Serj Tankian has reconnected with his System Of A Down bandmate John Dolmayan for a cover of the Ziggy Stardust track. It’s taken from the upcoming These Grey Men covers album, made by Dolmayan and guitarist James Hazley.
It’s a very SOAD-take on the Bowie classic. Really, how could anything featuring Tankian’s vocals not sound like the band he’s led since 1994? But all of the original melodies are included, it’s just a lot faster and has a maniacal edge.
Listen: These Grey Men – Starman feat. Serj Tankian
The first single from the eponymous These Grey Men album came out in January. It’s a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit’ and features Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows and RATM guitarist Tom Morello. The album’s due out on February 28 and will also feature Tankian’s lead vocals on a version of Talking Heads’ ‘Road to Nowhere’.
Dolmayan conceived of the record while driving around listening to the radio. That explains its wide-ranging source material, which includes everyone from Madonna and Eminem to AFI.
Watch: These Grey Men – Street Spirit
System Of A Down’s last official releases were the back-to-back Mezmerize and Hypnotize LPs. The Rick Rubin-produced companion records came out in 2005 and the band went on hiatus the following year. They recommenced regular touring in 2011, but there’s been no new music.
Watch: System Of A Down – B.Y.O.B.
The band members have tossed and turned on the merits of expanding the System Of A Down catalogue. Dolmayan told LA’s KROQ-FM “I don’t know if [a new album’s] ever going to happen at this point,” in 2018. However, that’s not because he’s lost faith in the band’s abilities.
“Anything we do outside of System is never gonna anywhere be close to System. System is the best thing that anybody in System will ever do,” he said.
System Of A Down last visited Australia for the 2012 Soundwave tour.