SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan, who is currently promoting his "These Grey Men" solo album, talked to "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, about the band's stalled attempts to record a follow-up to its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005.
Speaking about what a hypothetical new SYSTEM studio album would sound like, John said (hear audio below): "I think that had we made an album every three to four years, you would have seen an incredible growth and expression come out of SYSTEM.
"It's a sadness for me that we never really fully met our potential and probably never will. Even if you release an album now, you can't get back the years that you did nothing. And I think if you talk to some of the other members of my band, they don't look at it that way, because they weren't idle necessarily."
He continued: "The bottom line is that although you can do something on your own, even with my solo album, 'These Grey Men', I didn't have the benefit of the three other guys in my band who are so instrumental in developing the sound that I've come to be accustomed to, the song quality, the writing style, the lyrical content. Everybody brought something unique to SYSTEM OF A DOWN, and the bottom line is when you go and do your own project, you're gonna do the best you can to make it great, but you don't have the benefit of the talent of the other people that were in your band with you. And I think each of our solo projects are poorer for it, although there's a lot of positive and good content coming out of each of us individually, it still pales in comparison to what we could have accomplished together.
"But that's neither here nor there; it's not something that's in my power," John added. "My band is stupid, and we're gonna continue to be stupid, I guess. But we're not alone. TOOL was stupid for a long time, and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE has been quiet for some time too."
In 2018, guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused singer Serj Tankian of not wanting to record, with Tankian responding that creative and financial issues with Malakian led to the stalemate. In a message on Facebook, Tankian wrote that Malakian wanted to control SYSTEM's creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press.
Last year, Serj told Rolling Stone that the public airing of his dispute with Daron didn't open up any more conversations about SYSTEM's future. "I think it released a lot of tension and negativity," he said. "Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions."
SYSTEM OF A DOWN played a couple of live shows in May 2019, including headlining slots at Columbus, Ohio's Sonic Temple festival and Chicago Open Air.
The band was scheduled to play a number of European festivals this summer, but all of those shows have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
As previously reported, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, KORN and FAITH NO MORE's two concerts at Banc Of California stadium in Los Angeles, California, which were originally set to to take place on May 22 and May 23, 2020, have been rescheduled for May 21 and May 22, 2021. Existing tickets will be honored for the new dates