System of a Down Guitarist Says In-Fighting Is Preventing New Music

SPIN Staff
·2 min read

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System of a Down has been super busy of late, dropping “Genocidal Humanoidz” and “Protect The Land,” the band’s first new songs in 15 years. The politically motivated tunes were inspired by the conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, and they raised nearly $600,000 to aid those in SOAD’s Armenian homeland.

But there’s another conflict at play: the band”s guitarist Daron Malakian, also of Scars on Broadway, appeared with host Matt Everitt on BBC6 on Nov. 12 to discuss the tunes and their message. But he also spoke about the dynamics within SOAD and the possibility [note: slim] of a new full record.

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Making new music is, “not that simple, I guess. I wish it was,” Malakian told Everitt. “It should be; it should be. But it gets a little bit more complicated than that. I don’t wanna get into, like, ‘Well, it’s this person and that person.’ We did [these new songs] for a noble reason, and we did this for the right reasons. We didn’t make any money off this. It was totally for the noble reason of our country needs us.”

So is the door open for a new System of a Down record?

Malakian prevaricated slightly, though a May 2019 Facebook message from singer Serj Tankian to Malakian elucidated the issues, Tankian posting that 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.

Malakian would say, though, “We did do these two songs [which were written previously] in a really comfortable, smooth [way]. Everyone got along. It was cool.

“I personally do walk away and say, it’s a shame that certain things can’t come together to make [a new reocrd] happen,” the guitarist concluded.

The band is rounded out by drummer John Dolmayan and bassist Shavo Odadjian.

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, click here.