Anyone in the rock and roll industry is familiar with the American band System of a Down. Formed in 1994, the band consists of four Armenian-American musicians who are known for their sincere opinions, often expressed in their songs. The band’s lyrics are not comfortable as the members often appeal to strong topics in their songs such as the Armenian genocide in 1915 or the current “war on terror”.
However, there are plenty of other interesting things about System of a Down you should know, so here are a few.
Known for their political message
Although many of the current rock bands prefer to sing about fame or love, System of a Down always had a different approach regarding their musical. Most of their songs are full of political content which criticizes the current state of the world, including its wars and the tensions between different countries.
Coincidence or not, one of the band’s most famous albums, Toxicity, managed to be at the top of the Billboard Charts at the same time the United States was coping with the disaster of the 9/11 attacks back in 2001. In addition, the video for the band’s song Boom! was created during a global protest against war.
The origin of the band’s name has drawn plenty of speculations throughout the years. The group was formerly called “Victims of a Down”, after a poem with the same name written by the band’s leading vocalist, Daron Malakian.
However, the first word, “victim” was changed with “system” because the rockers believed it would appeal to a much wider audience, and also because they wanted to be alphabetically placed closer to their musical heroes, Slayer.
According to some speculations, the name also appears to be a colloquial euphemism for electoral fraud, which would make sense given the band’s interest in politics, environment, and world problems in general.
John Dolmayan was not the initial drummer of System of a Down. In fact, in the first few years of activity, Andy Khachaturian was the first drummer but he injured one of his hands after practicing martial arts and had to perform a surgery. After the surgery, he had to leave the band and was replaced by Dolmayan shortly after.
Interested in arts
Apart from being a great bassist, Shavo Odadjian, one of the band’s members, has other artistic interests too. He has a fruitful acting career which he started from a young age – he was even cast in an AC/DC video. In addition, he is a director, starred in a documentary about the band, and provided meaningful artworks for plenty of the band’s side projects.