"There has been a great deal of upheaval, very troubling times for all of us over the past year or so," said vocalist Serj Tankian, "and that has brought forth a lot of emotional material. There's a good amount of social commentary in the new songs, as well as songs where we deal with love, with reminiscing, relationships, politics, and funny experiences."
The band came up with the idea of a double album out of sheer necessity. Malakian who wrote most of the new songs and is producing the album with Rick Rubin, explained in a press release, "When we started recording, we were focused on making every song the best it could be, to really give a thousand percent to every, single track. Doing a two album set never entered into our thought process. But when we looked at all the songs we had and arbitrarily tried to choose 'the best' fourteen for one album, we realized we had two album's worth of really great songs, and that they all connected with each other. We didn't chase this idea, it chased us."
The decision to release the two discs six months apart was made simply to give fans time to get into and really live with the music from Disc 1 before plunging into Disc 2. Both "Hypnotize/Mesmerize" discs will be completely recorded, mixed, and sequenced at the same time, before Disc 1 of the two album set is released.