SYSTEM OF A DOWN Is 'Not Thinking About' A New Studio Album Right Now, Says SERJ TANKIAN
December 10, 2020
A month ago, SYSTEM OF A DOWN released "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz", the band's first new songs in 15 years. The tracks were motivated by the recently erupted conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, the latter aided by Turkey and accountable for the greatest violence the region has endured in 26 years. Produced by guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian, who also wrote the music and lyrics, both songs are streaming now on all DSPs and are available for purchase on Bandcamp with band royalties earmarked for the Armenia Fund.
In a new interview with Belgium's Studio Brussel, SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian was asked what it was like recording music with his bandmates again. He said (see video below): "It was great. It was not so much an artistic decision or a decision of, 'Hey, let's make music together. Let's have fun making music together.' It was nothing like that. It was more about because Azerbaijan and Turkey had attacked the peaceful, civilized people of Artsakh on September 27th. We have to do something for our people. This is bullshit. We need to get some justice. So we did it as an act of activism more so than a musical decision."
Pressed about the possibility of SYSTEM OF A DOWN recording a follow-up to its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005, Serj said: "We got together for the cause. We're still working for the cause. We're still fundraising for the cause. We have not talked about the future of the band. It's not something that we're thinking about right now. Right now we're still dealing with the fallout of what happened with the war, refugees, displaced people, humanitarian aid. So we're concerned about that. We're not concerned right now about music or anything else."
The music video for "Protect The Land" incorporates recent footage of the protests and on-the-ground fighting in Artsakh, but in a very personal and aesthetic way. As he did for all previous SYSTEM OF A DOWN releases, bassist Shavo Odadjian executive-produced the music video and curated the cover and brand art for the project.
"Protect The Land" a was originally written by Malakian for the next album by his other group, SCARS ON BROADWAY, while "Genocidal Humanoidz" was penned three or four years ago when Odadjian, Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan convened for a jam session that produced several songs, only to abandon them when Tankian wouldn't commit to an album.
Within a week of their release, "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" landed at positions No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on Billboard's Hot Hard Rock Songs chart. "Land" topped the chart with 2.7 million U.S. streams and 5,000 downloads sold in the week ending November 12, while "Humanoidz" garnered 1.8 million streams and 5,000 downloads.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN is planning to film a music video for "Genocidal Humanoidz" in December. "I've written out the storyline, and I've got a couple of surprises that I'm gonna be putting [in there]," Odadjian told geopolitical analyst Richard Èlmoyan in a recent interview.