System of a Down surprised just about everyone when they unleashed two new songs last week, their first in 15 years. Despite the recent political back-and-forth between singer Serj Tankian and drummer John Dolmayan, the group agreed on one thing: to raise awareness for what’s going on in Armenia and Artsakh in their ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The songs, “Protect the Land” and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz,” did more than just make people aware: they raised over $600,000 that will be donated to the Armenia fund. Here’s what the band said about their mission in a statement:
We are overwhelmed with gratitude for your incredible support of our campaign for the people of Artsakh, and for helping us raise over $600k in donations to provide for those in dire need via the Armenia Fund. Because of you, we will be able to help displaced civilians, young and old, who are affected by the hideous war crimes inflicted upon Artsakh by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Please take a few minutes to watch our full interview to get a more intimate look and understanding into why we came together to release “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz.” To the four of us, it’s extremely important to share these truths with you. It is for our ancestors, our culture, and our nation. Help us spread the message
In a new video interview, the band elaborated why they were able to put aside their differences for the cause.
“What we’re hoping is that what happened in 1915 [the Armenian Genocide] and what’s happened so many times in history doesn’t repeat itself,” drummer Dolmayan said.
“It’s an injustice that we want people to pay attention to, and that’s why we’re doing this. So that they can, in turn, inform their own government bodies, who can respond properly,” Tankian added.
“I wrote a song that gave them respect at the end of the day and I feel like it’s a morale booster,” guitarist Daron Malakian said as well.
Watch the interview below.