The question of what happened to system of a down has been plaguing fans since the band went on hiatus in 2006. The nu-metal heavyweights have not released a full-length album since 2005, leaving many to wonder when they will return. The band’s members have been pursuing other musical endeavors, including drummer John Dolmayan’s solo career and guitarist Daron Malakian’s project Scars on Broadway.
Despite the lack of new music, System of a Down remains popular with both old and new fans alike. Their outrageous-political lyrics have the power to make listeners feel as if they are a part of the story being told. Their unique blend of psychedelic rock with Armenian folk music brought an unheard-of sound to the metal genre.
Following their hiatus, the band returned to the stage in 2010 for a series of concert dates and festival appearances. This reignited the interest of fans, but it was unclear if the group would reunite for an official studio album.
In 2020, System of a Down surprised fans with the release of two new songs, “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz.” The dual singles were used to raise funds and awareness for the war between Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Azerbaijan. Bassist Shavo Odadjian has been open about the reason behind the decision to record and release these songs.
In a bombshell interview on the Battleline Podcast, drummer John Dolmayan revealed that plenty of more as-yet-unheard System of a Down songs have been written, but that the group’s issues with lead singer and primary songwriter Serj Tankian may have prevented them from ever being released. Dolmayan also revealed that he and Malakian have not been able to find common ground in their creative direction, which has been the biggest hurdle in their efforts to produce new material together.