John Dolmayan On Politics Within System Of A Down: “We Have Differing Opinions”
Last week, System Of A Down hit headlines in a big way – not because they’ve finally begun work on the follow-up to 2005’s Mesmerize and Hypnotize albums, but because two members of the band came out with very different political opinions regarding Donald Trump.
While frontman Serj Tankian called for the president’s regime to resign, drummer John Dolmayan was much more complimentary, praising him for being “the greatest friend to minorities” and agreeing with Trump’s statement that, “My administration has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln.”
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While the internet was in shock seeing just how conflicting these two points of view were (with many followers also pointing out that this could well be the reason the alt-metal legends haven’t recorded new music together in 15 years), John has since addressed both his and Serj’s trains of thought, admitting that he doesn’t agree with the frontman’s opinions “very often these days”. However, he explains, this is just the nature of having “four individuals” in a band together.
“We have differing opinions in System Of A Down,” John says. “That shouldn’t be a shock to anybody, because you have four individuals – we’re not always like-minded and don’t always agree on everything. But you’d be surprised at how civil our conversations are, especially between me and Serj, who seem to have the most diverging opinions on things.
“I have a lot of respect for Serj and his opinions, although I don’t agree with them very often these days. And that’s okay. We expand each other’s horizons — I like to think that he learns from me and I learn from him.”
He also addressed those who are commenting on the fact that John has “always tended to think more conservatively”, revealing that he had a mixture of positive and negative responses for being so open about his political leanings.
“Some of you have been sending me messages – in fact, quite a few – saying that you are thankful that I get out there and I put out a viewpoint that’s a little bit different,” he continues. “Others of you have been upset, disappointed, and have voiced their disappointment in different ways – some have been positive and some negative.
“I take everything really lightly and I really don’t get too bothered by it. But I have had some dialogue with some people and I’ve enjoyed that – people that think differently, have a different perspective, and I really like getting that perspective.
“Look, guys, a lot of you are very young, and as you gain experience in life, you will have different ways of looking at things and different perspectives, and it won’t mean as much to you to fit into certain boxes that people set for you. And I guess in a lot of ways that’s what’s happened to me, although I’ve always tended to think more conservatively.”
Watch John’s full statement below:
System Of A Down are taking part in this weekend’s virtual Download festival. Find out more on the official Download website.
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