System of a Down
System of a Down (also known as SoaD or simply System) is an Armenian-American heavy metal band formed in Glendale, California, in 1994. It currently consists of members Serj Tankian (lead vocals, keyboards), Daron Malakian (guitar, vocals), Shavo Odadjian (bass, backing vocals), and John Dolmayan (drums), who replaced original drummer Andy Khachaturian in 1997.
System of a Down
|Also known as|
|Origin||Glendale, California, U.S.|
|Associated acts||Scars on Broadway|
The band achieved commercial success with the release of five studio albums, three of which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. System of a Down has been nominated for four Grammy Awards and their song "B.Y.O.B." won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2006. The band went on hiatus in 2006 and reunited in 2010. Other than two new songs in 2020 ("Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz"), System of a Down has not released a full-length record since the Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums in 2005. The band has sold over 40 million records worldwide, while two of their singles "Aerials" and "Hypnotize" reached number one on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.
Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian attended Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School as children, although due to their eight-year age difference they did not meet until 1992 while working on separate projects at the same recording studio. They formed a band named Soil with Tankian on vocals and keyboards, Malakian on vocals and guitar, Dave Hakopyan (who later played in The Apex Theory/Mt. Helium) on bass and Domingo "Dingo" Laranio on drums. The band hired Shavo Odadjian (another Rose and Alex Pilibos alumnus) as manager, although he eventually joined Soil as a bassist. In 1994, after only one live show at the Roxy and one jam session recording, Hakopyan and Laranio left the band.
Demo tapes and signing (1994–1997)Edit
After Soil split up, Tankian, Odadjian, and Malakian formed a new band, System of a Down. The group took its name from a poem that Malakian had written titled "Victims of a Down". The word "victims" was changed to "system" because Odadjian believed that it would appeal to a much wider audience and also because the group wanted their records to be alphabetically shelved closer to their musical heroes, Slayer. Odadjian switched from guitar to bass and passed on his managerial duties to Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group and its founder David "Beno" Benveniste. The band recruited drummer Ontronik "Andy" Khachaturian, an old school friend of Malakian and Odadjian who had played with Malakian in a band called Snowblind during their teens.
In early 1995, System played as "Soil" at the Cafe Club Fais Do-Do, a nightclub in Los Angeles. Shortly after the event, System of a Down made what is known as Untitled 1995 Demo Tape, which was not commercially released but appeared on file sharing networks around the time of the band's success with Toxicity about six years later. Demo Tape 2 was released in 1996. At the beginning of 1997, System of a Down recorded their final publicly released demo tape, Demo Tape 3. In mid-1997, drummer Khachaturian left the band because of a hand injury (he subsequently co-founded The Apex Theory, which included former Soil bassist Dave Hakopyan). Khachaturian was replaced by John Dolmayan.
The band's first official and professionally recorded song was on a collection called Hye Enk ("we're Armenian" in English), an Armenian genocide recognition compilation in 1997. After playing at notable Hollywood clubs such as the Whisky-A-Go-Go and Viper Room, the band attracted the attention of producer Rick Rubin, who asked them to keep in touch. Showing great interest, the group recorded Demo Tape 4 near the end of 1997, specifically to be sent to record companies. Rubin signed the group to his American/Columbia Records and, with engineer Sylvia Massy, System began laying down tracks that would eventually be released on their debut album. "I loved them," Rubin recalled. "They were my favourite band, but I didn't think anyone was going to like them apart from a small, likeminded group of people like me who were crazy. No one was waiting for an Armenian heavy metal band. It had to be so good that it transcended all of that."
In 1997, the group won the Best Signed Band Award from the Rock City Awards.
Self-titled album (1998–2000)Edit
In June 1998, System of a Down released their debut album, System of a Down. They enjoyed moderate success as their first singles "Sugar" and "Spiders" became radio favorites and the music videos for both songs were frequently aired on MTV. After the release of the album, the band toured extensively, opening for Slayer and Metallica before making their way to the second stage of Ozzfest. Following Ozzfest, they toured with Fear Factory and Incubus before headlining the Sno-Core Tour with Puya, Mr. Bungle, The Cat and Incubus providing support.
