System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan has revealed in a new interview with Kerrang! magazine that the band has written more than a dozen new songs for what could be its first new studio album in 11 years. Dolmayan explained, “We’ve been working on a new album for the last six months and there’s about 15 songs that I think are album-worthy. We don’t know what’s happening in terms of release; it’s still not a hundred percent as far as plans go. I want everyone on board and feeling good about it. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish right now. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on us, though, because it’s been 11 years — at least 12 by the time it comes out.”

Asked about the direction of the material, Dolmayan said, “Our playing ability is better than it ever has been and we’re trying new things. We’re not trying to make Toxicity Part 2, just because it was by far our biggest album. This needs to be something for a new generation of System fans, so everyone can see we’re not resting on our laurels.”

  • Dolmayan told us a while back that he understood fans wanting the band to come back, but asked for patience: [“People really like the band and they want to see the band working, making albums and touring. The only thing I would ask of our fans is just be a little bit patient. We don’t know exactly how many years it’ll take. When we’re ready, we’ll get back into it.”] 
  • Singer Serj Tankian, however — widely believed to be the one member holding out all this time against recording — was more ambivalent about the group’s plans, telling L.A. Weekly, “We’re going to get together and see if that’s going to be System music or not. And who the f**k knows? If it is, great, and if it’s not, then great.”
  • Tankian defended his decision to pursue other projects — including solo rock and jazz albums, writing and conducting symphonies and scoring films — instead of reteaming with System, saying, “If you enjoy making the same rock record for the rest of your life, keep making the same rock record for the rest of your life. But I don’t.”
  • System Of A Down will return to Europe in June/July 2017 to play summer festivals and select headline dates.
  • The group’s last albums, Mezmerize and Hypnotize, both came out in 2005, after which the band started a lengthy hiatus. They reunited in 2011 for a string of European festival shows and have toured intermittently ever since.