Dolmayan wishes that his bandmates would simply pay attention to him. In 2020, System Of A Down released “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” to benefit Armenian humanitarian efforts. The two singles were System Of A Down’s first new music since 2005’s Mezmerize and Hypnotize, and were a surprise to fans given the band’s members’ years-long public disagreements regarding the creation of new music. Then, could it occur again? Drummer John Dolmayan appears to disagree. Dolmayan stated in an interview with Sona Oganesyan that the singles weren’t about money and that System Of A Down’s refusal to create new music is “the worst thing in the world from an artist’s perspective.” Dolmayan is frustrated that System Of A Down has not released a new album.
“Well, there are pros and cons to it, because the journey to a destination is also significant; the means by which you accomplish something are part of the process. That was therefore not the best for me. But ultimately, because it wasn’t for me, I will never make a dime off of those songs. I’ve donated my lifetime publishing rights for these songs, as well as any royalties, to Armenian causes. Therefore, I was never motivated by financial gain. In this regard, it was a tremendous success for me personally. And while it was nice to see something come to fruition, it also serves as a reminder that we still have something to offer the world. And when you release something that actually has an impact, you wonder, “Why aren’t we doing this more often?” Then, I descend into frustration and anger.”
“I’m a sensitive person, so I can’t just keep this inside; it has to come out in some way. And it takes me a long time to deal with and adapt to it because I am realistic about the finite nature of life; you only have so much time. And now we are here. We are squandering this gift from God or wherever it originated. It is an insult to everyone else who strives to succeed in whatever endeavor they are pursuing. And here we are — we’ve made it, we have the talent, we have the ability, we have an adoring fanbase, we’ve sold I don’t know how many albums — at least 30 million — and they’re hungry for it, but we don’t do it. Possessing the ability to do something but failing to do it is, from an artist’s perspective, the worst thing in the world. You are only causing yourself harm.”
Dolmayan then blamed his System Of A Down bandmates for not listening to him, stating that new material would exist if it were up to him. “Yes, if my bandmates listened to me and said, “Okay, let’s just make the best album we can, regardless of where the music comes from, who wrote the lyrics, or what this person has done in the past” I am willing to disregard all of that. Sadly, I’m not in a band that will do that.” In recent years, vocalist Serj Tankian, who had previously rejected the idea of a new album, has been quoted as saying “we’ll see what happens” and shrugging off the whole thing. Also, there could be more System of a Down in the future. At least we know Dolmayan supports the proposal.
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