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.
Today, 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) — announce the release of its first new songs in 15 years: “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz”.
Produced by Malakian, who also wrote the music and lyrics, both songs are streaming now on all DSPs and are available for purchase on Bandcamp with band royalties earmarked for the Armenia Fund.
Band said in a statement: “We as SYSTEM OF A DOWN have just released new music for the first time in 15 years. The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice. These two songs, ‘Protect The Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz,’ both speak of a dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia.
“On September 27, the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey (along with Isis terrorists from Syria) attacked the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which we as Armenians call Artsakh. For over the past month, civilians young and old have been awakened day and night by the frightful sights and sounds of rocket attacks, falling bombs, missiles, drones and terrorist attacks.
“They’ve had to find sanctuary in makeshift shelters, trying to avoid the fallout of outlawed cluster bombs raining down on their streets and homes, hospitals and places of worship,” statement continued. “Their attackers have set their forests and endangered wildlife ablaze using white phosphorus, another banned weapon.
“Because over 30 years ago in 1988, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh (which at the time was an Autonomous Oblast within the USSR), were tired of being treated as second class citizens and decided to declare their rightful independence from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic whose borders engulfed their own.
“This ultimately led to a war of self determination by Armenians in Karabakh against Azerbaijan that ended in a cease fire in 1994, with Armenians retaining control of their ancestral homelands and maintaining their independence to the present day. Our people have lived there for millennia, and for most families there, it’s the only home they and their forefathers and mothers have ever known. They just want to live in peace as they have for centuries.
“There is an immediate need for global citizens to urge their respective governments to not only condemn the actions of the corrupt regime leaders of Azerbaijan and Turkey, but to also insist world leaders act with urgency to bring peace to the region and rightfully recognize Artsakh as the independent nation it is.
“Most importantly and urgently, we humbly implore you to donate, in sums small or large to provide desperately needed aid and basic supplies for those adversely affected with what are ever growing accounts of crimes against humanity.
“We realize that for many of you, there are more convenient ways you like listening to music, so please consider the opportunity to download these songs as an act of charity above all else. The music and lyrics speak for themselves. We need you to speak for Artsakh.”
Both new songs can be heard below.