System Of A Down Overview
System of a Down (also known by the acronym SOAD, or SoaD, and often shortened as System) is an Armenian-American rock band from Glendale, California, formed in 1994. It consists of Serj Tankian (lead vocals, keyboards), Daron Malakian (vocals, lead guitar), Shavo Odadjian (bass, background vocals) and John Dolmayan (drums). All four members are of Armenian descent, and are widely known for their outspoken views expressed in many of their songs confronting the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by the Ottoman Empire and the ongoing War on Terror by the US government.
The band has achieved commercial success with the release of five studio albums. System of a Down has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and won the award in 2006 for Best Hard Rock Performance. On August 13, 2006, the group went on indefinite hiatus recess (break) .
The roots of System of a Down lie in the band Soil (not to be confused with the Chicago-based band SOiL), a group from Los Angeles that included Serj Tankian on vocals/keyboard, and Daron Malakian on vocals/guitar, as well as Dave Hakopyan (Bassist for Mt. Helium) on bass and Domingo Laranio (Local Hawaii Drummer) on drums. Shavo Odadjian joined Soil near their end as a guitarist. After three years, only one live show, and one jam session recording, the band split up.
After Soil split up, Serj and Daron formed a new band, System of a Down, based on a poem that Daron wrote, “Victims of the Down” , but Shavo Odadjian, who was originally the band’s manager and promoter , didn’t like the word and thought the word “System” sounded better. Ever since Shavo joined as bassist, managerial duties have been undertaken by the Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group and founder David “Beno” Benveniste. The band then found a drummer, Andy Khachaturian. System of a Down quickly made what is known as their early Untitled 1995 Demo Tape, which had very early recordings of “Mr. Jack” (called “PIG”), along with songs called “Flake”, “Toast” and an early recording of “The Metro The Metro (song) ”, a cover of the Berlin song of the same name. Two other songs, “X” (called “Multiply”) and “Honey” were live demos at the time and were played at very early shows. After this, the band recorded Demo Tape 1, which had early versions of “Sugar”, “Suite-Pee”, and “P.L.U.C.K.”, as well as “Dam.” Demo Tape 2 was released in 1996 and had a rough demo of the song “Soil” as well as the most known unreleased tracks such as “Honey” and “Temper.” At the beginning of 1997, SOAD recorded their final publicly-released demo tape, Demo Tape 3, which had rough versions of “Peephole”, “War? War? (song) ”, and “Know.” In mid 1997, Ontronik Khachaturian left the band due to a hand injury(he subsequently co-founded The Apex Theory, which included former Soil bassist Dave Hakopyan). Soon after playing at the Whisky-A-Go-Go and Viper Room with new drummer John Dolmayan, the band caught producer Rick Rubin's attention and he told them to keep in touch with him. Showing great interest, they recorded Demo Tape 4 near the end of that year. This demo, however, was made only to be sent to record companies. The tape was not released to the public until years later when it was leaked onto the Internet. After Rick helped them get signed onto American/Columbia Records, SOAD began to record in his studio. In 1997, the group won the Best Signed Band award from the Rock City Awards. However, Malakian announced he was forming a band called Scars on Broadway, which was joined by Dolmayan. Their debut self-titled album Scars on Broadway (album) was released on July 29, 2008. Odadjian will be working on a project with RZA of Wu-Tang Clan named AcHoZeN Achozen as well as his urSESSION website/record label. Tankian plans to keep recording as a solo artist/producer. "Empty Walls" is his first single off his debut solo album Elect the Dead, which was released on October 23, 2007. Dolmayan, as well working with Scars on Broadway, planned to open a comic book store online by November 2007.
System of a Down's final performance before their hiatus took place on August 13, 2006 in West Palm Beach, Florida. "Tonight will be the last show we play for a long time together," Malakian told the crowd during Sunday's last performance. "We'll be back. We just don't know when."
Shavo Odadjian told Launch Radio Networks in 2007 that System of a Down is "alive and well", but just aren't working together.
In an April 2008 interview with Kerrang magazine, guitarist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan gave their takes on the band's future. When told that many people are going to wonder what the future of the band is, Malakian responded by stating that "We'll all know when the time is right." Dolmayan added, "It'll just happen." Malakian went on to say:
In an interview with Tankian about Big Day Out 2009, a show involving playing his Elect the Dead album live with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, and his upcoming second studio album. "Every few months I am honored to hear interesting rumors about whether the band is going to tour or break up permanently. I find them all to be very entertaining."
On October 31, 2009, Shavo threw a Halloween party at the Roxy in which three of the members (Shavo, Daron, and John) played three songs including "Suite-Pee" (off System of a Down), Scars on Broadway's "They Say", and an unknown song. Franky Perez from Scars on Broadway joined them for these songs.
On November 20, 2009, at the Avalon in Hollywood, Daron, John, and Shavo joined the Deftones on stage at the show benefiting bassist Chi Cheng Chi Cheng (musician) and played hits "Aerials" and "Toxicity".
On January 11, 2010, bassist Shavo posted on his official twitter account "Are you guys ready for System?". Two days after that, in a response to Billboard Billboard (magazine) , however, Serj stated that System of a Down is still on an indefinite hiatus while adding "We always have offers to play, from festivals and stuff, but we have not decided to do anything as of yet".The stylistic variety and level of experimentation Experimental rock in System of a Down's music has made it difficult to describe. Though they have evolved their sound with each album, System of a Down has, for the most part, maintained a single style throughout their body of work. This style has variously been termed alternative metal, alternative rock, art rock, experimental rock, hard rock, heavy metal Heavy metal music , progressive metal and progressive rock. Malakian has stated that "We don't belong to any one scene" and that "I don't like the nu-metal drop-A dropped A tuning 7-string guitar Seven-string guitar sound; it is not my thing, at least not yet". According to Tankian, "As far as arrangement and everything, [our music] is pretty much pop. To me, System of a Down isn't a progressive band. [...] But it's not a typical pop project, obviously. We definitely pay attention to the music to make sure that it's not something someone's heard before."
The band has used a wide range of instruments, including electric mandolins, baritone electric guitar baritone guitar s, acoustic guitars, ouds, sitars and twelve string guitars. According to Malakian, he would often write songs in E♭ tuning, which would later be changed to drop C tuning in order to be performed by the band. The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Slayer Malakian has stated that "I'm a fan of music. I'm not necessarily a fan of any one band." Dolmayan stated "I dont think we sound like anybody else. I consider us System of a Down."System of a Down has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, of which has won one in 2006 for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song B.Y.O.B.. The band has also been nominated for several Kerrang! and MTV awards.
*In 2005, System of a Down won for Best Alternative Act in the Europe Music Awards
*In 2006, System of a Down won the "MTV Good Woodie Award" for their song "Question!"
*In 2006, System of a Down's song "Toxicity Toxicity (song) " was #14 on the VH1 Top 40 Metal Songs list;Current members
*Serj Tankian – lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar (1994–2006)
*Daron Malakian – vocals, guitar (1994–2006)
*Shavo Odadjian – bass guitar, live backing vocals (1994–2006)
*John Dolmayan – drums (1997–2006)
*Ontronik "Andy" Khachaturian Ontronik Khachaturian – drums (1994–1997)
*Harry Perry Harry Perry (musician) – rhythm guitar (2006)
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System Of A Down
I Wish I Could Go Back to College
by Stephanie D'Abruzzo Featuring Rick Lyon, John Tartaglia (Avenue Q)
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