SOAD Bassist Attacks Singer Serj Tankian: 'He's Holding Us Back!'

"I'm furious that he let us down like this," Shavo Odadjian says, as the band reacts quickly.

Ultimate Guitar

In an unexpected outburst on his official Facebook page, System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian blamed frontman Serj Tankian for not wanting to work on the new SOAD album and holding the band down.

In a series of eventually removed posts, bassist decided to "come clean," saying, "It's not us (meaning Daron Malakian, John Dolmayan or Shavo), it's Serj who doesn't want to do a new album! So please stop harassing us about it! We are just waiting for Serj! Now he might hate me for exposing the truth, but i had too ... Sorry folks! We're trying to get a new album out, it's just not passing Serj's rules!"

Odadjian then even went on to suggest replacing Tankian, saying (via Blabbermouth) he is ready to release a new album with "someone who wants to be the singer of System."

"Kinda funny, since we started the band and now he's holding us back! I think we should should release another album again? As for me ... I'm ready to release one with someone who wants to be the singer of System, not someone we have to beg to be a part of System! So with that in mind, what do you guys [think] we should do? Just remember, he's been holding us back for seven years so far ... Wanna wait another 4-5 years? Or shall we release a record without Serj? You tell us?"

Bassist continued by stressing out that he does not want to go on without Tankian, but would do so if needed. He also invited fans to give their opinion on the entire matter.

"I don't want to make a record without him ... but if he's not down? Should the three of us just sit and wait? Not cool! I want the fans from all over the world, including Brazil, to tell us what they think. No System? Or System with with a new singer who's just as good if not better? Plus new System songs and tours? Please give me your opinion people! Is System better with no singer or someone who is excited to be our new singer? You decide ...'Cause I'm confused!"

Finally, Odadjian concluded his ranting spree by calming down a bit, but still expressing his dissatisfaction with the way Tankian has been acting.

"No dis to Serj ... If he wants to be in the band then he's welcome but if he's not? What do you expect us three to do? We really want another System Record! Wish Serj was down but if he's not, then I'm going ahead and making a System record without him! I'm furious that he let us down like this, but we gotta do something to keep this great band alive! Agreed?"

The group was quick to react by distancing themselves from the bassist, pointing out that his opinions "do not reflect the sentiments of System Of A Down as a collective band" and calling Odadjian's outburst a "temporary state of bad judgment."

"Earlier today, Shavo posted a few statements on his personal Facebook page that do not reflect the sentiments of System Of A Down as a collective band," reads the official Facebook announcement. "These were misleading statements that were made during a temporary state of bad judgment on his part alone. To be clear, the full band lineup of Serj, Daron, Shavo and John will be performing all scheduled tour dates. With respect to new SOAD music, although we have not agreed on a timetable for a new album, we all believe that having the four of us do it together is the way to be true to the band and our fans."

Tankian is indeed very busy with numerous side projects, as he is set to release two independent records this summer. As far as the new SOAD record goes, it was only confirmed that it will be recorded and released "at a certain point."

The group's latest album, "Hypnotize," came out in November 2005 via American Recordings, launching itself straight to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with over 320,000 copies sold in the US within the first week.

