Serj Tankian On Daron Malakian’s Role In SOAD: ‘I Don’t See It Negatively Anymore’

Serj Tankian doesn’t think Daron Malakian calling himself System of a Down’s primary lyricist is a negative thing.

In a recent interview with Spin, the guitarist talked about if Malakian would ever be willing to share creative control for a new album:

“Daron defines himself as the primary songwriter for System. It’s important to him. Will that ever change? I don’t know. But I don’t see it negatively anymore because I understand it better. That doesn’t mean I have to create music in that capacity. As for a future System record, the saying goes, ‘Nobody knows!'”

In 2018, when they discussed making another album, Tankian didn’t want to follow the same pattern as before. He offered a set of terms, including both him and Malakian contributing an equal number of songs. However, the plan fell apart.

How Does System Of A Down Write Songs?

The rocker previously reflected on the group’s songwriting process in a conversation with LiveSigning. He noted:

“Originally when we started System of a Down, I was primarily a lyricist and he was primarily the musical songwriter. Shavo [Odadjian] also brought in some riffs, to be fair, that he and I would work on. As time went by, I became a better instrumentalist, playing and composing, and [Daron] became a better lyricist, so we started bringing in more full songs ourselves, and then whatever we were lacking, the other would compensate.”

How Does He Help Malakian?

He then shared what Malakian would bring to the group:

“So, for example, if Daron brought in a song and he had a chorus idea that was sticking, that was working really well, I would write the verses, the middle eight part, maybe contribute an arrangement idea musically and whatnot, along with the rest of the band. Same with my songs. When I started bringing them in, they were a little more complete than originally, musically. And lyrically, they would pretty much be complete on my end as well. But sometimes there would be an ask to kind of change thematically or this and that by any member of the band, really. So it was a process that developed and changed over time.”

The musician also said in his Spin chat that he never intended to stick with one band forever. He thinks it’s not good for the art because it becomes repetitive. He believes most artists should make a certain number of records and then move on.