System of a Down singer Serj Tankian has issued a statement regarding the reasons why the band has failed to issue a new album since 2005's two-part double-album Mezmerize andHypnotize. The in-depth statement, titled "Confessions about Soad by Serj Tankian" and posted on Facebook, appear to come, at least in part, in response to widely circulated comments guitarist/singer Daron Malakian made to Kerrang! "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 said regarding the lack of new System of a Down music. "We've all sat down and we've had meetings, and he's totally set in his way of thinking." He also claimed that Tankian didn't want to make Mezmerize and Hypnotize: "We really begged him to make those records. At that time, he felt like he was out."
In his statement, Tankian concedes that he was "responsible for the hiatus Soad took in 2006," pointing to his desire to create solo work and avoid "artistic redundancy," as well as the lack of equal "creative input and financial revenue splits" within the band. He says that once System of a Down reunited, in 2011 to play shows, he was hesitant to make a new album but open to the possibility, and two years ago presented the band with a concrete proposal as to how they could pull it off. This called for equal creative input and publishing splits, a "directors cut" agreement whereby whoever wrote a specific song would have final say over it, and the development of a theme or concept for any new album so that it would be "not just a record but a full experience."
"Ultimately I had to draw a line in the sand because I knew I could never be happy going back to how things used to be within the band," Tankian concludes. "And as we couldn't see eye to eye on all these points we decided to put aside the idea of a record altogether for the time being. My only regret is that we have been collectively unable to give you another Soad record. For that I apologize."
You can read the full statement below.
System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan later added his voice to the conversation, with a post to Instagram, in which he places the blame for the band's inability to get on the new page regarding a new album on all the members. "Each member of the band is equally responsible for both our incredible success on our previous recordings and our unbelievable failure to get along and make music together," he wrote. He also apologized to the fans for letting them down and for "the songs that could have been." See his statement below.
Many theories and much speculation have circulated through the years with blame focused on one member of the band for the lack of new material, if that is true; then why is that? Every action has a cause , every reaction has a cause and the truth is, each member of the band is equally responsible for both our incredible success on our previous recordings and our unbelievable failure to get along and make music together. Not one of us, rather ALL of us are to blame. Egomania eccentricities ,megalomania-and sometimes just stupidity all play roles. To our fans, I’m truly sorry for letting you down , to the songs that could have been-I’m sorry you haven’t.