Serj Tankian says that nothing has changed with regard to SYSTEM OF A DOWN's inability to record a follow-up to its 2005 albums "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize".
The singer addressed the band's lack of new music during a May 24 Facebook Live chat with Tumo Center For Creative Technologies.
Asked why SYSTEM hasn't recorded anything new in a decade and a half, Serj said (see video below): "There's been many things said, but it's quite simple. We just haven't been able to see eye-to-eye creatively to go to the next level. And to me, and I know to the other guys in the band, SYSTEM's very special, and what we've done together is very special. And we can't do something unless we're all really, really into the same direction, into the same goal, into the same vision. And that hasn't happened. We tried. I would say a couple of years ago, we made that effort — songs were written by myself, by the other guys, et cetera, but we just couldn't see eye-to-eye, and that's really it. And that's okay. We're still all friends, we have great relationships, and we tour together, we have fun together, and that's that."
In 2018, guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused Tankian of not wanting to record, with Tankian responding that creative and financial issues with Malakian led to the stalemate. In a message on Facebook, Tankian wrote that Malakian wanted to control SYSTEM's creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press.
Last year, Serj told Rolling Stone that the public airing of his dispute with Daron didn't open up any more conversations about SYSTEM's future. "I think it released a lot of tension and negativity," he said. "Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions."
SYSTEM OF A DOWN played a couple of live shows in May 2019, including headlining slots at Columbus, Ohio's Sonic Temple festival and Chicago Open Air.
The band was scheduled to play a number of European festivals this summer, but all of those shows have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
Earlier in the month, Tankian revealed that he will put out a solo EP of what he described as "rock songs" later this year.
Tankian told SPIN that they were first meant for SYSTEM, saying: "Originally, I had these songs in mind for a SYSTEM record if we were to end up doing a SYSTEM record. 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."
Tankian said he's considering calling the EP "Elasticity", a play on SYSTEM's massive 2001 album "Toxicity".
He explained: "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 finalized it, but that's what I'm thinking of calling it."