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System Of A Down's Shavo Odadjian

System Of A Down’s Shavo Odadjian Speaks On Serj & Daron’s Public Dispute Over A New Album


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If you’ve been following the headlines over the past few years, you’re likely aware that System Of A Down have largely been stuck at a standstill when it comes to putting out a new album. While members of the band have penned numerous new tracks, differences of opinion and disputes over creative input, songwriting credits, royalties and more have seemingly kept a new record from becoming a reality.

An interview conducted with the band’s guitarist Daron Malakian this past summer saw this all come to a boiling point—or at least spill into the public domain. Though the group had written over a dozen new songs, Malkian at the time told Kerrang! this past summer that frontman Serj Tankian was the main holdout on a new record, despite having participated in some of the new material.

This led Tankian to follow suit by addressing his concerns with the group in a public statement. Though the tension seemed palpable, the group have since toured and look to have remained friendly, despite the admittedly civil public blowout.

In a new interview with Consequence Of Sound, the band’s bassist Shavo Odadjian spoke of that dispute and downplayed it as being based on old beef and a result of allegedly paraphrased quotes. When asked if he still felt the band could put aside their differences and get together for a new record, he replied:

“I think so. I think we can. Nothing between us has happened that’s so terrible that people can’t get in the studio and work. Nothing! Everything is just [a matter of] taste, and they just gotta get in and forget the past, and kind of move forward. And I think that will happen. I’m not worried. I’m not worried at all.

Everything that you heard over the summer, that they kind of brought into public, was stuff that was in the past. That stuff happened a long time ago. So, it’s like, 10 years later, something new came up, but it wasn’t really new. It was something that was really old, and they were just hashing it out. Because one person did an interview, and I guess in the interview they paraphrased his words and it came off wrong. And I read that, too, and it wasn’t like him. He wouldn’t blame anyone.

I spoke with Daron, and he was like, ‘Dude, I didn’t say those things, I said it this way.’ Anyway, that kind of made someone else [Serj] think something, and then that person had to tell their point of view. It was just point of views.

We’re not even fighting. When we see each other, we’re so happy and we’re cool. It’s weird that we don’t have a new record, or many records, and it’s weird that we don’t go on world tours. We tour, but it’s so little.”

He also touched upon the decline of rock music and if he felt that bigger established bands such as System Of A Down putting out new records could help the once dominant genre of rock regain some of its appeal:

“…if it was up to me, we would have done that already. I think it kind of started with us singing that ‘Kill Rock N’ Roll‘ song, and then it kind of happened [laughs]. I would love to bring it back. And, can I be honest with you? Between you and me and this world, and to the people who read this interview, we have material that tops everything we’ve done. And that’s me telling you, honestly. I can’t wait to record that and drop it.

It’s just a matter of time. I just hope it happens sooner than later. But we’ve written stuff together. Daron’s brought a lot of stuff in. I’ve brought stuff to Daron and we’ve worked it out. I have so much more stuff that is ready to go out. I’ve told Daron this, too. I’ve said, ‘We’ve gotta get this done,’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I’d love to.’ So, we all want to, and I think Serj is kind of doing his own thing, and I get it.

I don’t think we owe it to anyone [to bring back rock music to the forefront], but it would be nice if we did that, because we’re capable of it.”

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