John Dolmayan: It ‘Shouldn’t Be a Shock’ Serj Tankian + I Have Differing Political Views
System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan issued his support for President Donald Trump's record concerning minorities earlier this week, a move that came not long after System's vocalist Serj Tankian called for Trump's removal from office. With his views public, Dolmayan recorded a 13-plus minute video in which he spoke of the differences of opinion with his bandmate and how it "shouldn't be a shock to anybody."
Dolmayan starts the video explaining, “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. Others of you have been upset, disappointed, and have voiced their disappointment in different ways — some have been positive and some negative."
Sharing his thoughts on the response, he adds, “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,” he continued.
As for the two contradicting viewpoints amongst bandmates, Dolmayan says, “We have differing opinions in System of a Down. 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."
He adds, "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 cautions, “People shouldn’t sit there and allow their moral superiority in their heads — because you really aren’t morally superior to anyone, although you may think you are; you really aren’t. Especially if you don’t know the other person — you don’t know every aspect of their life, their motivations for things. And also, generally speaking, you’re basing things based on your experiences without taking into consideration that your experiences are limited to you and they don’t represent everybody."
He adds, “I see a lot of very famous people saying a lot of things, and I’m not sure if it’s coming from the heart. But I will always fight for what I think is right. Even if I’m later found out to be wrong, I will judge it then, and I am not afraid to change my position on things. But there’s just a lot of hypocrisy happening."
“Don’t believe everything the famous people tell you — they don’t know anything for the most part. I don’t know anything for the most part. I don’t know why things happen and what reasons the government has for doing things," says the drummer. "All I know is they have to think a lot further down the road than we do, generally speaking — they have to think, like, 50 years in the future and how this country’s gonna survive and what our place is gonna be in the world. And they’re people and they’re gonna mistakes. It’s just that usually we’re the ones — private citizens like us — that pay for it."
He continues, "I’m deathly afraid that the middle class is getting hit the hardest here, as they always do. And the middle class is very important here in the United States, as it is in most countries. Most countries try their hardest to develop their middle class, because something like 90 percent of the gross national product is consumed and created by the middle class.”
Earlier in the week, Tankian was critical of Trump's leadership as protests continued across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death. "A real leader would address the nation properly and a real man would go face the protestors on the streets in person. But like other corrupt undemocratic leaders in the past, you’ve realized they are not your people as you are not really our President," stated the vocalist, later adding, "The lessons of the 2018 peaceful successful revolution in Armenia can be applied in the US and elsewhere in the world. Coordinate online and block every street everywhere and force the regime to resign. The time has come. Your time has come @realdonaldtrump."
See Dolmayan's conversation in full in the player below.
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