DARON MALAKIAN

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?

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: JOE DALY • PIC­TURES: GREG WATERMANN

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

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