The band tell NME.COM they've been "frowned on" because they dared to criticise the goverment after September 11...

System Of A Down have spoken exclusively to NME.COM about accusations that they are “anti-American”, following the band’s criticisms of the US government.

Six months after the September 11 terrorist attack on the US, System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian has spoken about the storm of controversy that his band provoked. Their album ‘Toxicity’ was actually Number One on September 11.

The singer has earlier claimed that the CIA were monitoring System Of A Down for “subversive” activities. The band, who have a long history of left-wing political statements, posted their reaction to September 11 on their website. The statement continued the band’s long-standing criticism of US foreign and domestic policy.

That comment, and the band’s songs, prompted a media storm, with accusations that the band were everything from communists to anti-Americans.

Speaking about the controversy, Tankian told NME.COM: “Kids out there were frantic, they were just insane and they were trying to find people to blame. It was like the only people they could look to protect them was the government. And so anybody who was criticising the government – including our band – was frowned on because that’s not what people want to hear. They don’t want to hear the truth – like, what does our government do that we don’t know about that causes stuff like this.”

Tankian added: “Nobody wanted to hear that, which is why we got bashed for a little while.”

See next week’s NME for a full interview with System Of A Down.