Poll: Should Conservatives Listen to System of a Down?
One of the biggest storylines in the metalsphere in recent weeks has been the ideological clash between System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan and, well, pretty much everyone else. In a series of posts and interviews, Dolmayan expressed outspoken pro-Trump, coronavirus conspiracy theory, anti-Black Lives Matter, blatantly racist, and pro-cop opinions, while his bandmate Serj Tankian, who wrote many of the band’s outwardly liberal lyrics, called any Trump lovers in his band’s fanbase “hypocrites.”
The story has largely faded out of the spotlight due to a combination of reader fatigue and both men (who are brothers in law in addition to bandmates!) publicly making nice with one another, but it’s brought up a number of questions that continue to echo around our brains here at the MetalSucks Mansion. How should we feel about listening to System of a Down’s music now that we know one quarter of the band is very conservative? What does it say about our current political climate that some System of a Down fans remain woefully ignorant about the band’s messages? How does John Dolmayan justify collecting a paycheck when his employer’s views, which are fully intertwined with the music, are so counter to his own? Should conservatives even listen to this band’s music?
There’s a lot to discuss there, but for now let’s just focus on one issue: can conservatives listen to System of a Down with a clear conscience, fully divorcing the songs’ messages from the riffs? Or is there just too much cognitive dissonance for that? To the extent that anyone “can” choose to listen to any piece of music, of course, we’re talking about whether we want to allow conservatives into our imaginary club of leftist System of a Down fans.