SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian has confirmed to Rolling Stone that his previously announced solo collection of rock songs, "Elasticity", will finally be released in February. The EP will arrive three months after the release of "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz", SYSTEM OF A DOWN's first new songs in 15 years. The SYSTEM tracks were 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.
Speaking about how "Elasticity" came about, Serj said (see video below): "'Elasticity', the songs on that EP were written many years back. When I wrote them, the original concept, for me, was, 'What rock songs can come out of me right now that I can possibly work with SYSTEM on?' So the intention was, actually, to sit down, and I've played them for the [other] guys [in SYSTEM], and we even kind of messed around with some of 'em, and whatnot. And, obviously, we were unable to see eye-to-eye on continuing the future recordings of SYSTEM, except for, obviously, these two songs for the cause that we've done, and that was before — obviously, a couple of years before. So these songs, I decided to finish them myself and release them. And they are really interesting and beautiful songs — going from really heavy type of SYSTEM-esque type of music to really beautiful, ballady — including pianos and string arrangements and stuff like that. So, it's quite diverse for just five songs. And thematically, it's quite diverse as well — a song about terrorism; a song about protests in Armenia years ago; a song about my son Rumi, kind of also cut with the poet Rumi, in a way — it's an homage to the poet Rumi and his namesake, basically, in a way. And a few other pieces. So it's kind of all around the place, as everything I do is."
Serj went on to say that "Elasticity" "was supposed to come out in October, but when the war started, and when we decided to put out two songs with SYSTEM, that took priority for me. And I just called the record company that we're working with and just said, 'We need to push this. Can we make this work?' And they were very cool about it," he explained.
"Elasticity"'s title is a play on SYSTEM's massive 2001 album "Toxicity". Serj told SPIN: "I'm gonna call it 'Elasticity' just because I wanted to do it with SYSTEM and it didn't happen. For me, it's not 'Toxicity' but it is 'Toxicity'. [Laughs]"
SYSTEM OF A DOWN hasn't released a full-length album since the "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005.
In 2018, guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused 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.
Within a week of their release, "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" landed at positions No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on Billboard's Hot Hard Rock Songs chart.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN is planning to film a music video for "Genocidal Humanoidz" this month. "I've written out the storyline, and I've got a couple of surprises that I'm gonna be putting [in there]," Odadjian told geopolitical analyst Richard Èlmoyan in a recent interview.