SOAD Drummer: 'I'm Not Happy With Where the Band Is Right Now'

"15 years are gonna go by before we make a new album," John Dolmayan complains.

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As nearly a decade has gone since their latest album, System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan stated that the situation within the band is "not okay."

Chatting with Loudwire, the drummer compared the band's 2010 reunion with a relationship break. "When we decided to get back together, it was weird. It wasn't a comfortable feeling in the beginning," he kicked off.

"I can equate it to if you've ever had difficulties with a girlfriend and you guys took some time off from each other, when you get back together there’s that elation that you're back together, but there's also a little bit of fear, you know? Is it going to work? Is it going to be fun? Will it be the same? Is there going to be resentment?

"It took a long time to get past that, I'd say months. As we played more and more shows, it became more and more fun. Those feelings started to subside. I feel like this band still has a lot of issues, things we just have to work out.

"I'm not really happy with where the band is right now," John added. "I think that it's been way too long since we’ve made an album and I've kind of had enough of the mentality of 'that's okay.' It's not okay."

Reacting to the interviewer's comment about being the most eager band member in terms of making the new album, Dolmayan noted, "I'm not sure if I'm the member who wants it the most. It's probably true about [me] being the most vocal about wanting it.

"For me, there's no ego involved. I don't write songs, so I'm not worried about who's going to write the song. I'm just ready. You just give me the canvas so I can paint on it, that's how I look at it. So it's easier for me, but look, there's a lot of emotions involved with being an artist; there's a lot of emotions involved to being a songwriter; and there's a lot of fear involved with anything that you haven't done in a long time.

"To go in together and work together?" he asked. "We're different people. 2005 was the last time we were in the studio together. That's what, nine years ago?"

Finally, the skinsman once again stressed how annoying he considers the lack of album progress, adding, "We're turning into the f--king Eagles now. 15 years are gonna go by before we make a new album. [Laughs] For me, it's irritating. But I do the best I can to understand that there's a lot to be worked through in order to make something great and if it isn't fantastic, there's no reason for us to do it."

In related news, John is working on an all-star cover project These Grey Men. The band has kicked off a fundraiser to support the debut album and tour, more info here.

45 comments sorted by best / new / date

    you're not alone on that
    Such a shame. John really seems to be the only one who is committed to SOAD.
    Shavo too! In fact I think Daron is, he seems to have abandoned Scars on Broadway to do more SOAD touring.
    Those guys were the next big thing... I know i can get alot of hate for saying that but I think they really had the balls to become the next big band. Instead they kinda became the next Guns N'Roses... kinda. I wish Serj is gonna come to his mind.
    I admire his desire to get things going & get new music out there. If SOAD are not careful they could be the new G'n'R!
    Fudgin Serj. Idgaf anymore. I'm wearing a System shirt right now and when I get home I'll make sure this is the last time that it sees the light of day.
    Moop the Loop
    I'm glad that they aren't forcing themselves to make an album though. I'd rather wait until they are all happy to make one together for the best overall result.
    I dont think his wait is going to be over any time soon.He should find himself a new band to play with in the meantime to keep busy and take his mind off it.If nothing happens in the next 5 years i would say its definately over.Its a shame they couldnt get over their differeces as they were quite unique in their prime.
    its all Serj being a f*ckin diva. The rest of the band have been ready and waiting now for ages. he just keeps them all on the hook, either kill it off or give a realistic date when it could happen, you can see why these guys are getting impatient, 9 years! Really hope they sort it out tho.
    what do metallica tool and soad have in common? technically NOTHING, these bands have produced NOTHING in many many years. SOAD, hear my cry, please change that
    So from what I've heard from various sources is that John, Shavo and Daron are eager to start and Serj is off with his solo album doing that? Tough situation because no one can force Serj back. It's like Jimmy Page trying to get Robert Plant back. I want Robert Plant to continue his solo stuff because that's his wish, but we haven't heard much from Serj. Strange.
    The world doesn't need another SOAD album. They are irrelevant now.
    Kinda true, - though I wish they'd pick their sh*t up and become relevant again. "What's sucks in the world?" "These things..." "Write, lets drink some beer and focus on them util we're all really f*cked off... then run back into the studio and smas it out"
    Where does need comes into music? As long as there are people who like their music, no band will ever be "irrelevant".
    I think they lost their edge of Mez/Hyp...Hypnotize was a joke...theyve been a joke, none of them besides Shavo have done anything even slightly "out of the box" as they all said they would. It's all BS this band has been dead to me for a long time, damn shame they could never come out with another real raw song like Sugar or Soil or Deer Dance or IEAOIEOIAOEIIAOOEIIIIIAOOEIIIAOOEIIIO #oldguyprobs
    Hypnotize was a good album, Serj has done lots of interesting stuff so even if he's taking forever that's still not true.People grow up.
    Mezmerize/Hypnotize was the clear path of where their egos got in the way of making real heavy music. Serj's solo project is almost unlistenable, the same middle eastern scale with piano and him wailing about war over his egotistic art BS....awful
    Completely agree. I remember popping in Hypnotize when it came out (that was the first of the two right?) and just thinking, "What.... am I listening to..." I had to struggle to get through the album rather than say Toxicity where I ate up every single track and wanted more!
    Never quite understood the hate that their last two albums got. I thought they were absolutely fantastic. System don't have a bad album.
    Tim the Rocker
    Fucking drummers, always the same "Just play what ever, I'll follow" like it's so ****ing easy...
    A new SOAD album is going to become the new Chinese Democracy / Duke Nukem Forever. It's going to be a running joke that it'll never come out. I mean at least Tool KINDA gives us updates on their "progress."
    I personally think that if they really tried to make a new album, they could come up with the instrumentals first and then have Serj and Daron write the lyrics and sing them last. That way there will be progress on an album without Serj's lack of inspiration getting in the way.
    "Finally, the skinsman once again stressed how annoying he considers the lack of album progress" skinsman? why does UG use these stupid terms. 'drummer' is quicker to write and read. just call him the drummer or use his surname.
    This is just depressing. Like most i believe the other members are ready for an album. I used to be a fan of Serj's solo work, Elect The Dead was a dope ass album to me id say until the third album, thats when I was like "Okay go back to System" But maybe they dont need another album... Have you heard Serj's voice.. its tuurrrrible compared to how brutal it used to be early on