Are we ever going to get a new System of A Down album? Bassist Shavo Odadjian seems to think so.
Back in July, things really hit a roadblock when guitarist Daron Malakian said the band isn't making a new album because of vocalist Serj Tankian, and that Tankian didn't even want to make Hypnotize or Mesmerize in 2005. Tankian issued his own lengthy statement as a response detailing why he didn't want to make those records, why the band went on hiatus and the possibility of eventually doing music. Namely, it was an issue with the royalty split and Serj's lack of interest in a full album touring cycle.
But in a new interview with Consequence of Sound, Shavo notes that all this drama about record royalties is old hat, it's stuff that happened years ago, that just recently surfaced in public. Asked if fans could ever expect to hear a new album, Shavo says:
I think so. I think we can. Nothing between us has happened that’s so terrible that people can’t get in the studio and work. Nothing! Everything is just [a matter of] taste, and they just gotta get in and forget the past, and kind of move forward. And I think that will happen. I’m not worried. I’m not worried at all.
Everything that you heard over the summer, that they kind of brought into public, was stuff that was in the past. 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. Because one person did an interview, and I guess in the interview they paraphrased his words and it came off wrong. And I read that, too, and it wasn’t like him. He wouldn’t blame anyone.
I spoke with Daron, and he was like, “Dude, I didn’t say those things, I said it this way.” Anyway, that kind of made someone else [Serj] think something, and then that person had to tell their point of view. It was just point of views.
We’re not even fighting. When we see each other, we’re so happy and we’re cool. It’s weird that we don’t have a new record, or many records, and it’s weird that we don’t go on world tours. We tour, but it’s so little.
Shavo was very confident about the new music the band has created that hasn't yet been released:
And, can I be honest with you? 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.
It’s just a matter of time. I just hope it happens sooner than later. But we’ve written stuff together. Daron’s brought a lot of stuff in. I’ve brought stuff to Daron and we’ve worked it out. I have so much more stuff that is ready to go out. I’ve told Daron this, too. I’ve said, “We’ve gotta get this done,” and he’s like, “Yeah, I’d love to.” So, we all want to, and I think Serj is kind of doing his own thing, and I get it.
I don’t think we owe it to anyone [to bring back rock music to the forefront], but it would be nice if we did that, because we’re capable of it.
Earlier this year, we found out that Malakian's new Scars On Broadway album has some material meant for a new System Of A Down record, and that Takian was doing the same with his new record. One has to wonder if any of those cuts made these albums.
System of A Down have lined up select tour dates at big festivals in 2019. Maybe, the time back together will kindle some hope for opening the lines of communication for new music again.
Shavo is also keeping busy with his new cannabis and music-production company, 22 Red.