What Makes SYSTEM OF A DOWN So Musically Different From Its Peers? SHAVO ODADJIAN Weighs In

February 23, 2022

SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian was asked in a new interview with KROQ's Kevan Kenney what, in his opinion, made his band so musically different from some of its peers. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "There was a lot of things. The music, first of all, we just kind of did our own thing. It wasn't that the other stuff wasn't good.

"We've been inspired by a lot," he continued. "We listen to a lot of music. Daron [Malakian, guitar] listens to a lot of music, [as do] Serj [Tankian, vocals] [and] John [Dolmayan, drums]. And I think it's the way it's also arranged. Daron has a really great ear and style and songwriting ability. So even if I brought riffs in, he just arranges 'em in a different way. And then Serj's vocals — those are not normal. And John's drumming, it is what it is. But, yeah, there's a difference, and we just kind of ran with it. And it's what we can do together. When we start playing, that's what we sound like together — those four guys."

SYSTEM OF A DOWN has toured intermittently since ending its hiatus in 2011, but has only managed to record two songs in the last 16 years, "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz". Released in November 2020, the tracks were motivated by the conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, with all proceeds supporting humanitarian efforts in SYSTEM OF A DOWN's ancestral homeland of Armenia. Along with other donations from fans on their social pages, they have raised over $600,000.

In 2018, Malakian publicly accused 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 bandmember to speak to the press.

In an interview with Guitar World magazine, Malakian was asked about the chances of more new music from SYSTEM OF A DOWN in the near future. He responded: "I never say never, but at the same time, I'm not expecting to do any more with SYSTEM OF A DOWN right away or immediately after [these two songs]. It really does seem like our fans like these new songs. That's important to me."

He continued: "We've added two new songs to the SYSTEM catalog that are on the level with everything else that we've put out and our fans have accepted it that way, which means a lot to me. That's kinda where we're gonna leave it for now. If more happens later on, then we'll talk about that, but for now I will continue doing what I'm doing and everyone else will just continue what they're doing. It's all cool though, I'm really pleased with the response we got."

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