Back in December 2017, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian revealed how the band doesn’t see eye to eye with their musical direction. Since then, we’ve been somewhat teased with the recurring question – Will we ever see a new SOAD album? While drummer John Dolmayan has previously stated the group has “fifteen fantastic songs” written for a new record, he has also claimed it may never arrive. However, he recently shared a photo of bassist Shavo Odadjian allegedly recording new tunes in the studio as our hopes continue to bounce on a metaphorical pogo stick.
Speaking of not seeing eye to eye, the latest update comes from guitarist Daron Malakian who spoke to Kerrang! Magazine to explain about their somewhat “eternal” delay to record a follow-up to 2005’s Mezmerize and Hypnotize. Malakian went into detail about how there’s one member (Tankian) who wants to create a new record “his way.” The guitarist also revealed how he has enough material to release something new and if it was up to him, the group would have never had such a long hiatus.
“There’s just a certain way that System make albums, and there’s a bunch of us that want to make an album that way and there is, I guess, one of us that doesn’t want to make an album that way and wants to make an album his way.
And not everyone is onboard with that. That’s been the issue. I have material for a new System album. Right now, if everyone got together and was ready to play ball, I have an album ready. If it was up to me, System would have never gone on hiatus.”
Malakian was asked about how the creative differences between him and Tankian could be resolved:
“It may never be resolved; or it may be, but so far it hasn’t been. There was a time, I think, when I would have taken this a little bit more personally, but not anymore. I realize that it’s not me. We’ve had so many meetings about it.
I don’t want to throw Serj under the bus — he’s my friend and he’s someone that I care about — but I don’t know how to change his mind. We’ve all sat down and we’ve had meetings, and he’s totally set in his way of thinking.
Serj was never really a heavy metal or a rock guy. I don’t know if he has the same love for this kind of music as I do. I’m the kid that grew up with Slayer and Kiss on my walls. I wanted to be like them some day. Serj didn’t grow up feeling that way. He didn’t grow up a diehard fan. So I feel like the whole experience of becoming the lead singer in a hugely successful band was different for him than my experience was for me.”
“Bands are like brands, I suppose, and that’s kind of frustrating for me. To be honest with you, Serj didn’t even want to make ‘Mezmerize’ and ‘Hypnotize’. We really begged him to make those records. At that time, he felt like he was out.”
These are bold statements on Tankian when the singer has released four solo albums between 2007’s Elect the Dead and 2013’s Orca Symphony No. 1. While some of his material showcases different styles, there are a few tracks that could resemble SOAD.