Serj Tankian Blames Himself For System Of A Down's Hiatus

July 13, 2018

System Of A Down fans have something in common with Tool fans, they both have been patiently and eagerly waiting for any sort of updates regarding a new album from their favorite band for as long as thirteen years.

The band's last album, Hypnotize, was released on November 22nd, 2006 and they have been mysteriously quiet ever since. 

Now, frontman Serj Tankian has released a statement on System Of A Down's social media regarding the band's hiatus, saying that he's to blame. "It is true that I and only I was responsible for the hiatus Soad took in 2006," says Tankian. "Everyone else wanted to continue at the same pace to tour and make records."

So what were some of the reasons why Tankian put S.O.A.D. on hold? According to the statement there are actually a few:

  1. Artistic. Tankian believed that even though a group such as theirs has an entirely unique sound that cannot be compared to anyone else, he felt that continuing to do the same thing with the same people would leave them artistically stale. "By that time I felt that I needed a little time to do my own work. I wasn’t discounting restarting the process with the band later."
  2. Egalitarianism. At first, the guys of S.O.A.D. had equal voices in creativity and financial distribution. However, when their albums Mezmerize and Hypnotize were released, there was a dramatic shift in who started running things. "By the time Mezmerize/Hypnotize came around we were at the diametrically opposite end on both with Daron controlling both the creative process and making the lions share of publishing not to mention wanting to be the only one to do press."

Tankian admits that he seriously considered leaving the band at this time, believing that there was a big disconnect between him and the songs on those albums. "There were songs I wanted to bring in but was hampered by unkept promises coupled by my own passivity at the time."

As years went by, Tankian acquired newfound confidence as a songwriter in his solo career. Then around 2016, he reached out to his fellow bandmates in an attempt to reconcile their differences by proposing that if they were to do a new album, they all agree to letting everyone have equal creative input, everyone gets equal publishing earnings, the writer of a song gets the final say in its direction after hearing all other creative opinions, and a few other details he'd rather not discuss openly.

Read Serj's full statement below:

Upon the statement's release, drummer John Dolmayan put out a statement of his own, saying that Serj shouldn't shoulder the band's inability to get along on his own. Instead they are all at fault. "Not one of us, rather ALL of us are to blame. Egomania eccentricities ,megalomania-and sometimes just stupidity all play roles."

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.

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