System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan made headlines over the past year for his outspoken right-wing politics. In a new interview, Dolmayan says his views have caused him and his various projects, such as his comic book series Ascensia, to be blacklisted.
“I’ve been a victim of it,” Dolmayan told Cancelled with Rob Rosen and Desma Simon — a podcast focusing on “canceled” individuals telling their side of the story. “Let’s just say that Ascencia could easily be made into a TV show or movie and I had an agency working on that with me. And that agency [had] to take a step back.”
Dolmayan compared it to McCarthyism, the vicious campaign to blacklist or disenfranchise suspected communists in the United States in the 1950s.
“So, I’ve already been a victim of this, and it’s no different and no better than what happened in the ’50s with McCarthyism,” Dolmayan said. “I don’t believe in communism. I don’t believe in socialism — I believe in social programs. But I also wouldn’t condemn somebody, I wouldn’t put somebody in jail for their beliefs.”
Dolmayan went on to reference the Parler incident, where Apple squelched the predominantly right-wing social networking app following the deadly Capitol riot earlier this month. He also reiterated his criticism of Black Lives Matter, calling the organization hypocritical and a “fundraising tool for a communist agenda.”
“I don’t like the Black Lives Matter organization,” Dolmayan said. “Many of their founders are flat out communists. And I don’t think the Black Lives Matter movement — or organization, not the movement — because I think a lot of people think differently than what the actual movement is about. I don’t think they give two shits about Black lives. I think they’re a democratic fundraising tool of a communist agenda. And if they really cared about Black lives, they would care about Black on Black violence in our inner cities.”
The interview once again contrasts Dolmayan’s right-wing beliefs against the liberal views of his SOAD bandmate (and brother-in-law) Serj Tankian. The latter has said that their political differences can be “frustrating,” but that they maintain a strong relationship regardless. The band itself just released its first new songs in 15 years to help raise funds for their ancestral home of Armenia and its neighboring state Artsakh.
A documentary about Tankian’s activist work, Truth to Power, is coming out next month, followed by his soon-to-be-detailed solo Elasticity EP that soundtracks the film.
Listen to the full interview with Dolmayan below.