System of a Down’s career over the last decade-plus has largely been defined by drama, even more so over the last year, but singer Serj Tankian has said that drama will always be a part of the band and he doesn’t even consider it to necessarily be a bad thing.
“Show me a band that doesn’t have drama, and I’ll show you a shitty band,” Tankian told Metal Hammer in a recent interview. “There will always be drama,” he said of System of a Down and continued, “We’re four individuals who feel different about different things.”
Tankian noted that the dramatic aspects of the band have been played up in the press, which has also had some benefits for the band, who last released a full length album in 2005 and have performed live intermittently. “It’s kept the band in the limelight irrespective of our lack of making a record for 14 or 15 years,” he acknowledged.
While a new album remains unlikely due to creative differences between the band’s members, two new songs did emerge last year as System of a Down found it pertinent to do something in an effort to raise awareness and funds for their Armenian community amid a war in Artsakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Tankian, who recently released his ‘Truth to Power’ documentary on using music as a vehicle for activism, sounded the alarm last year, concerned this conflict could lead to another Armenian genocide.
Of “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz,” Tankian said, “We put out two songs for Artsakh, which to me is one of the best things we’ve ever done as a band, in terms of reaching beyond ourselves. And I’m extremely proud of my brothers in System of a Down that we were able to accomplish that. But yeah, you know, the drama’s gonna be there, always.”
The System of a Down frontman also dropped the Elasticity solo EP earlier this year, which featured songs he had originally penned in hopes of using them for new System of a Down material.
In the past, Tankian said the band’s creative differences are “not a bad thing,” but expressed dismay at the division between him and John Dolmayan, a staunch Trump supporter who questioned the legitimacy of the most recent election, concerning American politics.
“He’s Armenian. He’s my brother-in-law and my drummer. Is it frustrating being politically opposite to your own drummer and brother-in-law? Fuck yeah. Of course it’s frustrating, but that’s having to do with American politics. When it comes to Armenian issues we’re on the same exact page,” Tankian told Forbes last October.
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