System of a Down Bassist is “Optimistic” New Music Will Happen
System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian has said he’s “optimistic” that the band will someday write and release new music despite their inability (or unwillingness) to do so for the past 15 years. How optimistic is he? So optimistic that he’s even gone meta by talking about media headlines in which he’s quoted as being optimistic, then digs in on that optimism anyway. And here we are featuring it in a headline again! Because obviously.
During a recent appearance on Ernie Ball’s Striking A Chord podcast while promoting his new band North Kingsley, who released their debut album in August, Shavo explained of his current relationship with the rest of the System guys:
“I love System. I love the guys. They’re my friends, over anything. Even if I don’t see them or talk to them for months, when we’re on the phone, we’re best friends. That’s how I am with them. Nothing has gone down so terrible that we can never [make music together again].
“That’s why I’m always optimistic, and whenever I say that, it becomes headlines. ‘Oh, Shavo is optimistic,’ Well, yeah, bro, I’m optimistic about a lot of things. It doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen. But the reason why I’m optimistic is because nothing has been done that can’t be undone. It’s not like someone said or did something that’s ‘end all.’ It’s not like, God forbid, anyone’s passed away. We’re still all here, we still can talk, we still can play, we’re still alive.”
In light of recent deaths in the metal space, that last bit is certainly poignant. Maybe it’ll serve to strike a bit of urgency into the band’s internal discussions.
Shavo later elaborated on the phenomenon the whole “new System of a Down album” thing has become amongst fans and the media, saying:
“If we could just agree. If people weren’t so adamant about their views. It would be nice to just back up a little and say, ‘You know, let’s just do it. And I’ll listen to you if you listen to me,’ instead of, like, ‘I think it should be this way, ‘I think it should be that way.’ Okay, well, then that’s not gonna work because if you both… I don’t know.”
“It’s a mixture of a lot of stuff that’s happened. And it just kind of grew to a point where, because of social media and because of all this demand for the record, it’s become taboo; it’s become this thing. It’s, like, bigger than it should be. It’s become this crazy thing: ‘The new System record isn’t happening.’ It’s way too crazy, bro. Everyone is a little weird. Because Daron will post Scars, and they’ll rip him up about the new [System] record. Serj will post something political. They’ll rip him up about the new record. John does something; ‘Where’s the new record?’ I’m posting North Kingsley. ‘Where’s the new record?’ It’s always there now. It became this thing [where] we’re, like, ‘Fuck this.’ It’s gonna make me say, ‘Fuck the new record,’ because there’s so much [demand for it]. But the flipside is we should be fucking honored that people still care and want the new record.”
Recent events within the System of a Down camp do not suggest the guys are moving towards putting their creative differences aside in the name of new music, as Shavo wishes they would — and he’s largely a bystander — but who knows, if Serj and John can remain friendly in light of the political and social chasm between them, anything is possible.