Serj Tankian Says System of a Down are Communicating about New Music
System of a Down, Tool and Necrophagist are like the holy trinity of metal bands that haven’t released new music in for-fucking-ever: 11 years, 10 years and 12 years, respectively. But while the main culprit for Tool and Necrophagist simply seems to be slowness and/or indifference, the creative and personal rifts between the members of System of a Down have been especially hard to overcome. While the group has done a few live shows over the past several years, vocalist Serj Tankian hasn’t seemed interested in making new System music — he’s been busy with a whole host of other projects — while the other three members are totally down for whatever.
But! In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Serj suggested that he kinda maybe sorta might be willing to get fixin’ to get ready to think about starting to put together new System jams with the rest of the guys:
We’re communicating and trying to see if we can bring our material together. There’s definitely a lot of communication going on, a lot of back and forth. I can’t make a statement in terms of whether we’re going to have a record or not, because we haven’t gone into the studio and done it. But there’s definitely communication going on, songs being played to each other and all that stuff, so it’s good. We’ll see what happens.
That’s encouraging, right? It’s nothing firm at all, but at least all the guys are 1) communicating, and 2) discussing new music. Also, 3) “It’s good.”
But then there’s the qualifier:
I think it would be great to create something brand new in a new direction. It would be very exciting, but everyone’s got to be on board, on the same page, and it’s got to be done in a way so that everyone is happy. If we can do that, we’ll do it.
Implied, but not stated: Serj wants to make sure any new System music pushes ahead creatively, while the other guys are simply content with “more System of a Down music.” Or, at the very least, the music they’ve been sending one another (produced on their own) isn’t on the same creative wavelength.
We’ll see how this shakes out, but it sounds like — at a minimum — we’re at least a year away from hearing anything new out of these guys, if anything happens at all. We’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, Serj just released a political folk song called “Artsakh” about Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-occupied region in Azerbaijan, formerly ruled by the USSR, that experienced a four-day war this April. Check out that video here.