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System Of A Down

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian Says Nothing Really Changed After Public Back-And-Forth With Daron Malakian Regarding A New Album


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Though members of System Of A Down remain hopeful that a new album from the band will eventually materialize, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards anytime soon. The group’s frontman Serj Tankian recently spoke to Rollingstone.com regarding that along with his various film scoring projects, Anthony Bourdain and more.

To catch up, Tankian issued a public statement outlining his issues with making a new System Of A Down album after being Malkian at the time singled out as the holdout by his bandmate Daron Malakian in an interview with Kerrang! this past summer.

Tankian outlined concerns with creative input, songwriting credits and more in his statement. In this latest interview, Tankian explained what happened after that situation came to a head:

“We got together to rehearse, said hi and had a conversation and just carried things forward as we’ve always done. We’ve been friends and together for 25 to 30 years. That’s a long time. The difference between business and bands are people know when they’re working within a business, but when they’re in a band, it’s confusing because you’re also very close friends. There are times when you have to say, ‘OK, this is not working on the business end but I love you.’ With bands, you rarely see that happening.

The reason I posted what I did is because I didn’t want any negative security threats against any of us, in terms of, ‘Fuck you. You’re the reason that no System record’s being made.’ For me, it was just saying, ‘Look. I’ve tried. We’ve tried. We just haven’t been able to see eye to eye. It’s not because we’re lazy. We’re still friends. We still tour.’ This is the truth.”

When asked if airing their grievances in a public forum changed anything, Tankian replied:

“No, it didn’t really. I think it released a lot of tension and negativity. Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions.”

When asked as to what Tankian had in mind when he mentioned in his statement this past summer that he would like to “develop a new concept or theme so that it’s not just a record but a full experience,” he replied:

“I just feel like music has been commoditized. If I were to do an orchestral show, I’d also want to do an art show. So it’s using multiple senses, doing experiential events. Music is music: You’re ultimately going to release it and people are going to listen to it, but I thought it would be great if we created some type of event or set of events that stem out thematically from the music that can encapsulate whatever new record or sound we’re propagating. In other news, we’d not just release a record, but do something more grand around it.”

As he mentioned before, Tankian has been repurposing a number of song ideas he had originally penned for a new album from the band for a future release. He spoke of where those tunes may end up, offering:

“I recently finished mixing a lot of the songs I was hoping we could do with System. I want them to be part of my music film, so I’m waiting for that. I have finished five rock songs. I just did a rock remix yesterday, actually, of one of the revolutionary songs for the Armenian film. It’s a rock song in Armenian, and I did a heavier mix.

But obviously I write in orchestral music, jazz and rock. One reason I like composing for films is because every director wants something different, genre-wise, sound-wise, emotion-wise. It’s fun. I get to make a different-sounding record every time.”

For more from Tankian on his various scoring projects and more, head to rollingstone.com.

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