In November 1998, System of a Down appeared on South Park's Chef Aid album, providing the music for the song "Will They Die 4 You?" Near the end of the song Tankian can be heard saying, "Why must we kill our own kind?", a line that would later be used in the song "Boom!" Although System of a Down is credited on the album, South Park character Chef does not introduce them as he does most of the other artists featured on the record.
Toxicity and Steal This Album! (2001–2003)Edit
On September 3, 2001, System of a Down had planned on launching their second album at a free concert in Hollywood as a "thank you" to fans. The concert, which was to be held in a parking lot, was set up to accommodate 3,500 people; however, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 fans showed up. Because of the large excess number of fans, the performance was cancelled by fire marshalls just before the group took the stage. No announcement was made that the concert had been cancelled. Fans waited for more than an hour for the group to appear, but when a banner hanging at the back of the stage that read "System of a Down" was removed by security, the audience rushed the stage, destroying all the band's touring gear (approximately $30,000 worth of equipment) and began to riot, throwing rocks at police, breaking windows, and knocking over portable toilets. The riot lasted six hours, during which six arrests were made. The band's manager, David "Beno" Benveniste, later said that the riot could have been avoided if the group had been permitted to perform or had they been allowed to make a statement at the concert regarding the cancellation. System of a Down's scheduled in-store performance the next day was cancelled to prevent a similar riot.
The group's big break arrived when their second album, Toxicity, debuted at No. 1 on the American and Canadian charts, despite the events of 9/11. The album has eventually achieved 3x multi-platinum certification in the United States It was still on top in America during the week of the 9/11 attacks and the political environment caused by the attacks added to the controversy surrounding the album's hit single "Chop Suey!" The song was taken off the radio as it contained politically sensitive lyrics according to the 2001 Clear Channel memorandum at the time such as "(I don't think you) trust in my self-righteous suicide." Regardless, the video gained constant play on MTV as did the album's second single, "Toxicity". Even with the controversy surrounding "Chop Suey!" (which earned a Grammy nomination), System of a Down still received constant airplay in the United States throughout late 2001 and 2002 with "Toxicity" and "Aerials". In May 2006, VH1 listed "Toxicity" in the number 14 slot in the 40 Greatest Metal Songs.
In 2001, the band went on tour with Slipknot throughout the United States and Mexico. Following a performance in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Odadjian was allegedly harassed, ethnically intimidated, and was physically assaulted by security guards backstage, who then dragged him out of the venue. Odadjian received medical attention from police and later filed a suit against the security company. Despite the incident, the tour was a success and System of a Down and Slipknot went on the Pledge of Allegiance Tour together with Rammstein in 2001.
In late 2001, unreleased tracks from the Toxicity sessions made their way onto the internet. This collection of tracks was dubbed Toxicity II by fans. The group released a statement that the tracks were unfinished material and subsequently released the final versions of the songs as their third album, Steal This Album!, which was released in November 2002. Steal This Album! resembled a burnable CD that was marked with a felt-tip marker. About 50,000 special copies of the album with different CD designs were also released, each designed by a different member of the band. The name of the album is a reference to Abbie Hoffman's counter-culture book, Steal This Book as well as a message to those who leaked the songs onto the internet. The song "Innervision" was released as a promo single and received constant airplay on alternative radio. A video for "Boom!" was filmed with director Michael Moore as a protest against the War in Iraq.
Mezmerize, Hypnotize, and hiatus (2004–2006)Edit
Between 2004 and 2005, the group recorded the follow-up to Steal This Album!, a double album, which they released as separate installments six months apart. The releases notably included album cover artwork by Malakian's father, Vartan Malakian, and were designed to connect the two separate album covers. The first album, Mezmerize, was released on May 17, 2005 to favorable reviews by critics. It debuted at No. 1 in the United States, Canada, Australia and all around the world, making it System of A Down's second No. 1 album. First week sales exceeded 800,000 copies worldwide. The lead single "B.Y.O.B.", which questions the integrity of military recruiting in America, worked its way up the Billboard Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts, and would go on to win the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. " Question!" was released as the next single, with Shavo Odadjian co-directing the music video. Following the album's release, the band toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada with The Mars Volta and Bad Acid Trip supporting.
