Daron Malakian: Serj Tankian Didn't Want to Make 'Mezmerize,' 'Hypnotize' | Revolver

Daron Malakian: Serj Tankian Didn't Want to Make 'Mezmerize,' 'Hypnotize'

"We really begged him to make those records," says System of a Down guitarist of lead singer
daron-malakian_getty.jpg, NurPhoto/Getty Images
photograph by NurPhoto/Getty Images

It's no secret that there's been some disagreements between the members of System of a Down as to how the band should continue. Last month, we spoke to guitarist Daron Malakian about the band's future, and he revealed that he is frustrated by how things are turning out.

"As of right now, it's not looking like we're doing something together soon," he said. "I can't close the book on it and say it's done forever. We still play live. We're all still friends." He continued, saying he was ready to move forward with a new System record, but that "there are some creative differences as well on what direction each one of us wants to take the next System album, if that ever happens. Which is fine. I'm not sitting here upset or anything. The only thing I'm a little frustrated with was waiting for that to maybe happen or not happen. Too much time has passed by since I've released anything with Scars or System. But it's never too late." 

Malakian has further elaborated on his frustrations in a new interview with Kerrang (as reported by ThePRP). In this new interview, he specifically points out Serj Tankian as the one responsible for the band dragging their feet on a new release, and that the lead singer has been hesitant about new System music for longer than people realize. 

"I don't want to throw Serj under the bus – he's my friend and he's someone that I care about – but I don't know how to change his mind," Malakian says. "We've all sat down and we've had meetings, and he's totally set in his way of thinking.

"Serj was never really a heavy metal or a rock guy ... I don't know if he has the same love for this kind of music as I do. I'm the kid that grew up with Slayer and Kiss on my walls ... Serj didn't grow up feeling that way. He didn't grow up a diehard fan. So I feel like the whole experience of becoming the lead singer in a hugely successful band was different for him than my experience was for me.

"To be honest with you, Serj didn't even want to make Mezmerize and Hypnotize. We really begged him to make those records. At that time, he felt like he was out."

Despite all of this, System of a Down continue to perform live, which seems to be Tankian's main outlet for the heavier side of music, while he continues to compose and release solo music under his own name. Malakian's next Scars on Broadway album, Dictator, is out July 20th.

Below, watch Episode 1 of our "The Art of Work" series with Serj Tankian, in which the iconic vocalist/multi-instrumentalist invites us into his home studio for a revealing discussion about the evolution of his creativity — how painting, writing symphonies and composing for film are all logical extensions of the aggressive expression he's most known for as the frontman for System of a Down.