SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian has confirmed that the band is planning to release new material either later this year or in 2016. He told BackstageAxxess.com at last month’s NAMM show in Anaheim, California: “We’re always working. [But] I don’t wanna give you a time [frame for the release of new music], because I don’t wanna be false. But when it’s ready, people will hear it.”
Shavo also spoke about SYSTEM OF A DOWN’s relative reluctance to take part in any large-scale touring. He said: “I would love to play. [But] the band is made of four members — our band — and we’re all artists, and we all have lives. I got married, [and] I have two kids.”
He continued: “We’ve been around for 20 years, so you have to sometimes go away and come back with all this new energy and all this new influence and inspiration. So that’s what we did.
“Everyone thought we broke up, but we didn’t. All we did was gain oomph and gain experience and love each other more and miss each other…”
Shavo added: “We’re brothers. I’ll take bullets for any one of those guys.”
SYSTEM OF DOWN singer Serj Tankian said in a recent interview with RollingStone.com that “there has been talk” of the band recording a new album. Tankian explained, “We are going to play this (upcoming U.S.) tour, come back and we’re going to see where we are… The openness is there to work together, but we haven’t made any particular plans that we can announce.”
Tankian added that a new record depends on whether he and guitarist Daron Malakian have “songs that work for SYSTEM,” saying, “I have a few that could apply, but I’m not sure until the time comes where I can actually play them for the guys and see if it’s something that vibes off them.”
Although the band has been vague for years about its status and internal relationships, drummer John Dolmayan told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the members of SYSTEM have always been friends. “I think a part of it is people like drama, you know,” he said. “They look for it, and they want drama involved, they want SYSTEM to have problems. There’s a lot of haters out there, let’s face it, and as much as the fans really want the band to get together just so that they can see and enjoy the music again, there’s also just as many people that would like to see us not getting along and, you know, no hope of reuniting.”
Nevertheless, Dolmayan did hint last year at personal problems within the group. “You know, there’s still some drama from the past that we’ve got to figure out, and the funny thing is that we get onstage, we have a great time,” he said. “The last couple of tours have probably been the most fun we’ve ever had, but I’m a very honest guy. You know, there’s problems in this band. But they’re problems that can be figured out and we’re in the process of doing that. We probably would have been in the studio making an album already, but for personal reasons, one of our members cant be in the studio right now. It’s a positive thing, but that’s all I can say on that right now.”
Tankian, who released a number of solo albums and has been the most musically active member of the band, said that at the moment he’s working on a film score. He revealed, “It’s actually a really cool score, and it’s for a film based on, again, the (Armenian) genocide. That’s all I’m dealing with right now. It’s called ‘1915’… It deals with denial and the psychological impacts of a genocide rather than the physical aspects of it.”
SYSTEM OF A DOWN last released new music in 2005 with the “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize” albums, but started to tour again in 2011.
The band will play in Los Angeles on April 6 before launching a string of European dates on April 10 in London.
The tour commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide and will conclude on April 23 with SYSTEM OF A DOWN’s first-ever performance in their homeland of Armenia, in the city of Yerevan.
The first quarter of 2015 is shaping up to be a big one for Randy Rhoads tribute albums. It was previously announced that ‘Randy Rhoads Remembered, Vol. 1‘ will be released Jan. 23. Now, another disc honoring the late, great guitarist has been unveiled. ‘Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute’ will see a March 3 release via UDR Music.
The album consists of songs co-written by Rhoads, including iconic Ozzy Osbourne tracks like ‘Crazy Train’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’ along with some Quiet Riot songs such as ‘Back To the Coast.’
It was produced by Bob Kulick, who also hosts interviews with some of the involved artists on the DVD available in the album’s digipak edition. There’s also a feature on the Musonia School of Music, a teaching school on North Hollywood, Calif. founded by Randy’s mother and run by his brother Kelle Rhoads.
The star-studded lineup on ‘Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute’ includes Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (ex-Judas Priest), Chuck Billy (Testament), Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom), Gus G. and many others.
Tankian and Morello will be covering Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’.
Guitarist Tom Morello and System of a Down singer Serj Tankian have joined forces to pay tribute to late Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads, who helped usher classicism into heavy metal before his accidental death in 1982, with a reverent cover of “Crazy Train.” The track will appear on an upcoming compilation, Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute, and the recording also features bassist Rudy Sarzo – who played with Rhoads in Ozzy’s band and Quiet Riot – and onetime Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice.
