SYSTEM OF A DOWN guitarist Daron Malakian says that "creative differences" between singer Serj Tankian and the rest of the band are to be blamed for stalled attempts to record a follow-up to their "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" albums, which came out in 2005.
Last summer, 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.
Daron, who reactivated SCARS ON BROADWAY last year, told "Talk Is Jericho" in a brand new interview that Serj and the rest of SYSTEM OF A DOWN have been unable to come to an agreement over how to go about making new music.
"SYSTEM had a certain way of putting together the albums and the music, and I guess that was me writing and all that, and producing the records, along with Rick [Rubin]," Daron said (hear audio below). "And Serj wants to do things a different way. And it's not just me — it's kind of three of us that don't necessarily see eye to eye with where he would wanna take the band. So that's kind of where we're at. A lot of people think it's just between me and him, and that's not really the case."
Despite their creative differences, Daron insists that there is no bad blood between Serj and the other members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN.
"I don't hate anybody in my band," he said. "A lot of people are, like, 'Well, creative differences. In our case, that's the truth. It really is a creative-difference type of thing where a few of us wanna take the band and where someone wants to take the band in another way. And it's a creative-difference thing. When it comes to happy holidays, Easters, birthdays, we're all still cool, we all consider each other like a family. SYSTEM OF A DOWN is a special thing, and it's us four. Like I said, in our case, there is none of that, 'I can't stand seeing the guy eat a hamburger.'"
Serj recently 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."
In a recent interview with Consequence Of Sound, SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian confirmed that disagreements between Malakian and Tankian over the band's songwriting process have been brewing for a decade, explaining: "That stuff happened a long time ago. So, it's like, 10 years later, something new came up, but it wasn't really new. It was something that was really old, and they were just hashing it out."
SYSTEM drummer John Dolmayan revealed in a 2016 interview that the group had written music for more than a dozen new songs. Odadjian concurred, remarking: "Between you and me and this world, and to the people who read this interview, we have material that tops everything we've done. And that's me telling you, honestly. I can't wait to record that and drop it."
SYSTEM OF A DOWN has several live shows on tap for 2019, including headlining slots at Columbus, Ohio's Sonic Temple festival and Chicago Open Air, both later this month.