making the United States our first priority, making sure that our citizens were our first priority, which is what pretty much every country, household — when you break it down to a household level — that's what you're concerned with the most. Of course you don't want to hurt your neighbors — you want everybody to succeed and prosper — but at the end of the day, if you're not focused on your home, you're not gonna be able to help anybody else anyway. I would post something, and I would instantly lose a thousand, two thousand people. I probably blocked five thousand people."
Asked if he blocked those five thousand followers because of their negative feedback, John said: "If they're out of line. I don't mind somebody disagreeing with me — I like that, actually. Because sometimes you'll get an opinion that will help you to reform yours, give you a different perspective. So that's never been the issue, as long as it was done in a respectful manner. I try not to be disrespectful, so I won't accept somebody that's being disrespectful."
Dolmayan went on to say that he doesn't spend time worrying about alienating some of his fans with his opinions. "That's never been a concern for me," he said. "I appreciate the fans. They are the reason that we have a nice house and that we can afford a car and I can pay for my kids' school and pay for their meals and everything. It's directly because these people spent their hard-earned money on my band and have supported us through the years and been there for us. But I don't feel a responsibility to them as far as having to have a certain opinion, because if I did, it would be impossible to please everybody. You have a segment of your fans that agree with you, and then there's a segment of your fans that disagree. It's physically impossible to please everybody."
Asked if he feels "misunderstood" by the fans that he has alienated by being "truthful" about his "political perspective," John said: "I think I actually present a fairly balanced political view, where one side isn't always right and the other side isn't always wrong. It's kind of an amalgam of the two, being right and wrong at the same time more often than not. And I've always been more a centrist, but a little bit on the conservative side. For example, I never really liked how Vietnam veterans were treated when they came back from Vietnam. Although I didn't believe that was a just war — there are not just wars. Even if you look at World War II, and as much as we went and fought for what we considered to be the right, against Nazi tyranny and against the killing of millions of people, there's nothing just about it, because at the end of the day people are dying that are innocent. Not everybody in Germany wanted to fight for the Nazis, but they felt they were compelled to, either because the propaganda got a hold of them or they were afraid for their lives. So there is no 'just.'
"I'm not sure if I'm being misrepresented or it's just that people wanna sensationalize things," he continued. "The fact of the matter is we don't really do a lot in SYSTEM to give people something to talk about, so the internal conflicts of the band are something that people gravitate towards. And even though I can have dinner with a bandmember of mine and have a debate and have differences of opinion, that's not the way he wants it to be perceived.
"Now, as far as fans of ours that have been turned off by my opinions, I can say that many people were turned off by a lot of things other bandmembers have had to say in the past. But the bottom line is that right now the way of thinking is a very woke, pasteurized mentality that permeates society, and I just can't subscribe to that, even if it's detrimental to my career in one way or the other.
"Yes, I've lost [social media] followers," Dolmayan added. "I'm sorry that they feel compelled to leave if they have a difference of opinion with somebody. But I hate to break the news to you — you're probably gonna have disagreements throughout your life and that doesn't mean you're gonna destroy relationships that you have. You're not gonna quit your job; you're not gonna break up with somebody; you're not gonna stop being friends with your family or friends. You're gonna ave issues with people. But if you've been propped up to think that anybody that disagrees with you is a bad person, which has been done quite a bit lately, they're not gonna understand why a lot of these very young, very impressionable people feel the way they do. But that won't detract from my inability to stray away from what I find to be the truth."
Dolmayan previously discussed his political views during an appearance on a recent episode of "The Right View With Lara Trump", the podcast hosted by former U.S. president Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump.
Dolmayan, who has been outspoken about his support of Trump and dislike of liberals, admitted that his political views have been met with some resistance from some of the SYSTEM OF A DOWN fans.
"I find it really difficult to keep my mouth shut when I see injustice," he said. "And I find what's happening to conservatives to be completely opposite with justice, completely opposite with understanding and compassion, where we are being victimized by people that should be there to protect you: news agencies, every social media platform having one thought process; Google having one thought process.