The tribute was especially important to Morello, who plays a dizzying Rage-like solo on the track. “Randy Rhoads is my favorite guitar player of all time,” he tells Rolling Stone. “It was his poster on my wall when I was practicing eight hours a day, and I named my firstborn son, Rhoads, after him. Serj, Rudy, Vinny and I rocked ‘Crazy Train’ as a sonic tribute to one of rock’s greatest fallen heroes. Crank it.”
Serj Tankian was interviewd by Rolling Stone and talked about the armenian genocide, the wake up the souls tour and the possibilities of a new album.
Check the interview below:
Between their spasmodic rhythms and jagged melodies, System of a Down have always been committed to a sobering cause: raising recognition for the Armenian genocide of 1915. The group’s self-titled debut LP contained a song called “P.L.U.C.K.,” in which frontman Serj Tankian sang “A whole race, genocide/Taken away all of our pride,” and over the years the band has held several one-off “Souls” concerts to help raise awareness of the tragedy.
Now the group, whose members are all children of survivors, is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the genocide – in which Ottoman Turks began arresting and executing some 1.5 million Armenians, something that Turkey and several countries still refuse to recognize officially – with an international tour named “Wake Up the Souls.” This will end on April 23rd, the day before Armenia commemorates the anniversary, with the group’s very first performance in the country of their ancestors. The band plans on livestreaming the concert so people all over the world can watch.
System of a Down have also set up an interactive “heat map” on their website, allowing fans to learn about how different parts of the world have reacted to the genocide, including which countries have officially recognized it. Elsewhere, they host a call to action motivating fans to ask the Turkish president and parliament for recognition.
“Part of it is bringing attention to the fact that genocides are still happening, whether you use the word ‘genocide,’ ‘holocaust’ or ‘humanitarian catastrophe,'” Tankian says. “None of that is changing. We want to be part of that change. We want the recognition of the first genocide of the 20th century to be a renewal of confidence that humanity can stop killing itself.” He chuckles. “I say that, laughing, because obviously it’s ridiculous.”
Why have you decided to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with a tour?
This is a recommitment and expansion of some of the work that we’ve been doing with the Armenian genocide for years. The whole “Souls” concept became a tour, and it’s something that we all believe in because we’re all children of survivors of the genocide. It’s important for the recognition of the genocide as an end result, as well as attaining justice.
What are the steps toward attaining justice?
I think for us it’s important for Turkey to know its own history in a truthful manner. It’s not just about the genocide of the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, but what’s going on now. There are no executable international agreements that have to do with stopping the genocide. Irrespective of a number of great U.N. bodies and even U.S.-based bodies in terms of genocide prevention, there’s no binding resolution on any genocide or holocaust occurring. We still see them happening. I read in today’s press that they discovered a mass grave in Deir Ezzor in Syria of ISIS massacres of this one tribe there, and it reminded me of all the bones that are under those sands in Deir Ezzor from the first genocide of the 20th century in the exact same place. If that’s not symbolism, I don’t know what is.
Your grandparents both lived through the Armenian genocide. What did they tell you about it?
They had these incredible, haunting stories of their survival. They were both toddlers, small children. My grandmother and her grandmother were saved by a Turkish mayor in a small city, as they were being marched through Turkey toward Syria, toward Deir Ezzor, the desert. They were saved in that way. My grandfather lost the majority of his family on the pogrom. He ended up in a number of different orphanages and ended up in Lebanon, in terms of finding a home there and growing up there. Just really heart-wrenching stories.
When my grandfather was still alive, we had them on camera for this film that we were part of called Screamers. It was a nice partial telling of his story, which was very fulfilling for me. We got a camera crew to tape 16 hours of these important stories that are disappearing because the survivors are almost all gone.
You’ve played in Armenia as a solo artist. How was that experience for you?
It was really amazing. The first time was with my band, the F.C.C., on my solo tour throughout Europe. We played a show in a beautiful, large theater. The second time, I played with an Armenian orchestra called the Opera Orchestra of Armenia. We played at the opening of a non-profit technology center called Tumo. There were about 11,000 people in this beautiful courtyard by a park, on a built stage overlooking this gorgeous gorge. It was truly amazing. A lot of youth, a lot of excitement. It was really very encouraging as to what the future of Armenia has to embrace.
Have you gotten a sense of how people there feel about the band doing this concert?
