- 01:08 PM, Jun 23
Noticed for their discrete styles of dress and goatees, System of a Down presumably stands out in being one of the most unique bands in American music industry. What is more, all four members, who are of Armenian descent, also exploit a wide range of musical appliance which enriches the tunes they have created. Using baritone electric guitars, electric mandolins, sitars, 12-string classical guitars and many other East Asian instruments, they consistently produce unusual compositions about political corruption and injustices that occur in the society.
It was in 1993 when Serj Tankian (born on August 21, 1967 in Beirut, Lebanon) made an acquaintance of another band's member named Daron Malakian (born on July 18, 1975 in L.A., California) during the recording sessions with his former band in a studio. Sharing similar ideas on music, these two talented young men quickly joined forces, thus formed their own band which they called Soil. As both of them befriended a student of private Armenian school in Hollywood named Shavarsh 'Shavo' Odadjian (born on April 22, 1974 in Armenia), they asked him to be the band's manager. After a brief period, however, his status was shifted from that position to the third member of the group.
With Serj in the vocal as well as keyboard, Daron in guitar, Shavo in bass, and later Andy Khachaturian in drum, Soil continued to perform at local clubs while also started to gain more attention which largely was based on strong word of mouth. A great opportunity struck the band during their show at Viper Room in Hollywood as CEO of Maverick Records, Guy Oseary, taking along his friend, Rick Rubin of American Recordings, to the club. Upon witnessing Soil's performance, Rubin got deeply impressed, therefore offered the band a record deal under his label. He afterwards helped the personnel to find a new drummer, replacing Khachaturian who was fired due to the constant disagreements with the other members. John Dolmayan (born on July 15, 1973 in Lebanon) then was appointed to take the seat.
Looking for a new name for the band, they came up with “System of a Down” after Daron brought out his poem entitled “Victims of a Down” to the other members. This term was based on the idea that if people do not take any actions to make things better, they will lose their feelings and become more animal-like, turning the world into