While promoting his new solo covers album These Grey Men, System of A Down’s drummer John Dolmayan has spoken out about the band’s past writing sessions. According to the PRP, Dolmayan spoke with Loudwire Night about the sessions, stating that lead man Serj Tankian had no involvement. “First of all, nothing is finished until all four members are on it, and Serj [Tankian] had nothing to do with it [the new material]. He wasn’t at those rehearsals, he wasn’t in the process of bringing the songs and working on them or writing them. These were just things we did with the anticipation of a record happening, which never happened.” He continued to say “We’re a very stubborn and stupid band. As sad as that is to say, we never reached our potential, and I don’t think we ever will.”
In June of 2018 Tanjian revealed that he had written five new songs for the band but did not work out in the end. Earlier that same year, Tankian also admitted to being the main force of the band’s extended hiatus. Guitarist Daron Malakian also claimed that there were creative differences behind the scenes. “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. We’ve all sat down and we’ve had meetings, and he’s totally set in his way of thinking.”
There is some hope of new material as Dolmayan is open to the idea. “You never know what happens,” he mentioned. Both Dolmayan and Tankian collaborated on the cover album with an upbeat version of David Bowie’s “Starman.” The band will play a few shows this summer with only two in North America and the rest in Europe. The two North American shows will take place at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA and will play alongside Korn, Faith No More, and Helmet.