When System Of A Down released two albums in 2005, it seemed like the band were hitting a prolific streak. Then they disappeared for 12 years without a peep.
Last year, news came out that the band had over a dozen songs completed for a new album, but despite a run of festival dates this winter, no new album has emerged.
John Dolmayan, despite being very much in the inner circle, is as baffled as the rest of us, telling X107.5 that he finds it “very disheartening” they are yet to follow up the 2005 twin releases.
“In our band, the difficulty really isn’t, ‘Is one of us gonna fall off the wagon or get into a bad situation?’ It’s really a matter of, ‘Are we gonna come together and make something happen?’ It’s been about twelve years since we’ve put out an album.
“I don’t know why we aren’t coming out with an album. It’s very disheartening, because it seems like we all get along, we all have a great time touring, we still are putting together really good music. I think that we can put out a fantastic album.”
Adding to the annoyance is the fact there isn’t any member in particular holding out. “The funny thing is we all get into the studio, everybody’s getting along great, we have a blast on the road,” he said.
“I know a lot of our American fans are saying, ‘Why don’t you guys tour the States more often?’ We talked about it about two years ago. We said, ‘Look, we haven’t made an album’ — at that point it was a decade only that we hadn’t made an album — only one short decade, ’cause we have so many left… [Laughs] And we talked about it and we said, ‘Look, let’s make our album first.’
“We had every intention of going in the studio and working on an album. As far as the timeline, everybody had their own opinion of when that was gonna happen. For me, it was ten years ago, and then there’s varying degrees of that. If I had my way, we would have put out five albums in the last twelve years. And I think we’re really doing a disservice to ourselves, because you only have a finite amount of time. If anything proves anything, Chris Cornell passing away unexpectedly proves that at any given moment [it could end]. It does put things into perspective, and you realise how much time you’re wasting and how precious that time is.”
Happily, he reveals the band have indeed been recording.
“We’ve been in the studio for the past year and we’ve put together about fifteen songs so far that I think match or beat anything we’ve done in the past… And I don’t make those kind of claims without having something to back it up. We’re better than we’ve ever been, we’re tighter than we’ve ever been, we know what we’re doing and the songs are there. It’s a matter of getting together and putting aside whatever differences, or whatever problems people have — which don’t seen to surface when we’re together, by the way. It’s almost like there’s two System Of A Downs for me.”