May 22, 2013


System of a Down Bassist Says Serj Tankian Is Preventing New Album

Kevin Winter
Kevin Winter

Despite vocal acrobat Serj Tankian recording four solo albums over the last four years, hardcore System of a Down fans are growing impatient for some new material from the genre-bending metal band. And it would seem the band's bassist is amongst that group of dissatisfied System fans.

Over a series of now-deleted Facebook posts on his official fan page, Shavo Odadjian claimed frontman Tankian is holding the band back from releasing new material. "It's not us… It's Serj who doesn’t want to do a new album," Odadjian claimed. "So please stop harassing us about it! We are just waiting for Serj! Now he might hate me for exposing the truth but I had to."

Additionally, Odadjian claimed there is material in the works, it's "just not passing Serj's RULES." While you might sympathize with the System bassist up to this point, here's where he starts veering off into a place most fans probably aren't willing to follow. "We really want anorther [sic] System record!" he wrote. "Wish Serj was down but if he's not, then I'm going ahead and making a System record without him!!!"

As incredible of a unit as they are, Tankian's operatic voice and unique phrasing are an indispensable part of their sound. So when Odadjian proposed creating a "System with with [sic] a new singer who's just as good if not better," the world can be forgiven for responding with a derisive WTF

After all, replacing a classic singer is a dicey enough proposal—note the mixed fan response to Stone Temple Pilots bringing Linkin Park's Chester Bennington into the fold. But finding a better singer for SOAD than the man who propelled their music to vocal Valhalla? Crazy talk.

Odadjian's bandmates thought as much, too, given they released this statement immediately following his Facebook rant: "[These] statements on his personal Facebook page do not reflect the sentiments of System of a Down as a collective band. These were misleading statements that were made during a temporary state of bad judgment on his part alone." As for new material, the post said, "We all believe that having the four of us do [new material] together is the way to be true to the band and our fans."

So while SOAD thankfully won't be replacing Tankian, perhaps Odadjian's public venting will push Tankian back toward the band that gave him his fame in the first place. After all, it's been eight years since their last album. And for a band that released five records in seven years, it seems we're missing out on a lot of potential classics the longer he stays solo.