“We wasted 15 years of our lives waiting”
“We wasted 15 years of our lives waiting”
The drummer of system of a DownJohn Dolmayan, pointed out that his band had recorded very few new songs over the past 18 years.
Although technically still active, SOAD hasn’t shown many signs of life over the past two decades.
Following the 2010 reunification, the four musicians have occasionally reunited for one or two concerts or tours, but with the exception of the two singles Protect The Land and Genocidal Humanoidz released in 2020 as part of the humanitarian campaign for Armenia. , SOAD hasn’t really produced any new music since the two 2005 albums, Mezmerize and Hypnotize.
And yes some hope returned last october, the craze quickly died down thereafter.
Now, in a new interview on the Battleline podcast, drummer John Dolmayan says: “Serge [Tankian] didn’t really want to be part of the band anymore, and hadn’t for a long time. And quite frankly, we probably should have split up around 2006. We tried to get together many times to make an album, but there were certain rules in place that made it difficult while maintaining the integrity of System Of A Down. So we couldn’t really get together and come to an agreement. And it’s partly Serj’s fault, and partly mine, and Shavo’s [Odadjian, basse] and Daron [Malakian, guitare] also.”
He pursues : “But at the end of the day, if the majority of the band thinks one way and only one person thinks another, it’s very difficult to band together and make music thinking that person is important. However, each member of this group is very important for the overall sound of the group. And you can see that by listening to everyone’s side projects; they are never as good as System. In fact, I even think that most of them are far from good. And when you compare that to what we do together as a System, you understand why the team matters and why the fact that certain talents come together and merge is valuable; that is what creates the magic.”
Expanding on his opinion, Dolmayan adds: “Anyway, Daron is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever seen in my life. However, what he does with [son projet parallèle] scars [On Broadway] will never be at the same level or in the same category as System. That’s not to say Scars is bad, just that it’s not System. Because at the end of the day, I don’t play drums, Shavo doesn’t play bass, don’t bring some riffs and complement Daron’s music, and Serj doesn’t bring his melodies and lyrics to the project. So it’s all these things that make us System.”
When asked to elaborate on what he said about Tankian, Dolmayan replies: “I think we should have moved on, and if Serj didn’t want to be in the band anymore at that time, we should have moved on and found someone else. But that’s what happens when you’re loyal and really want it to work; we support things that can be detrimental to the health of the group or the health of the project. It might have been better to go ahead and find another singer for an album or two, keep making music and bring Serj back later if he wanted to come back. It probably would have been better. But as it is, I think we’ve wasted 15, maybe 20 years of our lives waiting.”
The drummer also claims that everyone except Tankian would like the band to be more active: “I think we would like to work a lot more, but Serj has back problems now; he screwed up his back somehow. And he doesn’t want to tour as much as the rest of the band. Look, if my wife told me we were going to have sex once a year, I would divorce her. So you see where we are. I don’t think it’s sustainable. The rest of us want to work a lot more than him. I don’t know if that means we’ll break up, forget all about it and end our career, or if we’ll move on with someone else or if Serj will change his mind. In the end, the best scenario for me is that Serj comes back and we can do 15, 20 shows a year. Even that would be enough. We could go places we haven’t been in a long time and play in front of fans who have never seen us play. Its important to me.”
He concludes : “I don’t know what will happen. Even talking about System depresses me, because I know what our potential is. And I know that if we do an album, it will be fantastic because we have songs that have been ready for five or six years now; we just have to go register them. And I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not… You only have one life. We have to make the most of it.”
Interview with John Dolmayan for the Battleline podcast: