Serj Tankian + John Dolmayan Play System of a Down Hit With Street Musicians
While John Dolmayan has been vocal about System of a Down's inability to move forward with new music, he did get a chance to recently step behind the kit to play some System of a Down music with one of his bandmates. Singer Serj Tankian joined Dolmayan and the rock covers band Medium in performing "Aerials" at Dolmayan's 50th birthday celebration this past weekend.
Dolmayan had already joined in on drums as the video was being shot, with Tankian then motioned from the crowd to come take part in the performance. He stepped up to one of the side mics being utilized by another of the band members while adding to the lead singer's vocals on the cover. The footage was shot of the two musicians joining Medium in the streets of San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, where Dolmayan was celebrating his 50th birthday on Friday (July 15).
The fact that Tankian and Dolmayan were sharing the drummer's birthday shouldn't come as too much of a surprise as they are related through marriage. Dolmayan's wife Diana is the sister of Tankian's wife Angela, making the musicians brothers-in-law.
Though System of a Down have toured together in recent years, the band ran into some creative differences when getting into the studio to try to record new music. They did find some common ground releasing the songs "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" in 2020, but have otherwise not pushed forward in making a new album.
"We still have something to give to the world. And when you put something out that actually makes an impact, you're, like, 'Why aren't we doing this all the time?' And then I go down the rabbit hole of frustration and anger," shared the drummer recently, venting about the band's inability to record a new album. "I'm a sensitive person, so I can't just hold this stuff in — it has to come out one way or the other. And it takes me a long time to deal with it and to cope with it, because I also am realistic in that life is finite; you only have a certain amount of time. And here we are."
He continued, "We have this gift that came from God or wherever, and we're squandering it. It's an insult to everybody else that tries to make it in whatever endeavor they're trying to make. And here we are — we've made it, we have the talent, we have the ability, we have an adoring fanbase, we've sold, I don't know, whatever it is — 30 million albums or more — and they're hungry for it, and we just don't do it. That's like the worst — having the ability to do something and not doing it is, I think, the worst thing in the world as far as in the perspective of being an artist. You're just hurting yourself."
While the members of System haven't officially written off new music in the future, Serj Tankian confirmed that they don't have any plans to release anything new anytime soon during a discussion with Loudwire Weekends host Todd Fooks.
"Not at this time, and when we do, you'll be the first to know," the singer teased.