"The question I like to raise to people is at the end of the day, if the richest and biggest corporations think one way, shouldn't you at least research the other way of thinking? Because there are gonna be things that are in their own self-interest. Just because they have an interesting name or an aim you think you can get behind and a slogan doesn't mean that it's a good thing. Look into who the people are that they build these organizations off of and try to look into it a little bit deeper so you gain a little bit of perspective and be open to other people's opinions.
"Look, I've done myself no service," Dolmayan admitted. "I took a lot of flak, I lost a lot of followers, I lost financial opportunities, and primarily because I supported Donald Trump as president. 'Cause he was my president — I voted for him twice, and I'm not ashamed to say it. I'd vote for him again. I will vote for him again if he runs. I hope he does. I hope he does; you have my support. And the reason why is because I think he's doing things for the right reasons."
After Dolmayan noted that "there are very different opinions" within SYSTEM OF A DOWN, particularly when it comes to him and singer Serj Tankian (who also happens to be his brother-in-law),Lara Trump asked him what the initial reaction was from his bandmates when he voiced his support for Donald Trump.
"I did get advice from a few of my bandmembers and my manager and my wife especially that was, like, 'Look, maybe it's not the best idea to put all these views out there,'" Dolmayan said. "And my answer to them was, I supported my singer in everything he's ever said, although I didn't always agree with everything he's ever said, and I just want the same respect back now. I'm not saying that he shouldn't have a right to his opinions. What I'm saying is there are kids in schools, and they are young; they are impressionable. And there are kids that think the way I think, and they are alone for the most part because the opinion is swayed the other way. Teachers are swayed the other way — your educators, the people around you. You're indoctrinated from a very young age in this country at this point right now — what we're dealing with right now, today. And who's speaking for those kids who are sitting there feeling like they're wrong but they can't help the way they think? Who are they looking at and saying, 'That person agrees with me at least.' I may not reach all of 'em, but if I reach a few of 'em, then that's enough for me. And if that means I have to make a little bit less money, then so be it. My family isn't starving; we're doing just fine. If that means I'm gonna have less opportunities, so be it.
"It's hard to take a stand," John continued. "Most people are just trying to earn a living, take care of their families, give their kids a little bit of a better life than they had, and that's their focus — trying to stay on top of credit card bills and their mortgage and rent, or whatever it is.
"All I can say is that if enough people are quiet, really bad things tend to happen, if you look back at history," he added. "But if enough people are vocal, temporarily it could get bad, but eventually it's always better."
Dolmayan has repeatedly defended America's 45th president, saying that Trump opponents "perpetuated and instigated a total shutdown of the economy" in the hopes that it would crash and that he would be blamed. Dolmayan also praised Trump and accused Democrats of "demonizing" the former president and "blaming him for everything under the sun." In addition, John called Democrats "the true bigots" who "fought to maintain slavery" and were "directly responsible for 70 plus million abortions, a large majority of whom were black." Dolmayan also supported Trump's claim that his administration had done more for the African-American community "than any president since Abraham Lincoln."
In an October 2020 interview with Forbes, Serj admitted that he found it "frustrating" to see John so publicly supporting Donald Trump.
"He's Armenian. He's my brother-in-law and my drummer. Is it frustrating being politically opposite to your own drummer and brother-in-law? Fuck yeah," he said. "Of course it's frustrating. But that's having to do with American politics. When it comes to Armenian issues, we're on the same exact page."
Four months earlier, Serj reassured fans that, despite their differing beliefs when it comes to Trump, he both loves and respects John "irrespective of our extremely polarized political commentary.
"Remember irrespective of the stance, only artists that truly care and are impassioned will risk alienating their base for what they consider the truth," he added. "Our dilemma and possible fallacy is that we have two in one band. Some may consider that a weakness but the artistic, political and social dichotomy if not quadrichotomy has made SYSTEM OF A DOWN what it is today."
That same month, John stated about the discussions he has had with the other members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN: "You'd be surprised at how civil our conversations are, especially between me and Serj, who seem to have the most diverging opinions on things.
"I have a lot of respect for Serj and his opinions, although I don't agree with them very often these days. And that's okay. We expand each other's horizons. I like to think that he learns from me and I learn from him."
During Trump's final year in office, Tankian called for the then-president to resign and described him as "completely useless" over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
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