Serj Tankian Never Wanted To Make System of a Down’s Mezmerize + Hypnotize Albums

Serj Tankian: System of a Down Facebook / Mezmerize: Vartan Malakian – artwork, Brandy Flower – graphic design / Hypnotize: All artwork by Vartan Malakian, Design: System of a Down and Brandy Flower
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The last two albums we have gotten from System of a Down both came out in 2005, those being Mezmerize and Hypnotize – records that apparently band frontman Serj Tankian didn’t even want to make! So while it has been 17 years since those records came out, imagine if the band hadn’t released anything since 2002’s Steal This Album!?

Per a past conversation with Kerrang! (as transcribed by Metal Injection), band guitarist Daron Malakian shared that, at the time that this conversation was taking place (2018), he had material for a new System of a Down album. However, he said that creative differences within the band were holding up the process of there being a new SOAD album. Speaking to those creative differences, Daron shared the following:

“There’s just a certain way that System make albums, and there’s a bunch of us that want to make an album that way and there is, I guess, one of us that doesn’t want to make an album that way and wants to make an album his way.” Allegedly, this comment is alluding to that of Serj.

Daron continues, “And not everyone is on board with that. That’s been the issue. I have material for a new System album. Right now, if everyone got together and was ready to play ball, I have an album ready. If it was up to me, System would have never gone on hiatus.”

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The System of a Down guitarist is then asked how the creative differences between him and Serj might be resolved. Daron responds with the following: “It may never be resolved; or it may be, but so far it hasn’t been. There was a time, I think, when I would have taken this a little bit more personally, but not anymore. I realize that it’s not me. We’ve had so many meetings about it.”

“I don’t want to throw Serj under the bus — he’s my friend and he’s someone that I care about — but I don’t know how to change his mind. We’ve all sat down and we’ve had meetings, and he’s totally set in his way of thinking.

“Serj was never really a heavy metal or a rock guy. I don’t know if he has the same love for this kind of music as I do. I’m the kid that grew up with Slayer and KISS on my walls. I wanted to be like them some day. Serj didn’t grow up feeling that way. He didn’t grow up a diehard fan. So I feel like the whole experience of becoming the lead singer in a hugely successful band was different for him than my experience was for me.”

The System of a Down guitarist would then go on to add the following: “Bands are like brands, I suppose, and that’s kind of frustrating for me. To be honest with you, Serj didn’t even want to make Mezmerize and Hypnotize. We really begged him to make those records. At that time, he felt like he was out.”

It is wild to hear that Serj felt like he was done with the band at that time and that he didn’t even want to make Mezmerize and Hypnotize. All this said though, four years later, Serj would go on to share that he is still down to make a new System of a Down album! So not all hope is lost! What do you think of both Mezmerize and Hypnotize?

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