System Of A Down Talks New Album, Rza Union

This was supposed to be a quiet time for the art-metal rockers of System Of A Down.

Three months ago, the band said that the only thing standing between it and a much-deserved break was its network television debut on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."

But now, the band finds itself churning out new material, preparing for a slot on the Summer Sanitarium tour, and planning to take its union with Rza of the Wu-Tang Clan on the road.

So much for R and R.

The band is currently holed up in the studio writing new material that may turn up on its highly anticipated second album.

"It's going really well," System bassist Shavo Odadjian told MTV News on Tuesday. So far, the band has penned "nine or ten" songs, including "Chick N Stew" and "KITT," which takes a satirical look at David Hasselhoff's fame. "He's this huge pop star in Germany, and then he comes home and all he is is David Hasselhoff," Odadjian explained.

Fans will note that the track

is a bit of a departure from the socially-minded notions presented on the band's 1998 self-titled debut, and Odadjian observed that the new batch of songs offers a bit more irony. "A lot of new songs aren't like the usual lyrics from us."

While the band is pleased with what they've written so far, Odadjian said that System hopes to have another 10-15 written before recording tracks for the new album. "We're not going to settle for a half-assed record," he asserts.

Despite the band's lofty goals, System still hopes to have a new album in stores later this year.

Amid the creative rush, System is also preparing for the June 30 launch of the Summer Sanitarium tour. There, System will join Metallica, Korn, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, and perhaps one other high-profile hip-hop guest. System Of A Down recently hooked up with the Wu-Tang Clan's Rza, U-God, and Ghostface Killah to cover Wu-Tang's "Shame On A Ni**a" for the upcoming "Loud Rocks" compilation (see "Sabbath, System, Static-X Saluting Loud Records"), and some Wu-Tangers may join System on stage this summer.

"I spoke to Rza, and he's really excited about coming out for the Metallica dates," Odadjian told MTV News. He went on to note that no on-stage collaborations had been confirmed yet; however, fans are likely to get plenty of System's cover of "Shame..." as Shavo said it's expected to be the first single from the "Loud Rocks" album.

While System seems to be filling its plate, Shavo shot down online rumors that the band will be part of this year's edition of the Family Values tour... at least for now. The bassist said that he hasn't heard anything about an offer being extended to the band and noted that System is due to be working on its new album this fall, when the tour would be on the road. However, he also said that if work on the record wraps early, "I'd rather do something than sit on my ass."

If you'd rather do something

too, here's where you can check out the Summer Sanitarium tour:

  • 7/30 - Foxboro, MA @ Foxboro Stadium
  • 7/1 - Rockingham, NC @ Rockingham Dragway
  • 7/3 - St. Louis, MO @ Gateway International Raceway
  • 7/4 - Baltimore, MD @ Ravens Stadium
  • 7/7 - Atlanta, GA @ Georgia Dome
  • 7/8 - Sparta, KY @ Kentucky Speedway
  • 7/9 - Dallas, TX @ Texas Stadium
  • 7/12 - Denver, CO @ Mile High Stadium
  • 7/14 - San Francisco, CA @ 3Com Park
  • 7/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ Coliseum
  • 7/16 - Queen Creek, AZ @ Schnepf Farms
  • 7/22 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Motor Speedway