System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian: “I didn’t get famous to stop playing music”

"We have material from the last 10-12 years ... but I don’t know what's going on"

System of a Down
System of a Down, photo by Frank Maddocks

    Over the summer, System of a Down made big headlines when vocalist Serj Tankian and guitarist-singer Daron Malakian came clean on internal issues that first led the group to go on hiatus in 2006, and, have ultimately resulted in the band not recording a new album since reuniting in 2011.

    Malakian revealed that Tankian was responsible for the band’s five-year hiatus, and he also suggested that that the lead singer was holding up the recording and release of a new album. For his part, Tankian admitted that he spearheaded the hiatus due to his disinterest in the band at the time, and also confirmed that there were creative differences and financial considerations getting in the way of a new disc.

    This November will mark 13 years since the last System of a Down album, 2005’s Hypnotize, but if it was up to bassist Shavo Odadjian, the band would have already released a new album or two. In a new interview with the Kevin & Bean radio show on KROQ, Odadjian reveals that the band is sitting on a wealth of material.


    “We have material from the last 10-12 years,” Odadjian said. “We all write. So I personally have a lot, Daron Malakian has a lot, and I know Serj has a lot, but I don’t know what’s going on.”

    He continued, “We still love each other. No one’s done anything wrong. No one’s angry, it’s not like someone’s done something to someone and they can’t take it back. Nothing like that’s occurred. I think it’s just an artistic thing.”

    The bassist added, “But I don’t hold grudges, but it’s hurtful because I really do want to play and I want to make music and make a record. I didn’t join a band and didn’t get famous to stop playing music.”


    When one of the hosts suggested that System of a Down go the Metallica route and hire a band psychiatrist, Odadjian answered, “I’ve had that conversation. That would be cool, like maybe someone has to sit in the middle and be like, ‘This is what it means,’ and ‘This is what he means.’” The full interview with Odadjian can be heard below.

    For now, System of a Down have a handful of shows lined up this fall, including a headlining gig at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California, this weekend. Tickets for the band’s shows can be found here.