The second part of the double album, Hypnotize, was released on November 22, 2005. Like Mezmerize it debuted at No. 1 in the US, making System of a Down, along with The Beatles, rappers 2Pac and DMX, the only artists to ever have two studio albums debut at No. 1 in the same year. "Hypnotize" was released as the lead single and was followed by Lonely Day and Vicinity of Obscenity, all three of which were also released as EPs, including several previously-unreleased cover songs as well as a collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan. Kill Rock 'N Roll was released as the final promotional single.
Whereas on System of a Down's previous albums most of the lyrics were written and sung by Tankian and the music was co-written by Tankian and Malakian (and sometimes Odadjian), much of the music and lyrics on Mezmerize/Hypnotize were written by Malakian, who also took on a much more dominant role as vocalist on both albums, often leaving Tankian providing keyboards and backing vocals.
In May 2006 saw the UK publication of a biography of the band entitled System of a Down: Right Here in Hollywood by writer Ben Myers. It was published in the US in 2007 through The Disinformation Company. Additionally in 2006, concert footage and interviews with the band concerning the importance of helping create awareness and recognition of the Armenian genocide were featured in the film Screamers, directed by Carla Garapedian. An interview with Tankian's grandfather, a survivor of the Genocide, was also included in the film as well as Tankian's and Dolmayan's meeting with (then) Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert during which the two musicians campaigned for the United States government's official recognition of the Genocide. Footage of Tankian and Dolmayan marching with protesters outside the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C. was also used in Screamers.
In May as well, the band announced they were going on hiatus. Malakian confirmed the break would probably last a few years, which Odadjian specified as a minimum of three years in an interview with Guitar magazine. He told MTV, "We're not breaking up. If that was the case, we wouldn't be doing this Ozzfest. We're going to take a very long break after Ozzfest and do our own things. We've done System for over ten years, and I think it's healthy to take some rest." System of a Down's final performance before their separation took place on August 13, 2006 in West Palm Beach, Florida. "Tonight will be the last show we play for a long time together," Malakian told the crowd during Sunday's last performance. "We'll be back. We just don't know when."
During the band's hiatus, Malakian formed a band called Scars on Broadway, which was joined by Dolmayan. After one self-titled album, the project became dormant and Dolmayan left the band. However, the band released their long-awaited sophomore album in 2018, titled "Dictator," under the name Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway. Dolmayan, alongside working with Scars on Broadway, formed his own band, Indicator. Dolmayan also released an album titled "These Grey Men." in 2020. The majority of the songs are covers/reimaginings of other songs by artists such as Radiohead, AFI, Madonna and Talking Heads. A few of the songs included featured Serj Tankian as a voice lead. Dolmayan has also opened Torpedo Comics, an online comic book store. Odadjian pursued his project with RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, a hip-hop group named AcHoZeN, worked on his urSESSION website/record label and performed as a member of funk legend George Clinton's backing band. Meanwhile, Tankian opted for a solo career and released his debut solo album Elect the Dead in the autumn of 2007. He has continued releasing solo albums, recording them almost entirely by himself even after System of a Down had begun to reunite for tours.
Reunion and touring (2010–2020)Edit
On November 29, 2010, following several weeks of Internet rumors, System of a Down officially announced that they would be reuniting for a string of large European festival dates in June 2011. Among the announced tour dates included UK's Download Festival, Switzerland's Greenfield Festival, Germany's Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, Sweden's Metaltown, Austria's Nova Rock Festival and Finland's Provinssirock. The reunion tour commenced on May 10, 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta. System's first tour through Mexico and South America began on September 28, 2011 in Mexico City, ending in Santiago, Chile on October 7, 2011. From late February to early March 2012, they headlined five dates at Soundwave festival. This was the band's first visit to Australia since 2005. The band have continued playing around the world. On August 11 and 12, 2012, they played the Heavy MTL and Heavy T.O. music festivals in Montreal and Toronto respectively. In August 2013 System of a Down played at the UK's Reading and Leeds Festivals, among other festivals and venues that year.
System of a Down played their only 2013 US performance at the Hollywood Bowl on July 29; tickets sold out hours after going on sale on March 22. On November 23, 2014, System of a Down announced the Wake Up The Souls Tour to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. The tour included a free concert in Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia on April 23, 2015, their first show in the country.
