Hard rock act System Of A Down returns this week with its second American/Columbia studio album of 2005, “Hypnotize.” To the band, May’s “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize” are one album released in two parts, with both topping off somewhere between 35 and 40 minutes.
“You don’t have a bunch of kids dropping acid like they used to,” guitarist Daron Malakian says. “You can’t just release double albums and expect people to sit there and devote their time to it. Our songs are tough to digest, and I would feel really uncomfortable handing someone a CD with 25 songs staring them in the face.”
Producer Rick Rubin agrees, saying he recorded about 35 songs with the band and was unable to get it down to a number that was manageable. “Everything in today’s culture is short term and disposable,” Rubin says. “We’re living in a time when people don’t seem to even listen to one full album, so we felt the only way for it get properly heard was to spoon feed it.”
“Mezmerize” debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, earning SOAD its best-ever week at retail with sales of 453,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.