SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has confirmed that the band has been stalled in its attempts to record a follow-up to its “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize” albums, which came out in 2005.
Asked by KROQ‘s Ted Stryker on Friday (June 8) why there hasn’t been any new music from SYSTEM in more than a decade, John responded (see video below): “That’s a really good question. It’s a complex question. You know I’m ready to go any time, and certain members of my band haven’t been able to make it work for themselves. And it’s one of those things where if you can’t get everybody to come together and do it, it just doesn’t happen.”
He continued: “I don’t know if it’s ever gonna happen at this point. I don’t like saying that, but you’ve gotta live in the realm of reality. And anything we do outside of SYSTEM is never gonna be anywhere close to SYSTEM. SYSTEM is the best thing that anybody in SYSTEM will ever do. But we still do other things.”
Dolmayan‘s latest comments echo those made by SYSTEM OF A DOWN guitarist Daron Malakian, who told Revolver magazine that “it’s not looking like we’re doing something together soon. I can’t close the book on it and say it’s done forever. We still play live. We’re all still friends. It’s more a combination of where each person is at a different point in their life, and each person wants to do a different thing. There are some creative differences as well on what direction each one of us wants to take the next SYSTEM album, if that ever happens. Which is fine. I’m not sitting here upset or anything. The only thing I’m a little frustrated with was waiting for that to maybe happen or not happen.”
SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian previousy admitted to Rolling Stone that he and his bandmates “have discussed” the possibility of making new music and they have “played each other songs, but we still haven’t come eye to eye on how things should be done for us to be able to move forward with it. And that’s where it’s been,” he said.
Tankian added that ironically the band members are getting along better than ever, saying: “That’s the funny thing. When people don’t see a record, they assume the worst about your internal relationship. But the truth is we’re actually better friends — at least I’m better friends with everyone than I’ve ever been.”
Tankian continued: “We have a great time together touring. But sometimes putting together a record, and that creative output and how things should be done, is different in four people’s heads and it doesn’t always come together.”
Dolmayan, Tankian and Malakian have toured with SYSTEM OF A DOWN over the past few years but the band has not released new music in more than a decade.
Dolmayan revealed in a 2016 interview that the group had written music for more than a dozen new songs, but those remain in limbo.
Malakian‘s long-dormant side project, SCARS ON BROADWAY, will release its new album on July 20. The band itself, now rebranded DARON MALAKIAN AND SCARS ON BROADWAY, has undergone a complete overhaul, with none of the members from the group’s 2008 debut — including Dolmayan — appearing on the new songs.