System Of A Down without vocalist Serj Tankian would certainly feel strange, but it’s still a possibility.

Tankian recently revealed he offered to quit the band in 2017 so they could move on with new music, and is now reiterating that offer in an interview with Metal Hammer. Tankian also touched on some fiery comments made by System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan in 2023, as well as the immense staying power that is System Of A Down‘s music.

John means the world to me,” said Tankian. “He’s my brother-in-law, I love him, and I saw him just yesterday, but there are times he’s got mad and said fucking shit. And look, there’s times I’ve gotten mad and said fucking shit, too. The option has always been there for the band to move on without me, and John knows that.

“In the end, to me System Of A Down is beyond the band. It’s our relationship together. And it means more to me than the band itself, or even the music itself. And that is hard for other people, maybe even other people in the band, to understand. But, as I saw from the stage at Sick New World [festival in Las Vegas] last year, the multi-generational appeal of the music we have made is mind-blowing, bro. Our music is more timeless than we ever imagined, and that is the hugest compliment for any artist.”

In a recent interview with CBC Radio One, Tankian opened up about his differences with System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian and how they’ve resulted in a lack of new material. For those unaware, System Of A Down hasn’t released a new album since their double efforts of Mezmerize and Hypnotize in 2005. Sure, we got the two singles “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” in November 2020 to raise funds for Armenia and Artsakh, but those songs were largely efforts by Malakian.

“Well, changing the dynamic is basically years of time and the progression of the band, the success of the band, everything that happened in between the day that we met and now, basically, so 25, 30 years,” said Tankian. A lot changes in that time. And so I think that’s a part of it.

Daron‘s been a lifer and he’s incredibly serious about his music and he’s incredibly protective of his music and vulnerable due to his music. All of those things kind of go together. So it’s those things, I think, that created some of the creative differences that we started finding. And it’s also our progression.

“Listen, when Daron and I started working together, I didn’t really write a lot of instrumental music — I mostly wrote lyrics; I was the lyricist; I was the singer. And he didn’t write any lyrics; he just wrote music. But as time progressed and I played more musical instruments and I started becoming a songwriter/composer and he started writing more lyrics, we started kind of covering each other’s territory.

“And I was okay with that. If he wrote lyrics, I was trying to encourage him to write more, because I believe in artistic growth. I believe in progression. I don’t believe in things staying the same way, for music’s sake. Otherwise the music becomes the same thing over and over again. That progression is necessary in every artist’s life or in every group’s life.

“So I was very encouraging of that. And I just wish that I got some of that back. And so that wasn’t the case, and it was disappointing. And it became a creative difference over the band’s path, and whatnot, over time.”

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