In a November 2016 interview with Kerrang!, drummer John Dolmayan revealed that System of a Down was working on more than a dozen songs for their follow-up to the Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums. Although he stated that the band does not know when the album will be released, he added that, "I want everyone on board and feeling good about it. That's what we're trying to accomplish right now. There's a tremendous amount of pressure on us, though, because it's been 11 years—at least 12 by the time it comes out."
In a video Q&A session with fans on July 2, 2017, Shavo Odadjian was asked about the status of the next album and he responded, "I'm waiting for a new album too. It's not happening. I don't know. I don't know when it's gonna be. Not right now." In a December 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Serj Tankian said that System of a Down wrote some new material but was uncertain of what to do with it. He then said that he doesn't want to commit to a new album due to the lack of committing to longform touring.
Malakian singled Tankian out as the reason no new album had yet been released. Tankian detailed his view of the band's past and present conflicts and their overall situation, saying "As we couldn’t see eye to eye on all these points we decided to put aside the idea of a record altogether for the time being." Dolmayan blamed all of the members due to the personal and creative differences that have been preventing them from recording a new studio album. Tankian also expressed uncertainty on whether the new album would be made or not but did not rule out the possibility. He went on to describe how he imagined the album sounding, "It's gotta be organic, it's gotta feel right in every way."
Odadjian said that the band has material written from "like the last 10, 12 years", but is uncertain on if it would form into a System of a Down album or not. He also said that Malakian and Tankian have visual differences on what the album should sound like, and that the band's inner tension had been building far longer than fans would be aware of despite having love and respect for one another nonetheless. He would later say that there is no conflict between the members, expressing confidence that System of a Down would eventually record a new album and claimed that they have material written that would be their best to date. However, Tankian contridicts this statement by stating that there was no talk of the band recording a new album.
Malakian explained that there is a mixture between the matter of different creative perspectives for the band's hesitation to record a new studio album and the lack of desire to tour; however he did not dismiss the possibility of an album being made, but that it would likely not happen anytime soon. He feels that the fans don't care that the band isn't making an album, "but I think a lot of the fans just want an album." He expressed hopes that the members would get together and record new music but is content with the direction of his band Scars on Broadway, noting about the members' good friendship, "But at the same time, I don't see that happening anytime soon that we're all going to get together and make a new System of a Down album." Malakian said that Tankian and the rest of the band members have been unable to come to an agreement over how to go about making new music, but insists that there is no negativity between them.
Despite System of a Down's ability to perform live, Odadjian expressed disappointment at their inability to record new music, explaining that there has been new material written by the other members in the form of a possible new album. However, without Tankian's presence, no recordings had been made. He questioned why the band still hasn't made an album, citing creative differences as the problem. With the lack of commitment to record new music, Tankian however, is in favor of releasing a collection of previously unreleased System of a Down songs from the band's past album sessions but would have to convince all the members in order to see its release.
With the differences concerning the band members, Dolmayan became uncertain in wanting to make new music anymore. Although he did not want to put Tankian and Malakian at fault for the band's inability to record a new album, he said, "It takes four people to make this band, and it takes four people to unmake it. I think that we're all to blame. I could just blame Daron and Serj, because, quite frankly, they're the primary songwriters, so it's easy to blame them. But it's not just their fault. A lot of it is their fault, but it's not just their fault." In an interview Dolmayan exclaimed that putting the band on hiatus was a grave mistake, "I never wanted System to take a hiatus. I think it was a disastrous move for us because we never reached our peak." Dolmayan believed that the band could have risen through the charts if they had just kept going. On December 17, 2020 Serj Tankian announced in a Rolling Stones interview that he would release an EP by the name of, "Elasticity" under his own name. Tankian had planned to release the EP in October, however due to COVID-19, changed plans in order to release it in February 2021. In the interview, he explains that the EP contains songs he’d written for System of a Down that the band ultimately opted not to record.
Artsakh benefit singles and possible sixth studio album (2020–present)Edit
On November 5, 2020, in response to the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, System of a Down released their first songs in 15 years, "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz", both of which "speak of a dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia." "Protect the Land" also received a music video and marked the band's first single in 14 years, since "Lonely Day". Proceeds from the songs were to help Armenia Fund and for humanitarian needs of displaced families from the war.
