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System of a Down letting reunion take its own course

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The four members of System Of A Down never said the group had broken up during the hiatus they began in 2006. But it seemed for a time that no one was in a hurry to get back together.

Now, however, it's all System go again. The hard rocking Armenian-American troupe regrouped in 2010 and began touring again last year. And frontman Serj Tankian says the group is all the better for the time off.

"It's fun. We're having a blast, actually, touring together," says Tankian, 44, who released four solo albums during the interim, including this year's "Harakiri." "I think we sound tighter than we've ever sounded as a band, so we're out there and playing these shows and people are reacting really well and it's been an amazing trip doing this stuff.

"We've never done anything to hurt the name of the band and the way that we're perceived -- as much as we can have any control over perception. That's part of why we decided to do the hiatus; there comes a point where you're like, 'OK, we don't want this to turn into a machine. We don't want to be a brand on the shelves. We want to keep it special.' I think that's having a great effect."

What Tankian won't predict, however, is a System's future as a recording entity, with no follow-up to 2005's "Hypnotize" in motion.

"As far as a future potential System record, we have not really put anything on the books, and we haven't really discussed anything," says Tankian, who in addition to promoting "Harakiri" is also planning a jazz album, ("Jazz-Is-Christ"), an orchestral set ("Orca") and an electronic collaboration with JImmy Urine from MIndless Self Indulgence.

"We're all doing our own things. I'm obviously busy with all these projects. When the time is right, we'll get together and talk, but for now we're just enjoying playing together and being on the road again, and we'll see where that leads."

System Of A Down and deftones perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $65 and $35 pavilion, $25 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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