System of a Down Bassist on New Album: “It’s Just a Matter of Time.”


Despite extensive reports of System of a Down creative forces Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian being at loggerheads over the creative direction of new music, bassist Shavo Odadjian says he’s confident the band will soon record and put out an album. It’s been 13 years and counting since the band’s most recent release.

Odadjian, who at one point suggested hiring a band psychiatrist to work through their differences, has been keeping busy with his cannabis and music-production company, 22 Red, and recently spoke to Consequence of Sound about what’s been holding up new System music despite the band’s penchant for occasional limited touring over the past few years:

“Nothing between us has happened that’s so terrible that people can’t get in the studio and work. Nothing! Everything is just [a matter of] taste, and they just gotta get in and forget the past, and kind of move forward. And I think that will happen. I’m not worried. I’m not worried at all.

“Everything that you heard over the summer, that they kind of brought into public, was stuff that was in the past. That stuff happened a long time ago. So, it’s like, 10 years later, something new came up, but it wasn’t really new. It was something that was really old, and they were just hashing it out. Because one person did an interview, and I guess in the interview they paraphrased his words and it came off wrong. And I read that, too, and it wasn’t like him. He wouldn’t blame anyone.

“I spoke with Daron, and he was like, “Dude, I didn’t say those things, I said it this way.” Anyway, that kind of made someone else [Serj] think something, and then that person had to tell their point of view. It was just point of views.

“We’re not even fighting. When we see each other, we’re so happy and we’re cool. It’s weird that we don’t have a new record, or many records, and it’s weird that we don’t go on world tours. We tour, but it’s so little.”

He later added:

“Between you and me and this world, and to the people who read this interview, we have material that tops everything we’ve done. And that’s me telling you, honestly. I can’t wait to record that and drop it.

“It’s just a matter of time. I just hope it happens sooner than later. But we’ve written stuff together. Daron’s brought a lot of stuff in. I’ve brought stuff to Daron and we’ve worked it out. I have so much more stuff that is ready to go out. I’ve told Daron this, too. I’ve said, “We’ve gotta get this done,” and he’s like, “Yeah, I’d love to.” So, we all want to, and I think Serj is kind of doing his own thing, and I get it.”

The extent to which the material he’s referencing is still available for future System use is unclear — Malakian released material he’d originally written for System as Scars on Broadway, and Serj has done the same for his solo efforts — but who knows, there could be a whole ton of unfinished potential System songs sitting around.

System of a Down have some festival shows on the books for 2019, including one at Sonic Temple (formerly Rock on the Range) and at Chicago Open Air.

Read the rest of the interview with Shavo here.

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