System of a Down may not be dropping a new album any time soon, but frontman Serj Tankian has revealed that, instead, he’s planning to release an EP full of tracks that were originally made for the band, saying he had “an EP of rock songs that’s gonna be out this year.”

“Originally I had these songs in mind for a System record if we were to end up doing a System record,” he explained in a recent interview with Spin. “But as we could not really see eye to eye on how to go forward with that I decided to finish them off myself and release them as an EP.”

Describing the sound of the upcoming tracks, Tankian said: “They all have piano or synthesisers, which is a little different than the four-person crew with System, although we had some synths as well. It’s got stuff that’s really heavy, heavy and there’s a funny aspect and then there’s a song about my son. It kind of runs the gauntlet on diversity of thematic expression: political, non-political. I guess that’s always been me, all over the place.”

While it may be a solo project, Tankian revealed he would still like the EP to tie in with SOAD in some way, saying: “I think I’m gonna call it Elasticity just because I wanted to do it with System and it didn’t happen.”

“For me, it’s not Toxicity but it is Toxicity. [Laughs.] That’s what I’m thinking of calling it. I haven’t finalised it, but that’s what I’m thinking of calling it. We’ll probably put it out later this year,” he added.

After System of a Down hit a roadblock over creative differences and disagreeing on the split of royalties, Tankian said that having extra time in isolation meant he was able to work on ideas to use for the solo endeavour.

“As I’ve been in lockdown I’ve gone and created probably a whole hour or hour and a half of new music,” he said. “Music has been my saviour so I know how people feel about music. And I think it is very important in these times. Being stuck at home we’ve been listening to music and watching movies. It’s a way of relating, a way of escaping, a way of calming ourselves down,” he mused.

Love Classic Rock?

Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

System of a Down are yet to follow up albums Mezmerize and Hypnotize, which were both released in 2005.

Check out ‘Toxicity’ by System of a Down:

YouTube VideoPlay

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine