ten years on from their debut, Daron malakian has resurrected Scars on Broadway. We dig into the mind of a guitar genius and ask: why now? and what does this mean for System of a Down?
The System guitarist tells us why he’s resurrected Scars on Broadway, and what it means for the future.
The 90s witnessed a sudden and violent upheaval of musical trends not seen since the late 60s, and the world of heavy metal was no exception. the reliably subversive metallica went mainstream, Pantera ripped open new dimensions of extremity and, up in Norway, the black metal renaissance erupted in a storm of blood and fire. Yet no band captured the genre-blurring schizophrenia of the time like System of a Down, the visionary los angeles quartet whose exhilarating onslaught of thrash, pop, hardcore and middle eastern experimentalism launched them onto the world’s biggest stages. Impervious to pigeonholing, SoaD have scored a Grammy, seen all five of their studio albums reach platinum status and inspired a generation of melodic rulebreakers in their wake. Since System’s formation in 1994, the architect behind the band’s trademark sound has been guitarist Daron malakian. and yet, if Daron had his way when he was 12 years old, System of a Down might have never existed.
Speaking to us from his los angeles home, Daron recalls, “Since I could remember, I’d always wanted to play drums, and when we finally moved into a house where I could maybe have a drum set, my parents took me to the music store. But they decided among themselves that drums would be loud and I might bother the neighbours, so they bought me a guitar and amplifier instead because you could at least turn the amplifier down. So that’s how I became a guitar player – so I wouldn’t bother the neighbours. ha ha!”
entirely self-taught, Daron set to work learning the riffs from his favourite albums at the time
– ozzy, Kiss, Scorpions and, of course, Sabbath. “I learned how to play Iron Man – that was one of the first chord progressions that I learned,” he remembers. “Crazy Train was another. I’d be in my room playing my guitar all day – no one would see me. I’ve always just played the guitar when I felt
“WE’RE NOT ENEMIES IN SYSTEM, WE JUST CAN’T COME TO AN AGREEMENT”
DARON INSISTS THERE’S NO BAD BLOOD DELAYING A NEW SOAD ALBUM