187 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Von II
    I understand the guy, but he should be talking to his band mates and Tankian. Of course fans want a new album and a tour, and what they post on facebook probably wont change Tankian's mind all of a sudden.
    yea, Serj sounds a lot like Maynard right now... maybe Maynard should sing for SOAD and Serj should sing for Tool. that might actually be really ****ing cool.
    Maybe trade vocalists for a year. I honestly think that would be one of the coolest collaborations between bands ever.
    You think Maynard is going to share vocal duties with Daron? Thats probably Serj's issue "Damn, I have to listen to Daron's Whiney freaking voice again, maybe i can put it off a few years..."
    I honestly hope this is the issue. Serj refuses to do the album until Daron goes back into the corner and only does backup vocals. Daron's lead singing ruined Hypnotize/Mesmerize for me.
    I still enjoyed both album's, but Daron is better lower in the mix as a backup, such as on ATWA or the chorus of Chop Suey.
    I don't know whats going on, but it is kind of weird that I hear Serj is releasing like 3 albums in the span of a few months (just what I heard) but wont give the band that got him there the time of day.
    Seriously? Serj's voice is disgustingly weak and whiny now. I can't listen to his solo stuff without vomiting.
    Well for me, if it wasn't a rant, it was probably some scheme to pressure Serj back into SOAD activity. Like you said though, it doesn't do any good for anyone
    i think shavos right this is exactly how ive felt except without wanting to replace serj but he looks like a total wiener eater by putting all of that up on twitter. that kinda shit should be discussedand fought within not out in public especially since its being said directly to serj. what is he ****ing five?
    I think Serj should just tell them if he wants to be in or out. I understand that serj enjoys hes solo work and i think he should stay there if that is how he feels. Other members clearly want to continue and thats what they should do. I want soad
    No. Serj's voice was the thing that got me into the System in the first place. Releasing a new album without him... No. Scars on Broadway - nice! But SOAD without Serj - NO!
    Serj should be very clear on his bandmate and he should not forget that he is in a band. If he wants a side project, he should when he gets time from bands project. He is just a damn crap if he thinks only for himself, what about his three mates. In a team work what majority of the team agree to should be the rule...he is using you three and you are used so you dont have the guts to stand out! ....n ,mlln, \..../
    Completely wrong. If all of the band members aren't aboard that's a bad thing. That's when quitting and firings happen. If Serj forces himself to be in SOAD, he'll just end up getting depressed or pissed off all the time, and eventually some equipment will be thrown and then the band will be over forever. They have to all have their heart and their minds in it as one.
    But the thing is that Serj's solo music is not very different from System's music at all (in terms of composition at least). xD
    At least we got some updates on SOAD. Now we just need a release date for the new SOB album!
    I dont know if this is the best thing to do Shavo...We dont want the band to break up because of this, I mean what if Adam said that Maynard was always busy and Tool was abandoned? You cant rush good music
    That is true but Tool isn't on hiatus like SOAD sort of are. The fact is with SOAD we don't really know whats going on whereas Tool at least put the odd snippet here and there about how the album is coming along. But yeah whatever I just want any band to do whats best for them so they get decent music out - if this rant from Shavo pushes Serj back into the band it would be for the wrong reasons so I think this is a misjudgement on his part...
    It'll bring up discussions and hopeful it gets all sorted out right then and there. If Serj doesn't have the heart for it, I hope he follows his heart and bails rather than follow the money trail which would lead him into SOAD for sure.
    Cara Gato
    I understand where is is coming from. Serj has his side projects, is making money etc., while SOAD sits on stand-by. Doesn't seem fair. But I don't think SOAD would make it with another singer. His voice is pretty much their signature.
    Arfing Thumb
    Nobody of them can be replaced. They're all essential for the Band. An album with one of them missing wouldn't be a SOAD album.
    Ironically the only one who is remotely replaceable is Shavo.... But yeah, full lineup please, I can wait.
    Unless they can get Mike Patton,no replacement will ever do.
    Damn strait! Mike would be awesome. I can already hear early Bungle/FNM stylings being laid over their freakish grooves
    he cant be replaced, a album cant be forced. then its not going to be good. we can wait
    I seems to me he was drunk or something similar while posting that, the way he wrote it, it's all a bit chaotic and not thought out very well...its a good thing the band distanced from it. They should definitely do the album together, as it's supposed to be. And he should try to solve the problems within the "family" and not shout it out for the world to see
