Update – Friday, July 13th at 12:00 a.m. EST: Serj Tankian has responded to Daron Malakian’s comments in a new open letter to fans.
It’s been nearly 13 years since System of a Down released an album, and now guitarist-singer Daron Malakian is opening up about the reasons behind the band’s lack of musical output in a very candid interview.
System of a Down last released albums in 2005, when they unleashed the companion discs Mezmerize and Hypnotize in the same year. In 2006, the band announced that it was going on hiatus, returning to the stage in 2011.
They’ve been performing sporadically since reuniting, but seven years later, there’s still no new music from the multiplatinum band.
“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,” explained Malakian.
He added, “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 went on to say that if it were up to Tankian, SOAD may not have even recorded their two most recent discs. “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.”
According to Malakian, one of the issues is simply differences in musical taste. “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.”
For his part, Tankian revealed in a recent newsletter to fans, “I have five rock songs that I wanted I do with SOAD but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna work out, so I am finishing those up to release them as a solo EP or possibly as a soundtrack for my film cause they are interrelated.”
While it’s clear that there won’t be a new SOAD album arriving anytime soon, the band does have a handful of West Coast tour dates scheduled for the fall.
And for fans in search of new music, Malakian is releasing the new album Dictator with his band Scars on Broadway on July 20th. The video for the single “Lives” can be seen below.