The members of rock band System of a Down agreed to an indefinite hiatus to stave off a permanent split after success started to get the better of them. Bassist Shavo Odadjian has revealed the real reason behind the band's 2006 break, which is ongoing four years later, admitting it was the only way to keep the band going.
He tells Hustler magazine, "We won a Grammy and we had two number one records. We were making a lot of loot (money). Then some people within the group of four brothers started seeing things differently... and their actions made the reactions of others pretty unbrotherly-like."
"Ten years ago these four motherf**kers were getting paid nothing while traveling in a ten-seat RV for seven months, following Slayer around. Flash forward: We are now in a situation where we are making so much money a show that I can't even say. We're being flown around, catered to and being treated like royalty."
"All of a sudden band members are having problems financially... (and) fighting about, 'I want my style of music to be this and that.' I love them. They're my brothers, but I couldn't see my brothers digging into each other's pockets and killing each other's artistic creativity."
"We said, 'Let's take a break when we are at the highest point... Then come back when it's time, when we again have the hunger and the fire in our eyes that we did when we started System of a Down'."
Hiatus aside, Shavo Odadjian tells the magazine that he is still wary of fan encounters after one crazy devotee came at him with a box cutter. He says, "It was back in 2001... and we didn't have too much security back then. I was signing, and in the crowd of pens and pads I saw this little girl's hand come straight at me with a box cutter. My fans actually tackled her down."
"She kept shouting, 'All I want is his beard!' It kind of f**ked me up... This 15-year-old girl thought it was OK to come at me with a box cutter to cut off my beard. If she had slipped, the box cutter would have gone in my neck."