System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan has said the band’s hiatus was a “disastrous move”.
The group went on a hiatus from 2006 to 2010 and are yet to record a full-length follow-up to their ‘Mezmerize’ and ‘Hypnotize’ albums, which came out in 2005.
Speaking in a new interview with Richard Allan on Action Figures, Dolmayan discussed System Of A Down’s inability to make a new album.
“I never wanted System to take a hiatus,” he said. “I think it was a disastrous move for us, because we never reached our peak. I still feel like we have a lot of music in us. And as big as the band is – we’re a massive draw internationally and here in the US – I think we could have been the biggest band in the world. Why not achieve that if you have the potential?
“So I feel like, yes, System is a great band. We have a great live show and I’m very proud of what we have achieved. But we got to here [points to a spot on the table]. We could have gotten to here [points to another spot further away].”
Dolmayan continued: “It doesn’t mean we still can’t, but it’s unlikely, because if you can’t put your ego aside – you’ve gotta take that cloak off, your ego, and put it here – and get in a room and work together, and do what’s best for the band. And if everybody isn’t thinking of what’s best for the band, the band has no choice. The definition of a band is the selflessness. That’s what a society is, isn’t it? We’re all thinking, like, together we make something great. Alone, we might not even survive.
“So, for me, there’s a lot of sadness associated with it, because [guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian’s solo project] Scars On Broadway is fine, Serj’s solo projects are fine, but they’re nothing compared to System. When we stopped, one more album, you’re talking about a different conversation.”
He added: “At the end of the day, we achieved quite a bit. So our epitaphs are already written. My kids’ kids will be able to say, ‘That was my grandfather, and he was in this band. And look what they did.’ And they’ll be able to listen to that for as long as humanity exists, I guess.”
“Anytime you don’t reach your potential, it’s a sadness,” Dolmayan concluded. “And by the way, our potential could have been to sell 10 albums. But if that was it, and we reached it, you can walk away saying, ‘I did everything I could.’ … That way you can spend the rest of your life happy. The worst thing is to be 50 years old, sitting in a room, doing something you’re miserable doing, and knowing it’s because of you – because you didn’t have the balls to pursue it; you didn’t have the balls to put everything into it.”
‘Chop Suey!’ was the breakthrough lead single from the band’s best-selling second album, ‘Toxicity’ (2001). Despite being released nearly 20 years ago, the music video wasn’t uploaded to YouTube until 2009.