    When I first saw the posts on Facebook I thought Shavo must have been hacked, it just seemed way too over the top and sudden.
    DON'T EVER SPEAK TO FANS ABOUT BAND'S PROBLEMS! YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELF LOKK LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT! Don't get me wrong, i love soad but this is a matter they have to discuss in private.
    Seriously. Discussing internal band issues like this in public is unprofessional and immature. These things never get solved by making them public, nor does it help the band in any way, shape or form. Just makes them all look bad.
    missed out on a great chance for some alliteration there UG, could've had: SOAD's Shavo slams singer Serj.
    Just wait for Serj, and don't make so much hype for this album, the best from System has been already released and I doubt they can beat their previous works.
    What the hell, Shavo? Were you drunk out of your mind when you wrote that?.. System cannot be System without all 4 members of the band. ESPECIALLY Serj, otherwise it's just Scars on Broadway. I just hope Serj wasn't pissed the **** off by that bullshit.
    SOAD without Serj wouldn't work. It's not like they have to wait.. They can always to different projects to pass the time (I'm not really aware of their situation, it's possible they're having different projects going on)
    Saw them at soundwave in brisbane last year, killer show but you could almost see the conflict between them. it was like four great entertainers up on stage doing their thing without the slightest acknowledgement of each other. hearing this, i think i'd absolutely love to see a new system album but it seems like they've got a fair bit of shit to work through before trying to create together again. And as for replacing serj, i don't think their's a singer alive who could fill those shoes, not only is his voice far to distinct, it's far too integral a part of their sound
    I don't think it will work, Serj brought something to SOAD... And if Serj doesn't want to make it now, don't force him, we don't want a crappy album. Just wait for him to want to make a new SOAD album, it can't be otherwise...
    I'm actually really interested in the idea of a SOAD album without Serj, because I find him remarkably annoying. Just as long as Daron doesn't sing more. His voice is worse.
    I agree, serj's voice was the thing that turned me off of system of a down....well that and the fact that the music always came off as kind of manufactured rebellion to me, I enjoyed lonely day though so a new singer would be a welcome change in my book.
    If they replace Serj, it will most likely be the worst selling System album ever
    It already will be the worst selling SOAD album ever. The music business in selling records is practically gone. No way will they, or any other rock band for that matter, sell 12 million records like the album Toxicity did.
    Honestly, it's crazy to look back and see that they sold that many records. They're incredibly un-radio friendly, particularly pre-hypnotize/mezmerize, they have a bizarre sounding pair of singers, unconventional song structure, etc. Basically all the things that in theory should doom a band to a career of playing small clubs and cultivating a relatively small, cult following at best, not launch them into superstardom.
    System is not System without Serj, but man is his voice getting annoying.
    link no1
    His voice has always been annoying and I always thought him as a vocalist and the band as a whole where both insanely over-rated. Though I have to agree, Serj kind of is System.
    SOAD isn't overrated, they're a great band with unique compositional styles, an ever evolving sound, and Serj himself is a great singer with a decent range of styles. I'm not saying they are the greatest band ever, but in the popular music scene they're far and away the best band, the only band even remotely close to as popular that was as good was The Mars Volta, and they broke up...
    Second Rate
    Clearly the standard for what constitutes "unique" these days is clearly quite low. I never heard anything unique about this band, just another nu metal band... and Serj's voice sounds like the bleating of a goat.
    Well.. to be honest, it would be really interesting seeing soad with a new singer who would add his own personality to the band.. just NOT A WANNA BE SERJ
    Wow, they are touring, but aren't releasing a new album? Sounds weird. If all the members don't want to make it a priority, then they all need to move on, don't do SOAD with a new singer, (aka, a GnR move) start a new band with three of the members of SOAD. But seriously, touring without releasing an album that's supposedly already made?
    Man, it's always been Serj. He was the reason they broke up, he's the one stalling the album. Shavo is right to a certain extent. He's a selfish prick who only cares about boosting his own name, but System would be nothing without Serj.
