Drummer John Dolmayan and lead vocalist Serj Tankian might both be members of heavy metal band System of a Down, but recent Instagram posts have revealed a noticeable schism in their views on President Donald Trump and racial injustice protests in the United States.
On Tuesday, Dolmayan posted an image of a Trump tweet from the same day, with the president arguing that his administration had “done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln.”
“Let’s not let the narrative that’s being spun make us forget the truth of this statement,” Dolmayan wrote in his caption. “The most attacked president in history yet the greatest friend to minorities! Don’t believe it? Look at the stats. Don’t like it, doesn’t change the truth of it.”
A day earlier, Dolmayan made a post in favor of peaceful protests but condemned “awful riots” that had destroyed local businesses and “strayed away from... the wrongful murder of George Floyd.”
After receiving critical comments on these posts, Dolmayan shared an image of retired police Capt. David Dorn, who was killed amid protests in St. Louis after responding to a pawnshop alarm Tuesday.
“Injustice breeds injustice,” Dolmayan wrote. “For those of you who vilified me for calling for peaceful protests you should be ashamed of yourselves for perpetuating violence and advocating for mob justice. This man had a family too.”
Dolmayan’s Instagram posts on Trump showed his discord with Tankian, who wrote on his account that Trump’s “time has come” and called on protesters to “coordinate online and block every street everywhere and force the regime to resign.”
“Run Donny run into your bunker,” Tankian wrote. “You may be the first US President to do so out of fear of your own citizens… These protests are not just over race but over institutional injustices beginning with the slave era electoral college that put you in power, K Street lobbying firms, superdelegates of a two party duopolistic Neo-liberal corporatocracy whose day has come.”
Dolmayan and Tankian’s posts attracted thousands of comments, with several speculating that the duo’s differences were stifling their creative projects and at least one writing: “Yeah we’re not getting a new album.”
System of a Down’s last album, “Hypnotize,” was released in 2005. Dolmayan has gone on record citing creative differences among bandmates, calling the struggle to produce new music “just so much drama and bullshit,” and in a May interview with Spin, Tankian said the band had been unable to “really see eye to eye” during recent attempts at collaborating.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article attributed Serj Tankian’s comments criticizing Trump to John Dolmayan.