System of a Down: New Music for Armenia Is ‘Bigger Than Our Egos’
System of a Down, after going 15 years without releasing any new music, debuted a pair of new songs on Nov. 6 in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the war in Artsakh that is impacting a largely Armenian community. The band was at a creative crossroads in recent years over the direction of new material and bassist Shavo Odadjian has said these new tracks are "bigger than our egos" as they put their differences on hold.
Of Armenian descent themselves, System of a Down have long been activists and a global voice for the country. The idea to work on new material (the songs "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz"), of which all proceeds will benefit Armenia Fund, was sparked by drummer John Dolmayan, who sent the rest of the band's members a text, proposing they lay their creative conflict aside.
"He wrote and said we need to put everything behind and do something. We need to be a part of this. We need to help any way we can. This, this is bigger than us, bigger than our emotions, bigger than our feelings, bigger than our egos. Let's go," Odadjian recalled in an interview with FOX 11's Araksya Karapetyan. "And right away, Daron [Malakian] responded with, 'Here, I have something that could save time.'"
Despite System of a Down's inability to make progress toward new music due to creative impasses in the recent years, Odadjian affirmed that all of the members are still friends.
"So, when we got in [the studio], at first tension was a little high because we didn't know how everyone was going to be, but about five minutes into it, we were talking, laughing's talking about the song, how it's going to be, how we're going to help and what this is going to do for our people," added Odadjian.
"That's the number one thing," he continued, "was what this is going to do to work and help out... how it's going to help our people. Because I feel like it's kind of like a Trojan horse, you know, it's like we're walking in and the world's going to listen because it's 15 years, we haven't done anything."
Singer Serj Tankian commented, "It's about raising awareness about what's going on with the humanitarian catastrophe in Artsakh [which was] perpetrated by Azerbaijan and Turkey — and it's about trying to raise funds. The band is donating all of its proceeds to Armenia Fund."
"It's a catastrophe," Tankian said of the war. "They brought in over 2,000 mercenaries from Syria. Now, this war is going to destabilize the whole region — it already is destabilizing the whole region with Russia and Iran on the border."
To learn more about the Armenia fund and to make a donation, head here.
System of a Down Talk New Music on FOX 11
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