System Of A Down Working On 'More Melodic' Album

As-yet-untitled set, due in summer, has influences of Pink Floyd and Radiohead, hard-rock quartet's guitarist says

System of a Down's highly anticipated follow-up to their 1998 self-titled debut will be "more melodic, but in a powerful, intense way," the band said Tuesday in a statement.

The Los Angeles hard-rock foursome will enter the studio with producer Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys) on Monday to begin recording the as-yet-untitled album, due out this summer.

System of a Down, which was also produced by Rubin, has sold more than 750,000 copies, thanks to two years of touring support and the success of the jittery single "Sugar."

The band — vocalist Serj Tankian, guitarist Daron Malakian, bassist Shavo Odadjian and drummer John Dolmayan — have been writing new material and rehearsing since October.

"Don't expect us to make the same record over again," Malakian said in the statement. "The vocal harmonies that Serj and I do are along the lines of Pink Floyd or Radiohead. But don't get me wrong, this will have all the elements of a System of a Down album."

System of a Down will record 25 new songs and choose the best for the album. Current titles include the political "Prison Song," the groupies ode "Psycho," and the less serious "P.J.s" and "K.I.T.T."

"It's about the car and the whole 'Knight Rider' vibe," Tankian said in November of the latter tune. "That's just a reaction to the press, juxtaposing those [humorous songs] to our political stuff. We just started being funny to give people what they don't expect."