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System Of A Down's Serj Tankian

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian: “There’s No Law That Says A Band Should Be Together For A Million Years And Have A Million Records”


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Last month saw some very revealing developments as to why System Of A Down have been unable to create a new album since 2005. After a years-long series of vague comments of members not being ready, the band’s guitarist Daron Malakian publicly spoke of Tankian being the holdout on the record. He also revealed that Tankian wanted to exit the band around 2005 and that they allegedly had to beg him to be involved with their “Hypnotize” and “Mezmerize” albums.

In the wake of the comments, Tankian himself then cleaned out the skeletons in his closet, offering a tell-all statement on his reluctance to do a new album. In it he outlined his creative differences, issues with how publishing and royalties are split and more.

Since then the band have remained publicly quiet on the matter. In a new joint interview conducted with Tankian and Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, Tankian discussed the matter a bit further. Forbes.com hosted that chat, which saw the following exchange take place:

Boyd: Are you guys working on new music?

Tankian: No.

Boyd: That’s cool though.

Tankian: I don’t know if it is or isn’t. But it is what it is. The new music thing, there’s a lot of press going back and forth and I recently made a statement online, on Facebook, explaining the whole hiatus and took responsibility for it.

Boyd: When the time is right you will .

Tankian: If the time is right.

Boyd: You never want to put pressure on those kinds of processes. A little bit like, “Be brilliant now. Now!”

Tankian: It’s gotta be organic, it’s gotta feel right in every way. But also there’s no law that says a band should be together for a million years and have a million records. Actually, if you look over the years as a musicologist or a fan of music would, in any way, it’s probably regressive thinking.

Boyd: It’s true, if you feel vital, if it feels like you guys need to be together in a room then absolutely. And if it doesn’t then you shouldn’t force the issue.”

Speaking further of playing live with System Of A Down, Tankian offered:

“We really enjoy it. That’s the thing, over all these years, maybe we’re better friends because we haven’t made a record in 12 years. I think creating the record brings a lot of these intricate personality complex into writing, to the surface. But when we’re playing live we’re like, ‘Hey, how have you been? I haven’t seen you in a couple of months. How’s the family?’

And we have fun, we’re out there. It’s like playing basketball together playing a live show together. There’s no brain thing going on, it’s just enjoying it and doing it. That’s why we have a lot of fun. And we’ve become better friends because of it. Over the years touring here and there, a month here, two months. We’ve become better friends and closer with each other because of it.”

You can read more on Tankian‘s current passions, which include activism and documentary the recent Armenian revolution, as well as a related new film and more over at Forbes.com. Both Tankian and Boyd will be sharing the stage later this year with System Of A Down having the following dates booked:

10/06-07 Teotihuacan, MEX – Force Fest
10/13 San Bernardino, CA – Glen Helen Amphitheater (feat. Incubus, At The Drive In, Clutch, Pallbearer and Skeletonwitch)
10/14 Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival

With At The Drive In & Skeletonwitch:

10/16 Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
10/17 San Diego, CA – Valley View Casino Center
10/19 Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena

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