By: Graham "Gruhamed" Hartmann
To me, System Of A Down were one of the last truly great bands who made a gigantic impact both from their rabid fan base and their acceptance from the mainstream media. Following in the footsteps of bands such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Rage Against the Machine, they went from underground heroes to a worldwide phenomenon seemingly overnight. I know as soon as I saw the video for their beautifully monstrous hit "Chop Suey!" on Australia's Channel [V], I was hooked. I ran out and bought Toxicity immediately, which found itself a home inside my Discman for a very long time.
Rumors have been flying about System reuniting ever since the band declared their hiatus in May 2006, but there seems to be a bit more substance to these Chinese whispers this time around. 2010 began with a teaser from bassist Shavo Odadjian on January 11, 2010. Odadjian posted on his official Twitter account,
"Are you guys ready for System?"
Needless to say, hardcore SYSTEM fans began to flip out, causing internet forums to become flooded with theories about what the tweet could mean. However, two days after that, in an interview with BILLBOARD, vocalist Serj Tankian stated that SYSTEM OF A DOWN was still on an indefinite hiatus while adding "We always have offers to play, from festivals and stuff, but we have not decided to do anything as of yet". Seven months later, drummer John Dolmayan was interviewed as a contestant of The World Series of Poker and stated,
"We're probably going to be touring next year (2011). Nothing's definite, the band members haven't gotten together in a room and talked about it yet, but it's looking like its going to happen."
"Whether or not SYSTEM gets… When SYSTEM gets back together… I might have said too much"
Adding to the pile of hearsay, the band has been rumored to play at the 2011 SWU Festival, although nothing has been officially confirmed by the band.
Seemingly going full-circle, the most recent clue to the bands possible reformation came once again from the Twitter page of Shavo Odadjian just yesterday (November 2nd) where he posted a simple, yet captivating message:
Are one of the last decade's most important bands finally getting back together after 4 1/2 years of hiatus? Are SYSTEM merely playing on the desire of their fans? Are they attempting to keep their name on the tips of tongues and on the forefront of minds just in case they decide to reunite one day? What do you think? I know I would kill to see SYSTEM OF A DOWN touring and writing again. And as Serj Tankian said in an interview with Gibson,
“If we decide to [reunite], the first people to find out will be our fans, on the website. We’ve all agreed that as a band.”
So keep checking their website and crossing your fingers because a SOAD reunion may just be in the works… but for now, I'm going to listen to Chop Suey! on repeat for 5 hours.
UPDATE: (11/19/10) According to Francis Zégut, the host of the French radio station show "Pop Rock Station", System of a Down will perform live at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in Paris, France on June 6, 2011. As of today, this has neither been confirmed or denied by the band.
UPDATE: (11/29/10) System of a Down officially confirm their reunion! 2011 tour dates announced!