This metal alternative band from Los Angeles, California, USA,
comprises three members of Armenian heritage, Serj Tankian (b.
1968, USA; vocals), Daron Malakian (b. 1976, USA; guitar) and
Shavo Odadjian (bass), and John Dolmayan (drums). Tankian, Malakian
and Odadjian first played together in 1993 as Soil, renaming themselves
System Of A Down, from a poem by Malakian, in 1995.
drummer Dolmayan they built up a following on the southern California
circuit with their explosive live act. Rick Rubin, who, in September
1997, made the band the first new act on his American Recordings
label, spotted them playing at Hollywood's Viper Room. Their debut
album, released in June 1998, was recorded at the Sound City studios
with Rubin and Dave Sardy acting as producers.
band's heady fusion of alternative metal and programmed beats
was augmented by subtle Eastern European influences, earning them
comparisons to contemporary metal bands such as Korn and the Deftones.
The band's political agenda raised their aggro-metal to another
level, however, with songs such as "P.L.U.C.K." ("Politically,
Lying, Unholy, Cowardly Killers") and live favourite "War?'
refusing to draw a veil over atrocities committed in their homeland.
band subsequently enjoyed high-profile touring slots with Slayer
and on summer 1998"s Ozzfest, and confirmed their status
as one of the leading rock acts of the new millennium with the
release of Toxicity.
of a Down has confirmed that Disc One ("Mezmerize")
from the band's 2-disc set, "Mezmerize/Hypnotize," will
be released on May 17, 2005. Disc Two ("Hypnotize")
is expected to see a late fall release.
single from "Mezmerize/Hypnotize" will be the track
"B.Y.O.B." [Bring Your Own Bombs] which will hit the
airwaves this month. The song, which questions a president's involvement
in the business of war, balances a near-R&B groove - "Everybody's
going to the party have a real good time/Dancing in the desert
blowing up the sunshine" - with the song's recurring demand,
"Why don't presidents fight the war?/Why do they always send
the poor?/Why do they always send the poor?"
a Down have relaunched their website - www.systemofadown.com.
The revamped site will offer intriguing glimpses of the artwork
for "Mezmerize/Hypnotize," much of which was designed
and painted by Vartan Malakian, guitarist/producer Daron Malakian's
a Down wrote some thirty tracks for "Mezmerize/Hypnotize"
and recorded them at producer Rick Rubin's Laurel Canyon studio
between June and November of 2004. The album was produced by Rubin
and Daron Malakian and mixed by Andy Wallace, who also mixed "Toxicity"
and "Steal This Album!" The new songs are more complex,
more progressive, more unorthodox, and more experimental than
ever, while retaining the idiosyncratic, ironic and schizophrenic
qualities that make System of a Down so distinctive. Topics include
relationships, the evils of television and corporate mind control,
the mysteries of life and death, and a surreal experience at a
celebrity baseball game. Some of the song titles are "Radio
Video," "Old School Hollywood," "Cigaro,"
"Lost in Hollywood," "Question," "Vicinity
of Obscenity" and "Revenga." 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 One before
plunging into Disc Two.
/Hypnotize" will be the follow-up to the nearly six-million-selling
"Toxicity" which was released in September 2001 and
debuted in the Number One position on the Billboard/Soundscan
charts. Of that album, Rolling Stone wrote, "'Toxicity' resembles
nothing else in contemporary hard rock," and the New York
Times commented, "System of a Down is light years removed
from the going trend in metal." "Toxicity" generated
four Top 10 singles, including the #1 smash "Aerials,"
and was named "2001's Best Album of the Year" by SPIN
Magazine. Entertainment Weekly named "Mezmerize/Hypnotize"
the #1 (of 25) Most Anticipated Albums.