SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian spoke to Armenian-American TV host and producer Sona Oganesyan about the band’s stalled attempts to record a follow-up to its Mezmerize and Hypnotize LPs, which came out in 2005.
“I think we all see eye to eye and we respect each other as friends and bandmembers, which is why we tour, which is why we have fun together, we rehearse together, we’re in the same space, we crack jokes,” Serj said (watch interview below). “Our only problem is [not] seeing eye to eye artistically, and that’s not a bad thing. That’s what artists are.
“Your dad’s an amazing painter. If he was to have to paint with someone else, who may be one of his best friends, but if they were doing a piece together, and even if your dad respected that guy’s work and if they were doing it together but your dad really wasn’t into the piece, and they just couldn’t agree on it, that’s okay — they can still remain friends and just not agree on the piece.
“So that’s really what happened with us ultimately,” he continued. “There were woes of the past, which were aired, and I’m glad they were aired, because it needed to get out — not in public, but amongst us. And they were, and that happened. So that’s fine. The truth is all out there. You can go read it. I don’t need to regurgitate it. But the important thing is that we’ve gone beyond that.
“And the question is, will there be another SYSTEM record? I don’t know. But the important thing is that we enjoy each other. My friendship to Daron [Malakian, SOAD guitarist] and the rest of the guys has always meant more than SYSTEM OF A DOWN to me. Not everyone will say that to you, but I’ve always said that. Because that, to me, is more important. Because that’s where it started. The music was a by-product of our friendship; our friendship wasn’t a by-product of our music.”
Serj added: “Everyone has a different way of looking at stuff. We’re four quite different personalities, and irrespective of being friends and all being Armenian, we’re quite different from each other, all of us. And that’s okay. That’s what’s made the music great. So it’s done that. But at the same time, we’re not all the same, we’re not always on the same page, and we’ll never be, really. And that’s okay.”