Daron Malakian - System of a Down 

Ibanez

At a very early age Daron got into heavy metal music. A cousin played him a Kiss record when he was only 4 years old and he was hooked. Like how the average 6 year old goes to the candy store, Daron had his parents taking him to the record store. He listened to Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, etc. By the age of 12 or 13 he got into hardcore metal, bands like Slayer, Venom, Cannibal Corpse. At around 17 he started getting into The Beatles and sites John Lennon as one of his biggest influences on him as a songwriter.

Daron met Serj Tankian while both shared the same rehearsal studio in different bands. Serj was playing keyboards for a band and at the time Daron was singing lead for another band. They decided to form their own band together, which Serj would sing lead. Shavo Odadjian joined to play bass. They called themselves Soil. They later renamed the band System of a Down, recruiting John Dolmayan for drums. They got the name of the band after a poem Daron wrote about the Armenian Genocide called "Victims Of a Down". All 4 band members lost family members during the Armenian Genocide, in which the Turkish Ottoman Empire killed over 1 million Armenian people. (See Armenian Genocide Section)

System Of A Down hit the L.A. club scene in the mid 90's. From the very beginning they were drawing in huge, sold out crowds. They were selling out The Roxy, Troubadour, The Whisky, etc. They had a legion of loyal fans and it was evident from their dynamic live performances and stage presence they would be the next big metal band out of L.A. A three-song demo began circulating through metal collectors, and their fan base soon spread throughout not only America, but Europe and New Zealand.

By the end of 1997, legendary producer, Rick Rubin had them signed to American, then distributed by Columbia Records. American/Columbia released the group's debut album in the summer of 1998, securing the band opening spots on the Slayer and Ozzfest tours. The album went gold and now is platinum. In 2001 SOAD broke mainstream with the multi-platinum selling album "Toxicity", which has sold more than 5 million copies. The politically charged album ironically went to #1 during Sept, 11, 2001. In 2002, "Steal This Album" was released which had an infamous leak on the internet, despite this it went platinum as well.

Around this time Daron started his own label called EatUrMusic (Sony-distributed imprint). He also was producing other band's demos and cds. He has worked with Amen, Bad Acid Trip, Satryicon, and The Ambulance. From what I understand he is taking a break from that right now due to his commitments with System Of A Down.

SOAD's, "Mezmerize" was released on May 17, 2005. This cd is Daron's baby. He wrote all the music except for "Question" which was co-written with Serj Tankian. He also wrote alot of the cd's lyrics himself and co-wrote lyrics with Serj. This cd shows a more acoustic side to SOAD. Clearly you can hear The Beatles influence on him throughout the cd. "Mezmerize" is being hailed by many reviewers as a masterpiece.
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The first week's sales of "Mezmerize" were in excess of 800, 000 copies worldwide and it has gone platinum. It reached #1 on the charts in the U.S.A, Germany, Canada, Austria, France, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, Colombia, Greece, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia. The band embarked on a hugely successful sell out tour in Europe/U.S in support of the album.

On November 22, 2005 SOAD released "Hypnotize", it has debuted at #1 on the Billboard Charts. This is the third #1 album for System Of A Down.

System of a Down has made chart history, becoming the first band to debut two different studio albums at number one in the Billboard 200 in the same calendar year. Daron has earned his place as a highly respected guitarist/songwriter/artist in the music world
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