    Bullshit. They're a collection of incredibly talented musicians with a unique but incredibly annoying vocalist. Serj doesn't make the band. Alice in Chains has already proven that a unique vocalist doesn't make or break a band. Let SOAD do the same, if the other three wish.
    Sorry, but Layne Staley isn't as unique a vocalist as Serj Tankian. He very neatly falls into the "grunge singer" stereotype. Only difference is he has a thing for harmonies. No one sounds at all like Serj, and anyone who did would just seem like a cheap imitation.
    Layne Staley was twice the vocalist that Serj will ever be. Not only did he sing a normal manner, he had much better tone and, quite frankly, a much more listenable voice. Serj has an annoying voice and he chooses, quite often with SOAD, to do odd vocal techniques that pierce the eardrums and make it difficult to listen to the band. He's not more unique than Layne Staley just because he makes his voice incredibly annoying.
    So wait, Layne Staley sings in a "more normal manner" but yet he's more unique than Serj because he's "more listenable"? Just because you think his voice is annoying doesn't make him less unique. I'm not the hugest Layne Staley fan, but I'll admit he's a good singer, and unique in SOME respects. But is he more unique than Serj, opinions aside? Fuck no.
    Unique =/= Quality. Serj is massively overrated. Layne isn't.
    Again, the debate was regarding uniqueness, not necessarily quality. Quality is subjective. Just like saying one is overrated and the other isn't is subjective.
    I like Staley alot but vigorously disagree with Staley being a better singer than Serj. It's not even close. Serj's recent stuff may be crappy, but on the SOAD albums listen to the range he has. Way better than Layne
    I agree with Bware. Im not sure of Serj takes himself seriously too often but I myself do get annoyed by his vocals.
    I disagree. Name me one guy who sounds like Layne Staley.
    Well, to be fair, people can actually emulate Layne Staley because he actually sang, whereas Serj does a bunch of dumbass shit that doesn't even sound good.
    You sir need to learn the difference between objectivity and subjectivity. If you don't like Serj's voice, that's your opinion; it doesn't make him a bad singer. I don't particularly like Staley's voice, but that doesn't make him a bad singer.
    He doesn't sound all that different from Chris Cornell or Eddie Vedder to be honest.
    If you think that, then you really need to learn more about vocal styles. Just because they play in the 'same' genre, it doesn't mean they're the same. That's like saying Geddy Lee and Maynard Keenan sound the same because they both sing in Prog-metal bands.
    Just because he doesn't sound exactly like them doesn't mean he doesn't have similar vocal qualities, which he does.
    I view serj's nasally tone to be a weakness. I like alot of SOAD and the vocals he lays despite (IMO) a lapse in tone. Even in classical bel canto singing (if ur doing an undergrad in music you know what that is) there is a high level of subjectivity pertaining to an adjudicator's decision even when a rubric for specific elements of singing is placed in front of them. I think Layne is incredibly unique, he doesnt sound anything like any of the other grunge singers, i found he brought a really dark element to the band unmatched by the other grunge groups. So who's better? Its really up to you to decide.
    Who is better wasn't even the original subject of discussion, the subject of discussion was whether Serj was more replaceable than Staley, which should be obviously false. It just got morphed into a back-and-forth, nobody-wins bitchfight about who's "superior", which is ridiculous because they're completely different bands and styles.
    I just upvoted you, but then I read that Geddy Lee is in a prog-metal band? Lolwut. Anyways...I have to agree, none of them even sound alike, so the comparisons dont really work.
    They should just record everything except the vocals and send him the tracks an be like "here, do it!"
    very unprofessional in my opinion. I understand he was upset about Serj being busy but he just sounds like a 16 year old girl complaining about boys on facebook.
    Fuck Serj. Can't stand when a frontman thinks the band revolves around him. Part of being a musician in a band is you're only one aspect of the band, without you the band still exists, but it will change. Without Serj, SOAD won't be the same. Is that really a bad thing considering all the freakin albums they've put out with Serj that are really starting to sound the same? I say if Serj is keeping SOAD from moving forward, shitcan the faggot.
    ppsd1 somethin .! get the crap out.! we want the original soad.!
    Id like to hear them jam with a different singer but caling it soad would be pretty disrespectful.Or let daron sing cuz his voice is already kind of familiar to system fans. Also Daron should do another scars on broadway record.
    It would be so awesome if Chino Moreno Could front soad for a bit, and record an album with them. I'm sure it would sound amazing
    Listen to Streamline and then tell me Serj isn't a good vocalist. I swear he almost goes super saiyan on that track.