System Of A Down release first new music in 15 years

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in News on November 5, 2020

In an effort to draw attention to the ongoing conflict in Armenia, the band has recorded “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” to loan their support to their countrymen.

The last time System Of A Down released new music was back in 2005 with the album Hypnotize. Despite the insatiable thirst from fans for new material, the band only occasionally performed live and showed no signs of getting back into the studio – with occasional reports of creative friction made to be the culprit hindering any progress.

Yet in the wake of the ongoing conflict in Armenia and the attacks from Azerbaijan, the band seemed compelled to disregard their personal differences to converge for their countrymen. The result is two new tracks in “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz.” The singles have been released in an effort to generate donations for the Armenia Fund and their continuous humanitarian aid provided to the war-torn region.

The 1,700 square-mile mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is at the center of the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Breaking a cease fire that has existed in the region since 1994, Azerbaijan began attacks in September following a dispute between Azerbaijan president  Ilham Aliyev and Armenia prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan.

Human Rights Watch has reported that Azerbaijan has implemented the use of banned weapons in their offensive against Armenia. Azerbaijan also has the support of Turkey, which has long, horrific history with Armenia dating back to the Armenia genocide of 1915.

Top, from Left: Daron Malakian, John Dolmayan; Boffom, from Left: Serj Tankian, Shavo Odadjian

In a report filed by Rolling Stone, the band commented on the decision to come together and get to work and how activism took priority over artistry to compel the band to get to work.

“I’m not doing this as an artist for myself or for System of a Down or for any of the guys in the band; we’re all doing this for our people,” Serj Tankian says. “So this is not a creative decision, this is not a business decision. This is a decision of activism, and that takes precedence over all other things for us.”

“If we don’t do this, there isn’t any other huge Armenian rock band out there that’s gonna do this,” Daron Malakian says. “There aren’t that many big Armenian celebrities out there that are going to do this. It’s kind of a duty. We came together because our country needed us, not necessarily because we’re so amped to do a brand-new System of a Down song. Our people needed us to do this.”

“Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz.” are currently available via the System Of A Down Bandcamp. All proceeds will go to the Armenia Fund.

Read the band’s full statement below.

We as System Of A Down have just released new music for the first time in 15 years. The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice. These two songs, “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” both speak of a dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia. 

We’re proud to share these songs with you and hope you enjoy listening to them. Further, we encourage you to read on to learn more about their origins and once you do, hope you are inspired to speak out about the horrific injustices and human rights violations occurring there now. Most importantly and urgently, we humbly implore you to donate, in sums small or large to help those adversely affected with what are ever growing accounts of crimes against humanity. 

In turn, you will receive downloads of these two new songs and the feeling that you’re truly making a difference. These funds will be used to provide crucial and desperately needed aid and basic supplies for those affected by these hideous acts. 

On September 27, the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey (along with Isis terrorists from Syria) attacked the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which we as Armenians call Artsakh. For over the past month, civilians young and old have been awakened day and night by the frightful sights and sounds of rocket attacks, falling bombs, missiles, drones and terrorist attacks. They’ve had to find sanctuary in makeshift shelters, trying to avoid the fallout of outlawed cluster bombs raining down on their streets and homes, hospitals and places of worship. Their attackers have set their forests and endangered wildlife ablaze using white phosphorus, another banned weapon. 

And Why? 

Because over 30 years ago in 1988, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh (which at the time was an Autonomous Oblast within the USSR), were tired of being treated as second class citizens and decided to declare their rightful independence from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic whose borders engulfed their own. This ultimately led to a war of self determination by Armenians in Karabakh against Azerbaijan that ended in a cease fire in 1994, with Armenians retaining control of their ancestral homelands and maintaining their independence to the present day. Our people have lived there for millennia, and for most families there, it’s the only home they and their forefathers and mothers have ever known. They just want to live in peace as they have for centuries. 

The current corrupt regimes of Aliyev in Azerbaijan and Erdogan in Turkey now want to not only claim these lands as their own, but are committing genocidal acts with impunity on humanity and wildlife to achieve their mission. They are banking on the world being too distracted with COVID, elections and civil unrest to call out their atrocities. They have the bankroll, the resources and have recruited massive public relations firms to spin the truth and conceal their barbaric objective of genocide. This is not the time to turn a blind eye.

There is an immediate need for global citizens to urge their respective governments to not only condemn the actions of these crooked dictators, but to also insist world leaders act with urgency to bring peace to the region and rightfully recognize Artsakh as the independent nation it is. 

We realize that for many of you, there are more convenient ways you like listening to music, so please consider the opportunity to download these songs as an act of charity above all else. Think of the list price for the downloads as a minimum donation, and if you have the ability and can be more generous with your donation, every single member of System Of A Down will be even more grateful for your benevolence. Band royalties from this initiative will be donated to Armenia Fund, a US based charity organization instrumental in providing those in need in Artsakh and Armenia with supplies needed for their basic survival. 

The music and lyrics speak for themselves. We need you to speak for Artsakh. 

Peace, 

Daron, Shavo, John and Serj  


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