After spending a decade climbing up the ranks as one of the most powerful and successful hard rock bands in the 21st century, System of a Down eventually cooled things off, embarking on a five-year hiatus while the members pursued other projects. In 2010, the group reunited for a handful of tour dates, and has continued to sprinkle in shows year after year while dodging new album questions. However, 2015 has shed new light on both a full-on world tour and upcoming album for System of a Down, and it's all sparked due to a recent video game announcement.
Video games and more?
The latest installment in the Rock Band video game franchise will include a song by System of a Down. From the band's self titled debut album, "Spiders" will be one of the songs gamers can test their talents on, and Rock Band 4 is slated to be available for sale on October 6. Among some of the other notable hard rock acts included on the soundtrack will be Disturbed's "Prayer," Queens of the Stone Age's "My God Is the Sun," Ozzy Osbourne's "Miracle Man" and Judas Preist's "Halls of Valhalla."
The inclusion of System of a Down in the video game may not be hinting at anything at all, but it could be a sign that there is more to come from the hard rockers amid a whirlwind of tour and album rumors. System of a Down currently has a handful of shows across the world for what the group is calling the "Wake Up the Souls Tour," which was spawned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as every member of System of a Down is of Armenian descent.
As for a new album, the band has continued to provide one subtle hint after the other suggesting they might release some material further down the road. In an interview with Rolling Stone, lead singer Serj Tankian addressed the issue, elaborating that while nothing is certain, something could come to fruition after their current tour.
"There has been talk, and we are going to play this tour, come back and we're going to see where we are," Tankian told Rolling Stone in regards to the band releasing a new album. "If we have songs that work for System, if I have them and Daron [Malakian, guitar] has them. The openness is there to work together, but we haven't made any particular plans that we can announce."
While "beef" has long been an element of the spirit and competition of hip hop, things have seemed relatively calm and peaceful in terms of the relationships of today's top rappers. However, the past month has unveiled plenty of diss tracks, derogatory tweets and most important of all, our biggest rap battle of 2015.
Meek Mill versus Drake
The war between Meek Mill and Drake seemed to begin after the former tweeted some confrontational remarks toward the latter not too long after Mill's second studio album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, was released. Mill was apparently upset at the lack of promotion and support on Drake's end after the album's release, and vented on Twitter to not only express his agitation, but also to call out Drake for his songwriting abilities, or lack thereof.
Mill, who's currently on tour with his girlfriend Nicki Minaj, began a series of Twitter rants accusing Drake of using a ghostwriter to help write his songs. For the first couple days, Drake remained silent on the subject, while Mill continued to express his frustration with the Toronto native through various forms of social media. Eventually, Drake fired back on all cylinders, releasing multiple diss tracks against Mill and stirring a frenzy on the Internet. Mill has since retaliated with a few diss tracks of his own, and the feud has now captured the attention of the hip hop world, eagerly awaiting to see what jabs will be thrown next.
Tour with Nicki Minaj
What remains one of the more intriguing dynamics of Mill and Drake's battle is both artist's relationship with Nicki Minaj. While Mill has been dating Minaj since earlier this year, Drake and Minaj are both signed to Young Money, and are friends while often featuring in each other's music. Mill is currently an opening act for Minaj on her current "Pinkprint Tour," and the queen of hip hop herself has remained relatively silent on the rap battle. Mill has continued to bash Drake during his concerts, while Drake has also done the same, calling out the rapper at his recent OVO Fest. While it remains to be seen how this will all play out, now is the time to catch Mill in full-on attack mode when he grabs the microphone live.
When it comes to the most anticipated albums of 2015, it's hard to think of one that's been as kept in the dark as Carrie Underwood's upcoming record. While there have been multiple reports that she's been in the studio, the country artist herself has yet to officially comment or provide details to fans regarding the recording process. But in a recent interview with a country radio station, Underwood finally shed a little light on the new album as well as when we can expect to hear the country icon's fifth studio LP.
'Most amazingest album ever'
In a call-in interview with WMZQ-FM/Washington D.C., Underwood finally gave fans what they wanted with a sneak peek as to when to expect to hear the new album as well as her feelings about how the recordings went. Underwood sounded excited about the record, and while she acknowledged that it was not completely finished yet, she was also not hesitant to jokingly refer to it as "the most amazingest album ever."
"We are definitely getting close," Underwood told WMZQ-FM/Washington D.C. "I can't stamp any final date on it right now, but as it stands, I have a couple more songs to go in and figure out. And then I think we'll be done. I don't want to ever say, 'No, we're done,' and then some amazing song comes through."
Underwood said when it comes to determining which songs make the final cut for her album, no one is a more harsher critic than herself. As for describing the overall sound of the album, Underwood was quick to acknowledge that while fans will still recognize her trademark vocals and hard-hitting anthems, she plans on going back to more country roots in hopes of taking her music in a slightly new direction.
"Overall, it's kind of twangy in a different way," Underwood said. "It's hard to describe. The people that like me will be like, 'Oh, this sounds like Carrie.' But it's definitely a new chapter."
Current tour dates
While Underwood didn't specifically give a release date for the album, other reports have hinted that fans can expect the record to drop sometime this fall. In the meantime, anyone who needs their Underwood fix can catch her at a handful of shows rounding out the rest of 2015, with performances scheduled all over the country, from Washington to New York City.