SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan spoke to Download presenter Kylie Olsson about the band's stalled attempts to record a follow-up to its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005. He said (see video below): "It would be so simple for us to go and make an album — we have the music. We just can't get out of our own way on that one. I truly believe that if we went into the studio even to record one song, it wouldn't end with one song, and it would break the ice. But there's egos involved, and, quite frankly, wisdom isn't always something you achieve in older age; sometimes you achieve stubbornness. And we just can't get out of our own way on that one.
"But I would like to say that it is a band issue," he continued. "I know that certain members of my band have been blamed in the past, but at the end of the day, it takes four people to make the music we make and it takes four people not to make it. So I want the fans to know that as much as I personally want it to happen, or have wanted it to happen in the past, there are things that that are not in anybody's control, and no one member of SYSTEM OF A DOWN is greater than the other, especially in regards to making an album. So unless the four of us get on the same page at the exact same time and the stars align, I think it's very unlikely that we'll make new music, which is a sadness, because I think we have a lot to offer still."
In 2018, SYSTEM guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused singer Serj Tankian of not wanting to record, with Tankian responding that creative and financial issues with Malakian led to the stalemate. In a message on Facebook, Tankian wrote that Malakian wanted to control SYSTEM's creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press.
Last year, Serj told Rolling Stone that the public airing of his dispute with Daron didn't open up any more conversations about SYSTEM's future. "I think it released a lot of tension and negativity," he said. "Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions."
SYSTEM OF A DOWN played a couple of live shows in May 2019, including headlining slots at Columbus, Ohio's Sonic Temple festival and Chicago Open Air.
The band was scheduled to play a number of European festivals this summer, but all of those shows have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
As previously reported, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, KORN and FAITH NO MORE's two concerts at Banc Of California stadium in Los Angeles, California, which were originally set to to take place on May 22 and May 23, 2020, have been rescheduled for May 21 and May 22, 2021. Existing tickets will be honored for the new dates.