Enlarge Serj Tankian, 9/24/2012, The Fillmore, San Francisco, Miikka Skaffari for MetalSucks

Serj Tankian: “There Will Always Be Drama” in System of a Down


Musicians generally decry drama within their ranks, often perpetuated by the press. I get it: that shit is draining.

But System of a Down’s Serj Tankian understands that there is an upside, too, especially for a band that’s released a grand total of two new songs in the past 16 years. That band would be his own, System of a Down, who have consistently remained in fans’ consciousness over that period despite the dearth of new tunes.

Speaking to Metal Hammer, Tankian acknowledged the constant drama in System while also playing up its benefits, explaining:

“Show me a band that doesn’t have drama, and I’ll show you a shitty band. There will always be drama – we’re four individuals who feel different about different things. But the press has played it up, and it’s kept the band in the limelight irrespective of our lack of making a record for 14 or 15 years.

“We put out two songs for Artsakh [in 2020], which to me is one of the best things we’ve ever done as a band, in terms of reaching beyond ourselves. And I’m extremely proud of my brothers in System Of A Down that we were able to accomplish that. But yeah, you know, the drama’s gonna be there, always.”

At least Serj knows where his bread is buttered! You’re welcome, friend. I will accept my due portion of System of a Down’s next royalty check in the form of an Edible Arrangement, please.

System of a Down released two new songs, “Genocidal Humanoidz” and “Protect the Land,” this past November to bring awareness to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the territory of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh). The tracks — the first time the band released new music in fifteen years — went on to raise more than $600,000 for Artsakh.

Tankian released his first solo albumElasticity, earlier this month, while bassist Shavo Odadjian has been busy with North Kingsley.

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