We had our hopes up a few years ago that we might soon get some System of A Down, but sadly those hopes were shattered. Vocalist Serj Tankian says the band's members "haven’t been able to see eye to eye", guitarist Daron Malakian said Tankian didn't even want to do the 2005 albums Mezmerize and Hypnotize. Beyond creative differences, it seems there is a business dispute on how to split songwriting royalties.
I think the one person who, more than anybody else, wants to hear new SOAD is System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian. He has been quite hopeful that the band would eventually get back together and in a new interview with Eddie Trunk, that hope still resides inside of him. He says all the members get along great outside of the business of the band and that ultimately, Serj can't be agreeable on new music:
What is the status of the band now? Would it be safe to say that there’s a level of dysfunction? Would you say that’s accurate?
“It could be accurate. I mean, we haven’t made a record for 12 years. We do play live still, we do tour; not as often as I would like to, but I am blessed for being able to still do it. When we’re put together, the four of us, we’re not hating on each other. We hang out, we have a good time. It’s just – we haven’t made music together, which is kind of frustrating; I’ll be honest, ’cause I know we can make the bomb music together.”
Are there fragments of songs?
“Yeah, there are.”
How far did you get? Rough demos, recordings…?
“No recordings. Two years ago, we got together, the three of us…”
‘The three of us,’ minus Serj [Tankian, vocals]?’
“Well, minus Serj because, at the time, he was doing a lot of solo stuff and we were, like, ‘Dude, we don’t wanna wait around. Let’s just get in there and see what we can do.’ And we got in and wrote, like, about 10 or 11 songs. Daron brought, like, seven or eight songs; I brought four or five ideas in that became songs. Minus Serj’s vocals, of course. It was really good. It came out really great. And I hope to one day go back to those and use some of Serj’s stuff. I know Serj’s got some stuff.
“In my world, man, why it isn’t happening is a big question. I think we can get over anything ’cause it’s not like someone’s done anything so horrible that we can’t get over it – ain’t nothing like that. It’s just creative differences that are lasting a little too long for me, for my taste. It’s been so long. I don’t even remember why we’re not going in there at this point, you know what I mean?”
The thing that’s hard for fans is to understand how a band can get together and play live, but can’t still make a record, or make a song…
“I’m one of those fans. [Laughs] I swear to god, dude. [Laughs] I really would love to have done it. I mean, like I said: if it was up to me, we would have never stopped. We would have been on our probably ninth or 10th record now.”
Shavo has always been SOAD's #1 fan and I hand it to him for expressing his hope for new music without trying to throw anybody under the bus. He seems very grateful for what he has.
I think we'd all be greatful if we heard some new System of A Down music.