SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has revealed in a new interview that the band has written more than a dozen songs for a possible follow-up to "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize", which came out in 2005. "We've been working on a new album for the last six months and there's about 15 songs that I think are album-worthy," he told Kerrang! magazine. "We don't know what's happening in terms of release; it's still not a hundred precent as far as plans go. I want everyone on board and feeling good about it. That's what we're trying to accomplish right now. There's a tremendous amount of pressure on us, though, because it's been 11 years — at least 12 by the time it comes out."
He added about the musical direction of the new SYSTEM OF A DOWN material: "Our playing ability is better than it ever has been and we're trying new things. We're not trying to make 'Toxicity' Part II, just because it was by far our biggest album. This needs to be something for a new generation of SYSTEM OF A DOWN fans, so everyone can see we're not resting on our laurels."
Even though Instagram photos posted by various members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN hinted that they were gathering in the studio to put together new material, singer Serj Tankian downplayed the possibility of a new SOAD album, telling LA Weekly: "We're going to get together and see if that's going to be SYSTEM music or not. And who the fuck knows? If it is, great, and if it's not, then great."
Tankian also defended his decision to spend most of his time focusing on other projects, including various symphonic endeavors, scoring films like "1915", a thriller that addresses the Armenian genocide; a sci-fi game called "Midnight Star" and its sequel, "Renegade"; and "Prometheus Bound", a musical production of the ancient Greek tragedy. Tankian also released two records in 2013, "Orca Symphony No. 1" and a jazz-rock hybrid called "Jazz-Iz-Christ" featuring pianist Tigran Hamasyan.
"Some people are like, 'Stop it, fuckhead, go make another record with SYSTEM and stop talking politics and stop doing your art,'" he said. "There are always those boneheads — and obviously they deserve oxygen as well," he added, chuckling.
"If you enjoy making the same rock record for the rest of your life, keep making the same rock record for the rest of your life," he said. "But I don't."
SYSTEM OF A DOWN will return to Europe in June/July 2017 to play summer festivals and select headline dates.
The band last toured in the spring of 2015 on the "Wake Up The Souls" tour, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The tour included a free concert in Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia on April 23, 2015, SYSTEM's first show ever in the band members' ancestral country.