Armenian Knowledge Base  

Go Back   Armenian Knowledge Base > Entertainment > MusiCity

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09.03.2005, 12:05   #1
Belka's Avatar
Join Date: 08 2002
Location: Woodstock 69
Posts: 1,665
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 136 | 4
Default System of a Down: Double Header (article for SOAD fans)

System of a Down: Double Header

March 7 2005

by Corey Moss

It was the 45th annual Hollywood Stars game at Dodger Stadium, and
System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian felt as out of place as he
looked in his oversized uniform.

Tony Danza, David Arquette and Norm MacDonald were among those
gathered on the field, schmoozing with the media, signing autographs
for the Dodgers players and, for the most part, ignoring the only
legitimate rock star there (sorry, Frankie Avalon).

"That whole day was very strange for me because I went there just
being a guy not taking it so seriously," Malakian recalls on a recent
Friday night in the studio, where he's back in the metal band uniform
of black T-shirt, black leather jacket and black jeans. "I just
wanted to get a shot at hitting the ball, to just be at Dodger
Stadium on the field because I'm a sports fan, but everyone else
there were wearing cups and they were all in uniform and there was a
coach on the team. I was really uncomfortable that day, to be honest
with you."

That night, after doing an interview with the one reporter who
recognized him, Malakian went home and wrote "Old School Hollywood,"
one of the most irate yet oddly comical tracks on System of a Down's
new double album, Mezmerize/Hypnotize.

"That's just what happens to me when I go through some kind of
traumatic experience," he says, laughing as he shoots a look at his
longtime publicist, who arranged the game. "In her defense, I wanted
to do it, but I didn't know what I was getting into. I would never do
it again."

Since System of a Down were last in the studio, sessions that
produced both the landmark Toxicity and Steal This Album!, Malakian's
life has been marked by traumatic experiences, mainly America's
invasion of Iraq, where several of his relatives live, and the
government's ongoing refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide. Both
were fuel for Mezmerize/Hypnotize.

"I was going through a tougher time ... But having some turmoil
usually brings out the best in you, artistically."
~W Daron Malakian

"There is a lot of emotion that I spilled out, and I am very lucky to
have that outlet in music," says Malakian, who wrote the music and
most of the lyrics for the new material. "Maybe that's why I wrote
more lyrics, 'cause I was going through a tougher time and I think
that everybody in the band understood that and understood that I
wanted to express that. We're not one kind of band. I can't say we're
just political. Lyrics run into so many different things. But having
some turmoil usually brings out the best in you, artistically."

The war and the Armenian genocide (in which the Ottoman Turks killed
as many as 1.5 million Armenians between 1895 and 1915) as well as
homelessness and the other passions of singer Serj Tankian's Axis of
Justice political-action network (which he formed with Audioslave's
Tom Morello), have been the focus of several emotional, sometimes
tearful System interviews with MTV News over the past few years. This
is the first time since the "Aerials" video shoot that they've sat
down to discuss solely music, and while there's a definite excitement
in the air as they play back a few tracks, the traumatic experiences
are not exactly history.

"We have a very personal approach to politics, or political
approach to personal things, whichever one you want to say."
~W Serj Tankian

"I feel like this record is really balanced in a lot of ways with
thoughts, with ideas, with music, and in terms of social or political
[topics] or anything like that," reflects Tankian, still in the
pinstripe sport coat he donned for a photo shoot earlier. "I think
one thing we were realizing doing a bunch of interviews together is
that we have a very personal approach to politics, or political
approach to personal things, whichever one you want to say. And there
is something that we do with that that somehow it grabs people. I
think it has to do with that we take things on a very personal level.
[For example,] like 'Hypnotize,' one of the verses will talk about,
let's say Tiananmen Square [where Chinese students held pro-democracy
demonstrations in 1989], and then you get into 'I'm just sitting in
my car.' It's very personal."

"Hypnotize," like some of System's most memorable songs, finds Serj
and Daron singing the same simple line ("I'm just sitting in my car/
Waiting for my girl") over and over, but the music and the way it's
sung keep it from sounding repetitive. The song's two verses,
although only four lines each, inspired the titles of the double
album (Mezmerize is due May 17th, followed six months later by
Hypnotize, because "people don't have the attention span to listen to
two albums at one time," Malakian says, "and the songs need space for

"They disguise it, hypnotize it/ Television made you buy it,"
Malakian sings in the opening verse. "Mesmerize the simple-minded/
Propaganda leaves us blinded," he sings later.

"It's a reflection of what I see in a crazy snowballing world of
people walking around like zombies," Malakian explains. "We are
condemned for things, and then we're sold the same things that we're
condemned for. Like, they say, 'Child molestation is bad,' but Calvin
Klein goes and signs a 13-year-old model and spreads her legs [in an

Of course, the title "Hypnotize" and the track itself ~W and in fact
all of System's music ~W is open to and meant for interpretation.
Malakian and Tankian are adamant that no System song is about one


Malakian on "Cigaro"

Take, for instance, "Cigaro," an untamed tiger of a track that was
leaked on the Internet last month and became an instant hit on
KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. The song begins and ends with the line "My
c--- is much bigger than yours" and has Tankian blurting out the
chorus "Cool, in denial/ We're the cruel regulators smoking cigaro."

"We've talked about it being a political song, we've talked about it
being a song about ego, we just recently spoke about it as [being
about] not having balls enough to have a sex change," Malakian says.
"It's all over the board. And System of a Down will always be all
over the board in my opinion. ... When you're shooting out art and
you aren't blocking yourself and you aren't censoring yourself,
you're going to shoot out a lot of different sides of yourself that
you usually block. I believe in just doing natural mutations of
something, like giving birth to something, not thinking about it
before or after, just doing it."

