It’s been 15 years since the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum-selling SYSTEM OF A DOWN, one of the most beloved rock bands in the world, released new music. For years, fans and press speculated about this, and of late, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive hypothesizing when the band might return to the studio.
Now, 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.”
Shavo 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 explains. “‘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.
Singer Serj Tankian added: “It’s about raising awareness about what’s going on with the humanitarian catastrophe perpetrated by Azerbaijan and Turkey. And it’s about trying to raise funds. The band is donating all of its proceeds to Armenia Fund.”