System of a Down, or at least the members writing the lyrics, has never made their political stances a secret. Songs like "Prison Song" and "B.Y.O.B." are unmistakably explicit in their messages, and vocalist Serj Tankian has no idea how some fans missed that over the years.
Tankian recently sat down with the Side Jams with Bryan Reesman podcast to clarify for everyone that System of a Down was always, always a political band. Tankian said some fans are mean about the band's lyrics, which is also crazy considering the newest System of a Down record is from 2005. So they're a little late on that criticism.
"I've always explained music like pizza — some people like the crust, some people like the cheese, some people like the topping. So when I get people on my socials that are, 'I love your music, but I don't wanna hear your political ideas,' that's fair enough — if they're nice enough, it's fair enough, but sometimes they're really mean.
"But what I don't understand, and a lot of other people that follow the music say the same thing. They're, like, 'Have you not listened to the fucking words in 20 years? He's been saying all this stuff through his music all this time. What are you, just dancing to it because it's groovy? You're not really getting the message?'"
Tankian later pointed out that some fans "never even thought that 'B.Y.O.B.' is anti-fucking-imperialist maybe. I don't know — I don't know how you can, but I guess maybe." This conversation comes shortly after System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan said he thinks Donald Trump is "the greatest friend to minorities."