System Of A Down drummer claims band should’ve replaced Serj Tankian

System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan has said the band should have replaced vocalist Serj Tankian back in 2006.

The heavy metal group last released an album with 2005’s ‘Hypnotize’ and the group went on a four-year hiatus the following year.

System Of A Down reunited in 2010 and have toured sporadically ever since. They even released two new charity singles ‘Protect The Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’ in 2020 but a full-length album has always seemed off the table.

Speaking to NME in 2021, Takian revealed that the group had begun work on a follow-up to ‘Hypnotize’ in 2015 but System Of A Down couldn’t see eye to eye on “how to philosophically move forward” so the whole thing was called off. Instead, those songs featured on Tankian’s ‘Elasticity’ EP.

System Of A Down. CREDIT: Clemente Ruiz/Press

In a new interview, System Of A Down drummer (and Tankian’s brother-in-law) John Dolmayan has claimed that “Serj hasn’t really wanted to be in the band for a long time.”

Speaking on the Battleline podcast (and transcribed by Blabbermouth), Dolymayan said, “quite frankly, we probably should have parted ways [with him] around 2006. I think we should have moved on, and if Serj didn’t wanna be in the band at that time, we should have just moved on and done it with somebody else,” he added.

“But that’s what happens when you’re loyal and you really want to make it work. You’ll put up with things that may be detrimental to the health of the band.”

He continued: “Maybe it would have been better if we moved on and got another singer for an album or two and continued to make music, then brought Serj back later if he wanted to come back. That probably would have been better. But as it is, I think we wasted 15, maybe 20 years of our lives waiting.”

Dolmayan went on to say that the group “tried to get together multiple times to make an album, but there were certain rules set in place that made it difficult to do so and maintain the integrity of what System of a Down stood for.”

“We couldn’t really come together and agree,” he added, saying that all four members of the band were responsible for the disagreements. “But if you have a majority of the band thinking one way and one person thinking the other, it’s very difficult to come together and make music.”

Dolmayan has previously said it’s an “insult” that the band hasn’t released more music, while he and Tankian have publicly clashed numerous times over their political beliefs.

Speaking to NME, Tankian revealed he was “grateful” that fans wanted a new System Of A Down album. “It’s incredible that people are really excited about a band whose last record came out in 2005. That’s a huge compliment,” he said but wouldn’t confirm or deny the possibility of new music. “We’ll see. Time will tell,” he said.

As it stands, System Of A Down have one live show confirmed for 2023. The group are set to headline the inaugural Las Vegas’ Sick New World Festival alongside Korn, Deftones, and Incubus on May 13, 2023.


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