System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian has revealed to Kerrang! magazine that creative differences between him and singer Serj Tankian have stalled the band’s efforts to record a follow-up to its Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums, which came out in 2005.
Malakian explained, “There’s just a certain way that System make albums, and there’s a bunch of us that want to make an album that way and there is, I guess, one of us that doesn’t want to make an album that way and wants to make an album his way. And not everyone is on board with that. That’s been the issue.”
According to the guitarist, Tankian “didn’t even want to make Mezmerize and Hypnotize. We really begged him to make those records. At that time, he felt like he was out.”
Asked if the creative differences between him and Tankian could be resolved, Malakian replied, “It may never be resolved; or it may be, but so far it hasn’t been. There was a time, I think, when I would have taken this a little bit more personally, but not anymore. I realize that it’s not me. We’ve had so many meetings about it.”
He continued, “I don’t want to throw Serj under the bus — he’s my friend and he’s someone that I care about — but I don’t know how to change his mind. We’ve all sat down and we’ve had meetings, and he’s totally set in his way of thinking.”
Malakian added that Tankian “was never really a heavy metal or a rock guy,” saying, “I don’t know if he has the same love for this kind of music as I do. I’m the kid that grew up with Slayer and Kiss on my walls. I wanted to be like them some day. Serj didn’t grow up feeling that way. He didn’t grow up a diehard fan.”
System Of A Down singer Serj Tankian has issued a lengthy statement regarding the band’s inability to record a new album, apparently in response to guitarist Daron Malakian’s claim in a new interview that Tankian is the sole member of the group who’s standing in the way of them recording their first new music since 2005.
Tankian took to his Facebook page on Thursday (July 12th) to post an essay dubbed “Confessions about SOAD by Serj Tankian” in which he opened up about the disagreements between him and the other members of System Of A Down about how the band should go about making new music.
He admitted to being the one member who wanted to go on hiatus after the release of 2005’s Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums, saying he did so for two reasons: first, he wanted some time to make some music on his own, and second, Malakian wanted to control System’s creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press.
Tankian wrote, “I wanted to leave the band before Mezmerize/Hypnotize for these developing reasons. This is why I personally don’t feel as close to the music on those records. There were songs I wanted to bring in but was hampered by unkept promises coupled by my own passivity at the time.”
The singer said that working on his own for several years gave him the confidence to tour again with System, but that plans for recording were stalled until he offered a way forward two years ago. He suggested that he and Malakian write six songs each with the band’s full approval, while splitting the finances equally, along with other considerations.
But, Tankian said, “Ultimately, I had to draw a line in the sand because I knew I could never be happy going back to how things used to be within the band. And as we couldn’t see eye to eye on all these points, we decided to put aside the idea of a record altogether for the time being. My only regret is that we have been collectively unable to give you another SOAD record. For that I apologize.”