System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian has opened up about recording new music with the band in an interview with triple j. 

Speaking on The Racket radio show (via, Tankian spilled on the recent release of the band’s first new material in 15 years.

“Just because the band hasn’t put out music in all this time, most people assume that our relationship is sour… It’s really not,” he said.

“We tour together. We’re friends. My drummer is my brother-in-law. Our kids all play together. Daron [Malakian] doesn’t have kids, but everyone else’s kids play together. So we’re all like family, to be honest with you.”

Tankian went on to address the conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, which was the motivation behind the release of tracks ‘Protect the Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’.

“There was no weirdness to it, it’s just we haven’t been able to see creatively eye-to-eye to continue creating with the band, which is fine. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get together and do something for a cause; that doesn’t mean you can’t get together and tour and have some fun,” he said.

When asked about the likelihood of the band continuing to record music, Tankian reiterated that they were focusing on “what’s going on in Armenia.”

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“There’s a huge humanitarian catastrophe. We’re still focused on raising funds, raising awareness about this. Time will tell whether this leads to something else or not,” he said.

Tankian also addressed the “incredible” response from fans to the new material, which “blew up all over the internet.”

It did what we wanted to do, which is basically break into Azerbaijan’s disinformation campaign. Especially our video for ‘Protect The Land’ really hit it home, and people were, like, ‘Wow, I’m crying. I didn’t know about this. How can I help?’ And fans around the world were excited about the music, obviously, and the messaging is always part of the music,” he said.

“Also, I’ve heard from friends that not only did it play in Armenia and Artsakh, but it was even played on the frontlines and gave people protecting their families a little something saying that we’re with you, that you’re not alone on these lines against a better-equipped, bigger-army enemy that is trying to kill you and your family,” he concluded.

In other news, Tankian recently announced the impending release of his solo EP Elasticity, due to debut in February next year.

Check out Serj Tankian discussing new System of Down music: