Serj Tankian on whether System Of A Down could ever continue with a new singer: "The option has always been there for the band to move on without me"

Serj Tankian in 2022
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian has sensationally suggested that the band could move on without him should they ever choose to do so. The statement, given in an exclusive interview with Metal Hammer's Paul Brannigan in their latest issue, was given in response to comments from his bandmate and System drummer John Dolmayan last year, which claimed that Serj "hasn't wanted to be in the band for a long time."

When asked about those comments, Tankian responds: “John means the world to me, he’s my brother-in-law, I love him, and I saw him just yesterday, but there are times he’s got mad and said fucking shit. And look, there’s times I’ve gotten mad and said fucking shit, too. The option has always been there for the band to move on without me, and John knows that.

“In the end, to me System Of A Down is beyond the band, it’s our relationship together. And it means more to me than the band itself, or even the music itself. And that is hard for other people, maybe even other people in the band, to understand. But, as I saw from the stage at Sick New World last year, the multi-generational appeal of the music we have made is mind-blowing, bro. Our music is more timeless than we ever imagined, and that is the hugest compliment for any artist.”

System Of A Down haven't released a new studio album in almost two decades, despite having stayed semi-active as a touring band in that time. The band surprise-released two new singles, Protect The Land and Genocidal Humanoidz, in 2020, sparking fresh hopes of a new full-length record to follow, but it's still yet to materialise - and likely never will.

Serj Tankian's new memoir Down With The System is out now. Read more from his interview in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, also out now.

Metal Hammer issue 389

(Image credit: Future (Cover shot: Travis Shinn))
Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.