Serj Tankian discussed politics in the United States, and if it has fractured System of a Down in a new NME interview, “I think the word is ‘relief’ more than ‘hopeful.’ With Trump gone and Biden in, I think there was a sense of relief that we all sighed — not just in the U.S. but around the world, because U.S. policy affects the rest of the world more than any other country in the world. And the president way too much power in terms of foreign policy — more than domestic policy, because Congress will hamper him on domestic policy. A U.S. president has way too much power in terms of foreign affairs, so it affects the rest of the world greatly. So I think the whole world felt a bit of a relief that Trump was gone and someone more of an adult was now in power.”
He added, “Does it go far enough for me as an activist in terms of my wishes for pushing the envelope on lifestyle changes having to do with climate change? Does it go far enough in terms of my wishes of wealth distribution or free tuition and free health care in the U.S. I would like to see all those things coming to fruition. Hopefully Biden’s administration opens the doors to some of those ideas that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and some other progressives were pushing for. So, personally, it’s kind of middle of the road for me, but compared to the chaotic policies of whatever the Trump administration was called, lacking three-quarters of the staff that actually does the work, it’s great.”
Serj said despite he and bandmate John Dolmayan having political differences, System of a Down won’t split.
“A good band always has a lot of dynamics, whether it’s political differences or ideas, which kind of just became pronounced with John and I in the last year or whatever, with the whole Trump re-election campaign,” Tankian said. “But that wasn’t really that much of an issue with American politics before with the band. It’s a new phenomena, really, if you will. But John’s my brother-in-law as well as my bandmember, so find someone who doesn’t have a brother-in-law with a different political [perspective]
“It’s really interesting, because some of the most amazing bands — the bands that create the most elastic and interesting music — are ones that have very interesting, weird dynamics, differences between bandmembers,” he explained. “So I wouldn’t change that. I wouldn’t change that in the least bit. Better than four or five people making what I call corporate music, which is we agree on everything, we wanna maximize our returns and let’s put out music every year and let’s tour every year and let’s do this because we’re Pepsi or whatever. We’re not. System of a Down has never been that. We’re punk rock. And it works great when we’re working together, but sometimes we’re not working together. So be it.”