In Armenia, our status is unparalleled. I don’t want to use any monikers like the Beatles or anything, but it’s a unique kind of thing. So we want to go there and play for the people, which we’ve never done as System of a Down. It’s quite exciting.
How is it that System of a Down have never played Armenia?
You know, that’s a really good question. I don’t have a direct answer to that. We’ve been asked to play, but it’s never transpired either due to timing or the challenge of investment in infrastructure. It takes time for any of the large performance infrastructure to take place.
Has the band ever played in Turkey?
No. We were looking into Turkey as one of the dates of this Wake Up the Souls tour. We needed to get permission from the government, based on our outspokenness about the genocide and against the actions of [then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep] Erdoğan’s government in particular. At the time, the new prime minister had just stepped in, which was the old foreign minister, and of course Erdoğan became president and left the prime minister’s post. We waited a while, but we never got a response, so we planned the rest of the tour.
What is your relationship with Turkish fans like? It must be hard for you not to be able to play for them.
Totally. I personally want to go play there. Our relationship with them has been really cool. Years ago, someone planted things in the Turkish press trying to denounce us, I’m assuming an agent of the government, saying that we’ve done things that we’ve never done. So we put up something on our website saying that all of this is misinformation, please don’t listen to it. It’s all lies. Our fans were the ones that protected us in Turkey. They wrote to the editors of those newspapers who were planting this misinformation, this disinformation, and fought for us. Our jaws dropped. Here we have fans in Turkey that are protecting System of a Down. No society is unipolar.
Do you think Turkey will ever recognize the genocide?
I think it’s very possible. I just read that there is a resolution for recognition for all past crimes, including the Armenian genocides – named specifically – that was just introduced to the Turkish parliament by a minority Kurdish MP, Sebahat Tuncel. Although I’m sure they don’t have majority to pass it, that’s an amazing sign not just of courage for her to bring that up, but that times could be changing, and that’s a positive thing.
Speaking of times changing, there are Armenian celebrities drawing attention to the genocide lately.
Absolutely. For all the flak people give Kim Kardashian, I could say that with her yearly commemorations of the Armenian genocide and spreading that word, she’s been valuable. She’s been great.
She can raise a lot of awareness.
Absolutely. She’s got more Twitter people than I do, that’s for sure [laughs].
Shifting topics, it’s been 10 years since the last System of a Down album. Are you guys talking about making a new one yet?
There has been talk, and we are going to play this tour, come back and we’re going to see where we are. If we have songs that work for System, if I have them and Daron [Malakian, guitar] has them. The openness is there to work together, but we haven’t made any particular plans that we can announce.
Have you personally written songs with System in mind?
I have a few that could apply, but I’m not sure until the time comes where I can actually play them for the guys and see if it’s something that vibes off them.
Right now, I’m actually focusing on a film score. It’s actually a really cool score, and it’s for a film based on, again, the genocide. That’s all I’m dealing with right now. It’s called 1915. It’s a very interesting drama that’s actually shot in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Theater, a very old and distinguished theater. It’s a really, really interesting psychological thriller, modern story. It deals with denial and the psychological impacts of a genocide rather than the physical aspects of it.
Getting back to a new System album, I’m sure your fans are curious where you’re at.
They will be the first to know. Fans will know before the press knows, I assure you.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Avicii is hitting up the rock world for collaborations on his upcoming album. The DJ is recording tracks with SYSTEM OF A DOWN’s Serj Tankian, GREEN DAY’s Billie Joe Armstrong, and INCUBUS’ Mike Einziger.
Einzinger, who worked on Avicii’s last album as well, recently recalled their first meeting with DancingAstronaut.com saying, “We spoke for a few hours and made a plan to write songs together and the very first thing that happened when we worked together is we wrote ‘Wake Me Up’. That was our first attempt at writing music together, which is crazy looking back at it. He’s someone who’s very opinionated and knows what they like and don’t like, and that’s really important, a good thing right off the bat. We wrote a few new songs together. We did one together with Billie Joe of GREEN DAY. That one’s really exciting. We did a few with AlunaGeorge, some stuff with Wyclef Jean and Matisyahu.”
Rolling Stone is reporting that the song with Billie Joe is called “No Pleasing a Woman”.
The magazine also revealed that Avicii has also recorded with COLDPLAY’s Chris Martin and Jon Bon Jovi for the new project.