We are roughly two weeks shy from saying, it’s been fourteen years since System of a Down released a new album as bands have formed, broken up, and reformed since 2005’s Mezmerize/Hypnotize. While the group are planning to headline festivals next year, it makes us wonder what else they have on their schedule. 2019 could be the year for not just a new Tool album but, a fresh SOAD record as well. Within the last year alone, we’ve been teased from the band as frontman Serj Tankian has shot down rumors and had also shared studio updates. Drummer John Dolmayan has shared a few mixed updates as well in previous interviews as he explained the group had “fifteen fantastic songs” written as well as shared that the new album could arrive “maybe never.”
The latest update comes from bassist Shavo Odadjian as he was interviewed by Consequence of Suond. The bassist revealed the new material tops anything they’ve ever done before and he can’t wait to record and release it. Obadjian went on to say that issues between the band members are behind them now. Stating that it has been ten years since all of that “stuff” happened.
“And, can I be honest with you? Between you and me and this world, and to the people who read this interview, we have material that tops everything we’ve done. And that’s me telling you, honestly. I can’t wait to record that and drop it.
It’s just a matter of time. I just hope it happens sooner than later. But we’ve written stuff together. Daron’s brought a lot of stuff in. I’ve brought stuff to Daron and we’ve worked it out. I have so much more stuff that is ready to go out. I’ve told Daron this, too. I’ve said, “We’ve gotta get this done,” and he’s like, “Yeah, I’d love to.” So, we all want to, and I think Serj is kind of doing his own thing, and I get it.
I don’t think we owe it to anyone [to bring back rock music to the forefront], but it would be nice if we did that, because we’re capable of it.”
Despite Odadjian stating Serj is “kind of doing his own thing,” he seemed hopeful for a new SOAD record. Meanwhile, Serj spoke to Rolling Stone and it didn’t sound like he’s working on new music with the group:
“We got together to rehearse, said hi and had a conversation and just carried things forward as we’ve always done. We’ve been friends and together for 25 to 30 years. That’s a long time. The difference between business and bands are people know when they’re working within a business, but when they’re in a band, it’s confusing because you’re also very close friends. There are times when you have to say, “OK, this is not working on the business end but I love you.” With bands, you rarely see that happening.
The reason I posted what I did is because I didn’t want any negative security threats against any of us, in terms of, “Fuck you. You’re the reason that no System record’s being made.” For me, it was just saying, “Look. I’ve tried. We’ve tried. We just haven’t been able to see eye to eye. It’s not because we’re lazy. We’re still friends. We still tour.” This is the truth.”
Asked on the band’s reaction from his public Facebook statement earlier this year:
“No, it didn’t really. I think it released a lot of tension and negativity. Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions.”
Later, the SOAD frontman was asked about his current musical projects:
“I have. I recently finished mixing a lot of the songs I was hoping we could do with System. I want them to be part of my music film, so I’m waiting for that. I have finished five rock songs. I just did a rock remix yesterday, actually, of one of the revolutionary songs for the Armenian film. It’s a rock song in Armenian, and I did a heavier mix.
But obviously I write in orchestral music, jazz and rock. One reason I like composing for films is because every director wants something different, genre-wise, sound-wise, emotion-wise. It’s fun. I get to make a different-sounding record every time.”
Tankian continues to stay busy with his musical projects. Meanwhile, Malakian released Dictator in July from his Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway project, which some say sounds similar to SOAD.
In review, who knows when a new ‘System” album will be available but we will keep you posted on all of the latest.