For the past few weeks, System of a Down singer Serj Tankian and drummer John Dolmayan have been offering opposite political views from one another amidst the protests and social unrest taking place across the United States. Now, Tankian is defending his bandmate despite their “extremely polarized political commentary and differences.”
Dolmayan, for his part, leans heavily to the right, dubbing President Trump the “greatest friend to minorities” and calling the Democratic Party the “true bigots”.
Tankian, meanwhile, called for protesters to “force the [Trump] regime to resign.” He also posted lyrics to an old System of a Down song called “Temper”, and told fans, “If you love this song or play along to it and love Trump, you’re a hypocrite.”
Now, in a new Instagram post, Tankian has addressed his differences with Dolmayan for the first time since their recent social media posts made headlines. However, instead of condemning his bandmate, he has come to his defense, calling the drummer a “stalwart ally in efforts for recognition of the Armenian genocide within SOAD,” and blasting people for spewing hate at both of them for their beliefs.
Alongside a throwback photo of the himself with Dolmayan, Tankian posted the following statement:
“My drummer and brother in law @johndolmayan_ whom I love and respect irrespective of our extremely polarized political commentary and differences has always been my stalwart ally in efforts for recognition of the Armenian genocide within SOAD. The amount of online hate and stupidity against him and I are unjustifiable: social media has created an erroneous digital society that partially thrives on this reality. Remember irrespective of the stance, only artists that truly care and are impassioned will risk alienating their base for what they consider the truth. Our dilemma and possible fallacy is that we have two in one band. Some may consider that a weakness but the artistic, political and social dichotomy if not quadrichotomy (not a word) has made @systemofadown what it is today. Thank you all for reading. We should all do more non-online reading :)”
Tankian’s wife is the sister of Dolmayan’s wife, making the bandmates brothers-in-law, and likely making for some interesting dinner conversations between the two couples.
In addition to the political divide, there’s been a musical divide in System of a Down, resulting in the band not releasing a new album since 2005. A couple of years ago, a public airing of grievances took place between Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian, with Tankian admitting there were creative differences and that he was responsible for the band’s extended hiatus from 2006 to 2011.
On a lighter note, Tankian recently endorsed footage of a Nigerian wedding party dancing to System of a Down’s “Toxicity”, calling the moment “simply awesome.”
See Tankian’s Instagram post about Dolmayan and his tweet about the Nigerian wedding below.
Simply awesome. https://t.co/lsGeadMYjK
— Serj Tankian (@serjtankian) June 20, 2020