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System of a Down

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System of a Down
System of a Down performing in England in 2005
System of a Down performing in England in 2005
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, USA
GenresAlternative metal, nu metal, heavy metal, hard rock
Years active1994 – 2006, 2010 – present
MembersSerj Tankian
Daron Malakian
Shavo Odadjian
John Dolmayan
Past member(s)Andy Khachaturian

System of a Down is an American metal band. They started in 1994 in Los Angeles, California with four members of Armenian descent, Serj Tankian (lead singer, born August 21, 1967), Daron Malakian (lead guitar, singer, born July 18, 1975), Shavo Odadjian (bass, background singer, born April 22, 1974) and drummer Andy Khachaturian (but was replaced with John Dolmayan).

The band became successful with popular songs like "Sugar", "Spiders", "Chop Suey!", "Toxicity", "Aerials", "B.Y.O.B.", "Question!", "Hypnotize", and "Lonely Day".

After the release of Mezmerize/Hypnotize, System of a Down went on a break, but they say they have not broken up.

Often described as very angry, Khachaturian was unhappy about his place as drummer, and wanted to lead the band. He left the band and the drummer from the band, "Friik", John Dolmayan, joined the band.

Early days[change | change source]

Serj, Daron, and Shavo, went to the same school, Alex Pilibos School for Armenian Americans in Los Angeles, when they were young.

In 1995, they made their first demo tape, and had the songs: "Suite-Pee", "Sugar", "Dam", and "P.L.U.C.K.(Politically Lying Unholy Cowardly Killers)". In 1996, another demo tape was released with the songs: Soil, and two songs that were not on the first album, "Honey" and "Temper". They made another demo tape, and this was the one that got them put on the record label. The producer, Rick Rubin, had tried to sign up the band several times before they agreed.

First album[change | change source]

In 1997, SOAD teamed up with Rubin and produced their first studio album. In June 30, 1998, System of a Down was released. This album was not as popular as the next album, but it made people aware of who and what System of a Down stood for.

Their next album, Toxicity, was released on September 4, 2001, had their first UK top 20 single "Chop Suey". This album explores a more melodic side of metal music. It is also political; for example the opening track: "Prison Song" which has Serj speaking the lines.

Double album[change | change source]

In May 17, 2005, the band released part one of a double album, Mezmerize. It was more melodic than before, and included "B.Y.O.B" (Bring Your Own Bombs), and "Lost in Hollywood" - a song based on Daron's childhood about growing up in Hollywood, which he did not think was very glamorous.

Six months later, the second part of the double album, Hypnotize, was released November 22, 2005. This was the same sort of style because they were recorded at the same time.

Taking a break[change | change source]

In 2006, the band decided that they were going to have a break for a little while. They said they were going to come back together in a few years. After 10 years together, they each wanted to do different things for a while. There were rumors of them returning in 2011. In July 2010, Dolmayan said in an interview that the band would probably tour in 2011.[1]

Band members[change | change source]

Current lineup
  • Serj Tankian – vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar (1994–2006, 2010–present)
  • Daron Malakian – lead guitar, vocals (1994–2006, 2010–present)
  • Shavo Odadjian – bass, backing vocals (1994–2006, 2010–present)
  • John Dolmayan – drums, percussion (1997–2006, 2010–present)
  • Andy Khachaturian – drums (1994–1997)

Timeline[change | change source]

Discography[change | change source]

Studio albums[change | change source]

Year Album details
1998 System of a Down
  • Release date: June 30, 1998
  • Label: American Recordings
2001 Toxicity
  • Release date: September 4, 2001
  • Label: American Recordings
2005 Mezmerize
  • Release date: November 22, 2005
  • Label: American Recordings, Columbia Records

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Rock it Out! Blog » Blog Archive » John Dolmayan says System of a Down may tour in 2011". rockitoutblog.com. Retrieved 20 November 2010.