System apply the same approach to their music, only amended to suit
their perfectionism.

"The motto of this band from day one is that no idea is a bad idea
until it doesn't work," Malakian says as Tankian, bassist Shavo
Odadjian and drummer John Dolmayan nod in accord. "Some things end up
working our way and some things don't, but if you don't try it, then
you never know. Just keep the flow going. Let's try to come across
new things. Let's try to impress ourselves before we can impress
anyone else."

As System of a Down have matured as musicians, one of music's most
experimental bands has only gotten more willing to try new things,
especially Malakian. One night while working on the new album and
struggling to get the exact guitar sound swimming in his head, he
brought in every guitar in producer (or "song doctor," as the band
calls him) Rick Rubin's home studio and mounted them on the wall.
Daron pointed his amplifiers at the guitars and started playing, with
the vibrations off the guitar strings creating a one-of-a-kind sound.

Oftentimes during the writing and recording sessions, Malakian would
call one of his bandmates, play him a song from another band over the
phone and say, "That's how I want [insert instrument] to sound on
[insert song]." But don't think that sort of behavior makes it OK to
call System a technical band.

"We're very misunderstood about being technical, and we're not,"
Malakian explains. "We're trying to get the right vibe from that
snare. We aren't trying to say, 'Add this frequency to that
frequency.' It's not a math project, it's more the feeling that you
get when you hear the snare or any other instrument that we've thrown
onto the record. It's just walking in and knowing what you want."

"No idea is a bad idea until it doesn't work"
~W Daron Malakian

It's clear after talking about Mezmerize/Hypnotize for a while that
it's Malakian's baby. The guitarist produced the album with Rubin and
sings lead vocals on several tracks. While this might cause friction
with a less secure band, it's a non-issue for System.

"If the song doesn't call for my voice then I'll shut up," Malakian
says. "If it calls for my voice, then I'll sing it. Me and Serj both
believe that it's always what's best for the song as vocalists, and
that's the mentality as a whole band. John doesn't try to overplay
something, even though he can. He really plays solid for the song. We
all play it for the song."

"And we're getting better at articulating what the other person is
gonna do," Dolmayan adds. "All the years of touring have definitely
helped with that. We are more in contact with each other's souls when
it comes to playing."

Malakian, ever the sports fan, likens the band to a basketball team.

"You might have four or five or six star players on your team, but if
they don't pass the ball to each other, then they aren't going to
win," he says. "I've seen great teams who have big rosters, payrolls
and stuff, but they can't get along with each other, they have egos,
attitudes, whatever, and no one passes and they don't win. You know
what team wins? That team of rookies that are hungry."

Guess that means the celebrity team loses.

Reply With Quote
Old 09.03.2005, 12:49   #2
aramx's Avatar
Join Date: 01 2002
Location: Ереван, РА
Age: 35
Posts: 9,853
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 80 | 5

not having balls enough to have a sex change... зззз


и в догонку:

SYSTEM OF A DOWN and KROQ-FM Present "Souls 2005" Benefit Concert
"We call this 'Souls' because there are all these souls that aren't at rest. Their deaths have been overlooked."

Multi-Platinum-selling group SYSTEM OF A DOWN will headline “Souls, 2005,” a benefit concert presented by Los Angeles radio powerhouse, KROQ-FM, and held in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 24 at the Universal Amphitheatre. All tickets for the concert will be priced at $45.00 and will go on sale at 10:00AM on Saturday, March 12 at the Universal Amphitheatre box office, all Ticketmaster outlets including Tower Records, Robinsons-May, Wherehouse, Ritmo Latino,, and Doors are at 7:00PM and the show will begin at 8:15PM; support acts and other details will be announced shortly.

This is the third “Souls” benefit concert that System of a Down has organized and headlined, and as before, the four band members - Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan - have earmarked the proceeds from “Souls, 2005” to benefit organizations that work to eradicate genocides across the globe. This includes the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), an organization that supports legislation in the U.S. Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide that was perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during World War 1. During this first genocide of the 20th century, 1.5 million Armenians were annihilated and hundreds of thousands deported from their ancient homeland. April 24th was chosen as the date for the concert as this year, it commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The members of System of a Down, who are of Armenian descent, all lost family members and family history to the Armenian Genocide. "Because so much of my family history was lost in the Armenian Genocide," said Malakian, "my grandfather, who was very young at the time, doesn't know his true age. How many people can say they don't know how old they are?" Tankian, Dolmayan and Odadjian all identify their grandparents' memories as the only links they have to their respective family heritages, as most of their families were obliterated during the Armenian Genocide.

Why should System of a Down fans be concerned about the Armenian Genocide, something that happened nearly one-hundred years ago and far away from the United States?

"It's important for people to be aware of the Armenian Genocide," explained Tankian, "and that those actions continue to be covered up by the Turkish government, the U.S. State Department, Turkey's allies in the defense and oil industries, and by our present U.S. Administration. Had the Armenian Genocide been acknowledged as a Crime Against Humanity as it was, Hitler might not have thought he could get away with the Jewish Holocaust. History does and will repeat itself, unless we stop that cycle."
Reply With Quote
Old 09.03.2005, 15:46   #3
aramx's Avatar
Join Date: 01 2002
Location: Ереван, РА
Age: 35
Posts: 9,853
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 80 | 5

Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links

Thread Tools

На правах рекламы:

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:02.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.