System Of A Down

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan: “We Played A Couple Of Shows That I Was Not Proud Of Recently”


System Of A Down‘s creative relationship remains as complicated as ever and the band’s infrequent live schedule has had an impact on the band’s shows, according to drummer John Dolmayan. Appearing recently on Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ‘s ‘Drinks With Johnny‘ show, Dolmayan admitted that the quality of their stage production and live experience has suffered in a way thanks to not being an entirely active band. He commented of that:

“I’m gonna be honest with you — we played a couple of shows that I was not proud of recently, because we didn’t put in the practice, and we had, like, a skeleton crew. They [are the ones who] set up the equipment, they set up the lights, all the production. All this stuff has to be set up so that we can go up and do our jobs, which is to entertain you ultimately. And these guys all have to work when we’re not working.

Avenged does it the right way — they’ll do an album cycle, they’ll do a hundred shows, or whatever it is in that cycle, which means they can employ these people for a year to two years. System does it the complete opposite way and half-assed. We employ people for three to four weeks, which means we get who’s available as opposed to who we wanna work with long term.”

As for the band’s now infamous decade-plus creative impasse, Dolmayan offered:

“We’ve been enormously successful with each other. So, ego gets in the way a lot. It gets in the way of relationships, it gets in the way of business relationships, and sometimes you lose sight of why you started to do something together. In any industry, but more so in music, people get into their heads sometimes. You’ve gotta let things go in life.

You have to let things go in that you’re gonna offend each other, you’re gonna have problems. Every relationship has them. So you’ve gotta get past it and get out of your own fucking way ultimately, and System just hasn’t been able to do that. We have some things that have gotten in the way of doing what we do best.”

Dolmayan did mention during the discussion that work continues on his These Grey Men covers side project, which he crowdfunded $55,215 for back in 2014. He has been enlisting a number of guest musicians for that project, including his System Of A Down bandmate Serj Tankian, who will guest on covers of David Bowie‘s “Starman” and Talking Heads‘ “Road To Nowhere“.

Rage Against The Machine/Prophets Of Rage, etc. guitarist Tom Morello and Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows also guest on the record, with Dolmayan commenting of the latter:

“I worked with really cool people… Again, I’m not trying to create something to compete with System. I’m just doing it because I enjoy playing music. I’m not a songwriter, but I can arrange the fuck out of songs. So, I arranged these songs in a way that I thought was interesting and I listened to songs that I thought maybe there was a lack. Or what would I do if I played this song? What would I do if I was presented this song?”

System Of A Down will be hitting the European/UK festival circuit next summer with the below run of shows booked. Tickets can be found here.

06/03 Amsterdam, NET – Ziggo Dome
06/05 Nurburg, GER – Rock am Ring
06/07 Nuremberg, GER – Rock im Park
06/08 Berlin, GER – Waldbuhne
06/10 Nickelsdorf, AUT – Nova Rock Festival
06/12 Milan, ITA – I-Days Festival
06/14 Donington, UK – Download Festival
06/16 Prague, CZE – O2 Arena
06/17 Budapest, HUN – Laszlo Papp Sports Arena
06/19 Zurich, SWI – Hallenstadion
06/23 Stockholm, SWE – Ericsson Globe
06/25-27 Seinäjoki, FIN – Provinssirock Festival
06/30 Krakow, POL – Tauron Arena
07/01-04 Viveiro, SPA – Resurrection Fest
07/02-03 Lisbon, POR – VOA Heavy Rock Festival

[via Blabbermouth]

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