System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan says the band should have replaced Serj Tankian in 2006

The drummer for System of a Down, John Dolmayan, claims that the band should have replaced their frontman, Serj Tankian, in 2006. 2005 saw the nu-metal outfit’s last album, Hypnotize, and then took a five-year break the following year.

The band have occasionally toured since they got back together in 2010, releasing the odd charity single, but a full-length studio album has never come to fruition. In 2021, Tankian revealed that the band had tried to write and record a follow-up to Hypnotize but could not get over tensions.

Dolmayan claimed that they should have sacked Tankian and replaced him with someone who “wanted to be in the band”. “Quite frankly, we probably should have parted ways around 2006,” he said. “I think we should have moved on, and if Serj didn’t wanna be in the band at that time, we should have just moved on and done it with somebody else.”

“But that’s what happens when you’re loyal, and you really want to make it work, he added. “You’ll put up with things that may be detrimental to the health of the band. Maybe it would have been better if we moved on and got another singer for an album or two and continued to make music, then brought Serj back later if he wanted to come back. That probably would have been better. But as it is, I think we wasted 15, maybe 20 years of our lives waiting.”

Dolmayan is in disbelief that a band with such a great platform hasn’t released more music. The drummer has butted heads with Tankian on several occasions over the years, mostly over political issues. “We couldn’t really come together and agree,” he said, “But if you have a majority of the band thinking one way and one person thinking the other, it’s very difficult to come together and make music.”

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