As press release stated, “motivated by the recently-erupted conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, the latter aided by Turkey and accountable for the greatest violence the region has endured in 26 years, SYSTEM OF A DOWN — Daron Malakian (guitars, vocals), Serj Tankian (vocals), Shavo Odadjian (bass) and John Dolmayan (drums) — announced the release of its first new songs in 15 years: ‘Protect The Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz.’“
Serj commented about the comeback: “Yeah, it doesn’t have anything to do with the group. We decided to do this to gain attention so we can do interviews about the injustice and the humanitarian catastrophe being committed by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the Armenians of Artsakh, and to also raise much needed humanitarian funds. So it’s not about our musical career, it’s not about the band, it’s not about us, it’s something completely outside of it.”
When asked how much they were able to raise funds, Tankian responded: “I don’t have the current figures today, but I want to say seven-to-eight hundred thousand within a week, maybe 10 days. And we’re gonna do a few fundraising events and auctions as well in the coming weeks to a month to try to get a lot more raised.”
SOAD bassist Shavo Odadjian previously said that the reunion was sparked by a group message sent by drummer John Dolmayan.
“He [Dolmayan] wrote and said we need to put everything behind and do something,” Shavo told FOX 11. “‘We need to be a part of this. We need to help any way we can. This, this is bigger than us, bigger than our emotions, bigger than our feelings, bigger than our egos. Let’s go.’
“And right away, Daron [Malakian, guitar] responded with, ‘Here, I have something that could save time.’”
He added that two weeks later, two songs were wrapped up, one accompanied by a music video.
“We’ve been together as in we’ve gone on tours together, played shows together, hung out together, gone to lunch, going to dinner… We’re friends — you know what I mean? We’re all friends. It’s just, we haven’t been in there creatively together. So when we got in there, at first, tension was a little high because we didn’t know how everyone was going to be.
“But about five minutes into it, we were talking, laughing, talking about the song, how it’s going to be, how we’re going to help and what this is going to do for our people…
“That’s the No. 1 thing ù what this is going to do to work and help out, how it’s going to help our people. Because I feel like it’s kind of like a Trojan horse, you know, it’s like we’re walking in and the world’s going to listen because it’s 15 years, we haven’t done anything.