It’s no secret that System of a Down members John Dolmayan and Serj Tankian aren’t exactly on the same page when it comes to politics, and now the drummer has spoken out further on the pair’s conflicting political ideologies.
Despite his seemingly staunch political views, Dolmayan told the Deviant Gentleman podcast that his perspective on the political landscape is not as rigid as it sometimes may appear, while adding that he and Tankian actually have a deeper relationship than just bandmates.
“We’re also brother-in-laws,” Dolmayan said. “We’re married to two sisters. He married the older sister, and I married the younger sister. By coincidence, of course — we didn’t plan it that way.”
“I have a very open mind about things,” he continued in regards to his political leanings. “I don’t think it comes off that way always on my Instagram posts, because usually when I’m posting that, it’s in the heat of the moment — something has upset me. And at the end of the day, these are my opinions.”
As for why he he seems to post things that contrast directly to the views expressed by Tankian, Dolmayan said: “One of the reasons why I put up these posts is because System of a Down has a legacy of being left-leaning, which isn’t always the case.”
“Serj, of course, is responsible for the lyrics, but they didn’t always represent the band in the way that we maybe wanted [them] to. There’s four individuals in the band. I don’t speak for any of the individuals except for myself, and neither does Serj,” he explained, adding, “But because he had that platform of writing lyrics, the perception was out there that that’s how the band felt at all times, where I don’t even think Serj necessarily felt those ways at all times.”
“You’re supposed to have diversity of opinion even within your own mind, and you should judge things based on information that’s presented to you.”
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“A lot of those lyrics I did agree with at that time — for example, reforming the prison system,” he continued. “Some things Trump has actually done. I just don’t believe it’s quite as ‘black and white’ as we’re led to believe it is, that if you don’t have an open mind about things and if you don’t delve into the reasons things are happening and kind of discover things for yourselves, and you just say ‘Okay, I’m a Republican’ or ‘I’m a Democrat, and that’s what I’m gonna be for the rest of my life,’ you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
Dolmayan added that although the band may come across as being political, “only about 12 percent or less of our music is political in origin,” while adding that he provides a contrasting opinion to the band’s singer in order to “present a different view and to give kids out there who think differently and who are critical thinkers, not necessarily following the norm, that there is a different option, you can think differently, it’s okay to have diversity of opinion, as long as it’s done peaceably.”