System Of A Down member says Chris Cornell’s death made him question why his band hasn’t released an album in 12 years

Band haven't released a record since 2005's 'Mezmerize'/'Hypnotize' double album

System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan has described his band’s album delay as “disheartening”, saying that he “doesn’t know” why they haven’t released a record in 12 years and that the recent death of Chris Cornell has made him feel like they’ve “wasted” time.

The band last released their ‘Mezmerize’/’Hypnotize’ double album in 2005. Last year, they shared photos of themselves in the recording studio before confirming that a new album was “100% happening”.

Speaking to 107.5 Las Vegas, Dolmayan said: “In our band, the difficulty really isn’t is one of us gonna fall off the wagon or get into a bad situation. It’s really a matter of [whether] we [are] gonna come together and make something happen… I don’t know why we aren’t coming out with an album. It’s very disheartening.”

“The funny thing is we all get into the studio, everybody’s getting along great. We have a blast on the road,” Dolmayan added. “If I had my way we would have put out five albums in the last twelve years. And I think we’re really doing a disservice to ourselves ’cause you only have a finite amount of time, you know? If anything, Chris Cornell passing away unexpectedly, at any given moment, it does put things into perspective and you realise how much time you wasted.”

Dolmayan went on to confirm that the band have been working on new music: “We’ve been in the studio for the past year and we’ve put together about fifteen songs so far that I think match or beat anything we’ve done in the past. I don’t make those kinds of claims without having something to back it up. We’re better than we’ve ever been, we’re tighter than we’ve ever been, we know what we’re doing and the songs are there.”

Meanwhile, System Of A Down are set to headline Download festival next month, alongside Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith. Also set to perform are Slayer, Prophets Of Rage, AFI, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Of Mice & Men, Fozzy, Sleeping With Sirens, Simple Plan, Every Time I Die, The Story So Far and Motionless In White.

Download Festival takes place from 9-11 June at Donington Park in Derbyshire.