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System Of A DownClemente Ruiz

System Of A Down Are Sitting On A Few Unreleased B-Side “Gems”


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While we may never get any new System Of A Down music, there’s still a possibility that some previously unreleased tracks from the multi-platinum nü-metal band’s more functional era will surface down the line.

It’s fairly common knowledge by now that a dispute on the creative and financial splits between members of the group and vocalist Serj Tankian has mostly kept the influential quartet out of the studio for the better part of nearly two decades.

Tankian has discussed the matter at length over the years, with this recent article detailing the current state of the band’s continued lack of creative output. Outside of a pair of benefit singles repurposed from past sessions/other projects back in 2020, the Armenian-American outfit have been relegated solely to sporadic touring on their catalog, the last substantial entry in which arrived back in 2005.

Speaking recently with The Jesea Lee Show, vocalist Serj Tankian confirmed the existence of several unreleased tracks from past sessions. While he didn’t explicitly specify, they presumably date back to the early 2000s/late 90s. While Tankian admitted there wasn’t a trove of material just waiting to be plundered, he did describe at least two or three of these unheard songs as potential ‘gems.’ He commented of that:

“We do have a small group of unreleased System Of A Down songs, and we haven’t agreed… I mean, I would have liked to release them maybe with a greatest hits or something like that. But until everyone agrees, it’s not going to happen. I don’t necessarily think we should release everything that’s unreleased but… it’s not that much anyway, but in terms of archival at one point, why not? There are some really good gems in there, I gotta say at least two three gems.”

While Tankian and his bandmates remain at loggerheads, there have been attempts in the past decade and change by both parties to put together new songs. Tankian himself previously wrote at least five songs intended for the band, before ultimately releasing them as solo material when the group couldn’t agree how to move forward creatively.

Several members of System Of A Down also wrote roughly fifteen new songs over the years for potential use with the band, one of which was later finished with Tankian for the group’s pair of 2020 benefit singles.

Even vocalist/guitarist Daron Malakian, who has often served as the primary songwriter for the group, shelved a past Scars On Broadway album (“Dictator“) he recorded in 2012, lest some of the song ideas found on it could instead be reworked as System songs. Ultimately though, he relented and released that record in 2018. He said of that at the time:

“I recorded the album and then around that time System started playing live again. So every time we’d play live, there’d be conversations like, ‘Maybe we’ll do an album.’ So being the guy who wrote the majority of almost all the System songs in the past, I was like, ‘Alright, let me see what’s happening with it. Let me hold onto these songs and let me see how this develops.’ We talked about it and we weren’t all on the same page. Not everybody was into the idea. But every time we played live, it kept coming up.

I just got to the point now where a lot of people were asking about the Scars album – I hear it all the time – so I was like, ‘I’m gonna put this album out.’ Not knowing what’s happening with System has kept me from putting my own stuff out. Too much time has passed, and I’m really excited to finally get some music out finally.”

[via Metal Injection]

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