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John Dolmayan suggests System of a Down should’ve “moved on” with new singer in place of Serj Tankian

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The perpetual interpersonal drama of System of a Down has a new chapter.

In an interview with the Battleline Podcast, drummer John Dolmayan says that vocalist Serj Tankian “hasn’t really wanted to be in the band for a long time.”

“Quite frankly, we probably should’ve parted ways around 2006,” Dolmayan says. “We tried to get together multiple times to make an album, but there were certain rules set in place that made it difficult to do so and maintain the integrity of what System of a Down stood for.”

“I think we should’ve moved on, and if Serj didn’t want to be in the band at that time, we should’ve just moved on and done it with somebody else,” he continues. “Maybe it would’ve been better if we moved on and got another singer for an album or two and continued to make music and brought Serj back later if he wanted to come back. That probably would’ve been better.”

Dolmayan also shares that he feels all the SOAD side projects are “never quite that good compared to System.”

“In fact, I think a lot of them aren’t very good at all,” he continues. “When you compare that to what we do together as System, you understand why the team matters.”

System did go on hiatus in 2006 following the release of 2005’s Mezmerize and Hypnotize, which remain the band’s most recent albums. Since reuniting in 2010, the band has continued to perform live, but hasn’t released any new material aside from two singles in 2020.

In 2018, Tankian wrote a Facebook post saying he was “responsible” for the hiatus, while also sharing a list of suggestions that he brought to his bandmates to help forge a path forward on a new album, which were evidently rejected.

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