Speaking on the Side Jams With Bryan Reesman podcast, Tankian said after looking at some fan’s comments on social media, he wasn’t sure if fans listened to the true message of the band’s lyrics.
He said: “When I get people on my socials that are, ‘I love your music, but I don’t wanna hear your political ideas,’ that’s fair enough — if they’re nice enough, it’s fair enough, but sometimes they’re really mean.
“But what I don’t understand, and a lot of other people that follow the music say the same thing. They’re, like, ‘Have you not listened to the fucking words in 20 years? He’s been saying all this stuff through his music all this time. What are you, just dancing to it because it’s groovy? You’re not really getting the message?'”
System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan last week hailed US President Donald Trump as the “greatest friend to minorities”, following the US president’s controversial response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
On Monday (June 1), Trump declared himself a “law and order president” in a press conference, and said that he would mobilise the US military to be deployed against protesters seeking justice over George Floyd’s death.
He also labelled those taking to the streets as “thugs”, adding: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This tweet was subsequently censored by Twitter, who deemed its message to be in violation of the site’s rules surrounding “glorifying violence”.
Dolmayan’s comments were at odds with those of frontman Tankian, who had previously claimed that the president’s “time has come”. “Coordinate online and block every street everywhere and force the regime to resign,” he urged the protestors.
“Run Donny run into your bunker,” Tankian wrote. “You may be the first US President to do so out of fear of your own citizens… These protests are not just over race but over institutional injustices beginning with the slave era electoral college that put you in power, K Street lobbying firms, superdelegates of a two party duopolistic Neo-liberal corporatocracy whose day has come.”