Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Theres a Trump-sized wedge forming inside System Of A Down
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Of the musicians you’d expect to come out in support of Donald Trump, someone from System Of A Down probably wasn’t high on the list. And yet, John Dolmayan—the guy who played drums on tracks like “Fuck The System,” “Prison Song,” and “War?”—appears to be currently engaged in an indirect social media argument over the current administration with his band’s singer, Serj Tankian.

Advertisement

The whole thing seems to have started with Tankian posting a call for Trump’s resignation a few weeks ago during Washington, D.C. Black Lives Matter protests.

Advertisement

At the same time, Dolmayan also posted a message that called for peaceful protesting and “justice for George Floyd” but condemned efforts to help “Antifa members incarcerated during looting sprees.” He then decided to go further by sharing a photo of Trump with a caption that says he’s “the most attacked president in history yet the greatest friend to minorities!”

Maybe because people weren’t happy about these posts, speculating that they don’t fit well with System Of A Down’s politics, Dolmayan doubled down by going on social media rants, sticking up for those cops who claimed they were poisoned after getting upset milkshake tummies, and, most recently, wished Trump a happy birthday while calling the Democratic Party “the true fascist, the true bigots” who “don’t want” and “can’t handle free speech because you are cowards and need to be herded along with the rest of the sheep.”

Advertisement

Tankian, while never mentioning disagreements with Dolmayan specifically, offered what may be a response by posting the lyrics to an early System Of A Down demo called “Temper” on Tuesday along with a few notes that explain how “if you love this song or play along to it and love Trump, you’re a hypocrite-just a simple fact :).

Advertisement

Still, Dolmayan seems confident that the political gulf between he and Tankian won’t cost him his job. “I’m lucky, I’m in an industry where you CAN be honest about your views wherever they fall with little to no repercussions,” he wrote in a June 14 post. “I don’t rely on a movie studio, label, media or anyone else who will bow down to pandering political correctness and am in no danger whatsoever of ‘losing my job’ because you don’t like what I have to say.”

Advertisement

He even addressed their differences directly in a June 5 video. “We have differing opinions in System Of A Down,” he 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.”

We expand each other’s horizons,” he added. “I like to think that he learns from me and I learn from him.”

Advertisement

See that below. 

Advertisement

Of course, a lot can change in a few weeks, especially in a climate as fraught as this one.

[via Consequence Of Sound]

Advertisement

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter