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System of a Down Drummer John Dolmayan Urges His Band to ‘Check the Massive Egos at the Door,’ Citing Tool/Chili Peppers/Rage Against the Machine as Inspiration

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In the early 2000s, few bands made as much noise with as singular a sound as System of a Down. The group’s frantic “nu-metal” tinged with thrash elements and infectious hooks resonated in a big way, earning the band massive global success in what felt like a short amount of time — with five albums released between 1998 and 2005. 

But the band hasn’t released new music since 2005, when the two-part Hypnotize/Mezmerize albums were released. System of a Down went on hiatus in 2006 and has technically been back together since 2010.

The 2010-present era has been … inconsistent at best, with the band playing shows around the world — either massive festival slots or big headlining dates, pretty much — but that’s it. No new music, no extended touring, none of the sort of official activity you’d expect.

This seems to have gotten to drummer John Dolmayan, who posted a challenge to his band mates, singer Serj Tankian, guitarist Daron Malakian and bassist Shavo Odadjian, citing recent news from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (John Frusciante’s return), Rage Against the Machine (2020 tour dates) and Tool (their first new album since 2006) as, effectively, a message of “if they can do it, why can’t we?”

Dolmayan’s message:

Three of these bands can get out of their own way and work together for a common goal , maybe the fourth can as well. Perhaps it’s time to put all the bullshit aside , check the massive egos at the door , and do together what none of us can do alone . Maybe , just maybe a Christmas miracle will happen. Maybe it can be a System Of A Down

It’s not as if the members of System of a Down haven’t been prolific in their own ways. Tankian has embarked on ambitious tours and released even more ambitious orchestral and experimental albums, Malkian has continued his Scars on Broadway project, and so on.

But System of a Down remains quiet as far as new music and other commitments, which is what Dolmayan is referring to with “Perhaps it’s time to put all the bullshit aside, check the massive egos at the door” and so on.

Given how long it’s been since the band released new music, it’s tough to expect anything concrete to happen even despite Dolmayan’s Instagram post — but here’s hoping.

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