The creative differences between System Of A Down and Serj Tankian now revealed

Author Benedetta Baldin - 17.5.2024

System Of A Down vocalist Serj Tankian has been open about his creative differences with his bandmates over the years. In a recent excerpt from his upcoming book, “Down With The System,” Tankian revealed that he offered to quit the band in 2017 so they could find a new vocalist. Luckily, that didn’t happen! In a recent interview with Tom Power of CBC Radio One, Tankian discussed his differences with System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian, which have contributed to the lack of new material from the band.

Well, changing the dynamic is basically years of time and the progression of the band, the success of the band, everything that happened in between the day that we met and now, basically, so 25, 30 years. A lot changes in that time. And so I think that’s a part of it. Daron’s been a lifer and he’s incredibly serious about his music and he’s incredibly protective of his music and vulnerable due to his music. All of those things kind of go together. So it’s those things, I think, that created some of the creative differences that we started finding. And it’s also our progression. Listen, when Daron and I started working together, I didn’t really write a lot of instrumental music — I mostly wrote lyrics; I was the lyricist; I was the singer. And he didn’t write any lyrics; he just wrote music. But as time progressed and I played more musical instruments and I started becoming a songwriter/composer and he started writing more lyrics, we started kind of covering each other’s territory. And I was okay with that. If he wrote lyrics, I was trying to encourage him to write more, because I believe in artistic growth. I believe in progression. I don’t believe in things staying the same way, for music’s sake. Otherwise, the music becomes the same thing over and over again. That progression is necessary in every artist’s life or in every group’s life. So I was very encouraging of that. And I just wish that I got some of that back. And so that wasn’t the case, and it was disappointing. And it became a creative difference over the band’s path, and whatnot, over time.