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What’s going on with System of A Down?

May 20, 2013

In high school my most favorite band, tied with the Roots, was System of A Down. They were unapologetically eccentric and cleverly managed to inform and entertain in a naturally mutual manner. They directed heavy criticism towards the ills of the American government before September 11, before George W. Bush was even inaugurated. They continued to provide a critical voice after 9/11 as well. Their sophomore album Toxicity (released September 4, 2001), went on to sell at least 3 million copies in the United States alone. There hadn’t been a band in the industry that politically militant and successful since Rage Against the Machine.
Steal This Album, originally considered a collection of outtakes, became my soundtrack for unabashed rebellion as a teen. And it’s been nearly 8 years since Mezmerize/Hypnotize was released when I was in college. System members turned to solo projects and side-projects to keep them occupied over the years and have made many fans happy recently by reuniting for tour. However, something strange happened on Facebook very early in the morning today. At 2:48 am (Pacific) the bassist Shavo allegedly posted the following message to his wall:

ok….. Ill come clean.. Its not us(meaning Daron,John Or Shavo!! Its Sej, who doesn’ want to do a new album!!!! so please stop harassing us about it!!! We are just waiting for SERJ! Now He might hate me for exposing the truth but i Had too.. Sorry folks!!! we’re trying to get a new album out, its just not passing Serj’s RULES! . Kinda funny, since we started the band and now he’s holding us back!! I think we should should release another album again??? As for me.. I’m ready to release one with someone who wants to be the singer of SYSTEM. not soeome we have to beg to be a part of SYSTEM!! So with that in mind, what do you guys w should do? Just remember, Hes been holding us back for 7 years so far.. wanna wait another $-5 years? or shall we release a record without Serj? u tell us?????

In the comments section he added:

we’re tired of waiting!!!! NO disrespect to Serj System has to go on!!!!! who agrees??????????? … Daron, John and I have been waiting to release another album!!!! help us!!!

Fans responded with mixed opinions as Shavo allegedly continued to interact with them in the comments section. The exchanges can be seen here.

He continued:

I dont want to make a record without him… but if he’s not down? should the 3 of us just sit and wait?? Not cool!!!!!!!! i want the fans from all over the world including Brazil to tell us what they think.
No System? or System with with a new singer whos just as good if not better? PLUS new System songs and tours???? please give me ur opinion people!!! is SYSTEM better with no singer or someone who is excited to be our new singer?? you decide.. cause im confused!!!

The last post regarding this issue:

no diss to Serj.. If he wants to be in the band then he’s welcome but if he’s not? what do you expect us 3 to do.?? we really want anorther System Record! wish Serj was down but if hes not, then im going ahead and making a System record without him!!! im furious that he let us down like this, but we gotta do something to keep this great band alive!!! agreed????????

Some fans in the comment sections assumed that Shavo’s account had been hacked and that it wasn’t really him airing out the dirty laundry. In a May 10th post Shavo stated:

No one dare say R.I.P. system! WE WILL NEVER BREAK UP!! U hear????? Stop with anti SOAD remarks. Or ill never post again. Patience people!! None means no record or more shows. I’m sure u don’t want that. So let us mAke our own decisions please!!

SOAD drummer, John Dolmayan, playfully responded asking “system broke up? why didnt you tell me?”

Shavo’s frustration from 10 days ago match the frustration in the alleged posts made today, although it’s easy for people to imitate others on the internet. I too thought that his account was hacked until I saw this message posted to System of A Down’s official Facebook page at 12:08pm (Pacific):

Earlier today, Shavo posted a few statements on his personal Facebook page that do not reflect the sentiments of System Of A Down as a collective band. These were misleading statements that were made during a temporary state of bad judgment on his part alone. To be clear, the full band lineup of Serj, Daron, Shavo and John will be performing all scheduled tour dates. With respect to new SOAD music, although we have not agreed on a timetable for a new album, we all believe that having the four of us do it together is the way to be true to the band and our fans.

So, this leaves a lot of fans asking, ‘What the hell is going on?’ Were both accounts hacked? Is System of A Down having a very public break-up? Are they not breaking up at all? When will a new album be released?
We’ll just have to wait and see.

No matter what, I wish them the best and hope that they continue to share their music and art with fans.

UPDATE: The links to Shavo’s posts have been deleted since the original time of this post. No new statements have been released by System of a Down since yesterday.

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