System Of A Down was formed in 1995, in Los Angeles. This was following a meeting of the lead singer Serj Tankian (born on August 21, 1967 in Beirut) with a young guitarist Daron Malakian (born on July 18, 1975 in Glendale), which took place two years earlier.
Although the men were playing in other bands, but they soon discovered that they had similar interests, so they began together. They were joined by Andranik “Andy” Khatchadurian, who played the drums and together they formed a band named “Soil”. Shortly thereafter, this trio joined Shavarsh “Shavo” Odadjian (born on April 22, 1974 in Yerevan, Armenia). This foursome then came up with another band “System Of A Down” (SOAD). This name was taken from the poem “Victims Of A Down” by Daron Malakiana. The only change in personnel during this period was to replace Khatchaduriana by John Dolmayan (born on July 15, 1973 in Canada).
The musical influences of the members of SOAD are very broad. These include both rock, punk, thrash metal, death metal, and Armenian folk music. You can also discern in it the elements of jazz. The team first registered demo material with compositions “Honey”, “Temper” and “Soil”. It circled the Los Angeles and caused a lot of interest in fans even if the work was of an unknown formation. SOAD career gained momentum when in 1997 at a concert in the club “Viper Room” in Hollywood, the band caught the attention of famed producer Rick Rubin. Soon the band was signed by Rubin’s label American/Columbia Records. It is in Rubin’s studio that they began recoding their tracks and then released their debut album “System Of A Down” in 1998. This was well received by audiences and critics.
After the success of their debut album, the band SOAD toured with Slayer and Metallica. They also played at the Ozzfest festival, where they were cheered.
“Toxicity” their second album, was released in 2001. This album debuted at No.1 on the Canadian and American charts. The album included the greatest hit single “Chop Suey”. More than 12 million copies were sold worldwide and it registered multi-platinum in US.
In lter part of the year 2001, some unreleased tracks from the sessions of Toxicity were leaked on the internet. The band then finished these songs and released them under their third album “Steal This Album!”. Commercial success of this album was perhaps a bit smaller, but the critics were unanimous about the fact that SOAD had a great team on its board.
After a series of concerts in different parts of the world SOAD returned to the studio with Rick Rubin to record new material. The result of the session was recorded so that the team decided to release two CDs in 2005. The first one is titled “Mezmerize” and was published in May 2005. The second, titled “Hypnotize”, came out in November 2005. Both these albums deuted at No. 1 in United States. “Mezmerize” included 11 songs, and the famous single “B.Y.O.B.” which went on to win the Grammy awards for best hard rock performance. The latter two compositions on the album related to emptiness and sadness that accompany those who live in Hollywood (“Old School Hollywood”, “Lost in Hollywood”). “We make music because we love it, and our task is not only the transfer of certain political and social truths. We would like to touch all forms of public money. Do not focus only on aggression. Anger is becoming more aggressive at first when you are calm. That is the key to our growth ” said Serj Tankian talking about their lyrics.
System of a Down then released their next promo singles – “Kill Rock ‘N Roll” and “Vicinity of Obscenity”.
Recordings System Of A Down can be found on many soundtracks, including the film “Strangeland”, “Marmelade”, “Scream 3”, “Spiders”, “Heavy Metal 2000”, “Storaged,” “Blair Witch 2,” “Dracula 2000”, “Metro”. They also appeared on albums devoted to other teams, for example, “Navity In Black 2” (“Snowblind – Black Sabbath”).