As for a possible new album, Dolmayan told Rolling Stone, "If it was up to me, we'd have a new album every three years. But things aren't up to me. I'm at the mercy of my team, and although I fought for it for many years with band members, I've accepted that it is what it is. We do have five albums and [now] two songs. We've accomplished a lot in our careers. If it ends at that, so be it." In the same interview, Malakian claimed that "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" were originally going to be released under his own band Scars on Broadway. However, as the conflict came to fruition, the band had decided to come together and release the songs under System of a Down instead. Malakian also said he does not see the band making new music anytime soon, saying that the singles were a "one-off kind of thing". Shavo Odadjian spoke with Wall of Sound in a follow up interview discussing the conception of the songs, stating, "It was amazing... Even though we have had our differences, when we’re in there it’s just like brothers making music together, like it all started." When asked if the two songs had inspired a new era of creativity for System of a Down, Tankian said to Triple J in December 2020, "I don't know, because right now we're focused on what's going on in Armenia. There's a huge humanitarian catastrophe. We're still focused on raising funds, raising awareness about this. Time will tell whether this leads to something else or not."
System of a Down's lyrics are often oblique or dadaist and have discussed topics such as drug abuse, politics and suicide. "Prison Song" criticizes the War on Drugs whereas Rolling Stone describes "Roulette" as a "scared, wounded love letter". "Boom!", among the band's most straightforward and unambiguous songs, lambasts globalization and spending on bombs and armament. Commenting on the track "I-E-A-I-A-I-O", drummer John Dolmayan said it was inspired by an encounter he had with Knight Rider's actor David Hasselhoff in a liquor store in Los Angeles when he was around 12. On Mezmerize, "Cigaro" makes explicit references to phallic imagery and bureaucracy while "Violent Pornography" harshly views television and degradation of women. System of a Down's discontent towards the controversial Iraq War arises in "B.Y.O.B.", which is a double entendre reference to beer and bombs, containing the forthright lyric "Why don't presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?", paraphrasing Black Sabbath's War Pigs, "Old School Hollywood" describes a celebrity baseball game. On their album "Hypnotize", "Tentative" describes war, "Hypnotize" refers to the Tiananmen Square events, and "Lonely Day" describes angst. The album title Steal This Album! is a play on the book Steal This Book by left-wing political activist Abbie Hoffman. System of a Down's firm commitment for the recognition of the Armenian genocide emerges in two songs: "P.L.U.C.K." and "Holy Mountains", which rank among the band's most political songs.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic stated "Like many late-'90s metal bands System of a Down struck a balance between '80s underground thrash metal and metallic early-'90s alternative rockers like Jane's Addiction". System of a Down's music has variously been termed alternative metal, nu metal, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive metal, thrash metal, art rock, and avant-garde metal. Malakian has stated that "We don't belong to any one scene" and that "I don't like the nu-metal drop-A 7-string guitar sound; it is not my thing, at least not yet." In interview with Mike Lancaster, he also said, "People always seem to feel the need to put us into a category, but we just don't fit into any category." According to Tankian, "As far as arrangement and everything, [our music] is pretty much pop. To me, System of a Down isn't a progressive band. [...] But it's not a typical pop project, obviously. We definitely pay attention to the music to make sure that it's not something someone's heard before."
The band has used a wide range of instruments, such as electric mandolins, baritone electric guitars, acoustic guitars, ouds, sitars, and twelve string guitars. According to Malakian, he would often write songs in E♭ tuning, which would later be changed to drop C tuning in order to be performed by the band. Malakian states that "For me, the drop-C tuning is right down the center. It has enough of the clarity and the crisp sound—most of our riffy stuff is done on the top two strings, anyway—but it's also thicker and ballsier."
Influences and comparison to other artistsEdit
System of a Down's influences include Middle Eastern music, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Morbid Angel, Death, Obituary, Eazy-E, N.W.A, Run-DMC, Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, the Bee Gees, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dead Kennedys, Metallica, Miles Davis, Alice in Chains, Iron Maiden, Bad Brains, Slayer, and Kiss. One reviewer claimed that their music encompasses different sounds, from sounding like "Fugazi playing Rush" to sometimes "tread[ing] close to Frank Zappa territory." Malakian has stated that "I'm a fan of music. I'm not necessarily a fan of any one band." Dolmayan stated "I don't think we sound like anybody else. I consider us System of a Down." Odadjian stated "You can compare us to whoever you want. I don't care. Comparisons and labels have no effect on this band. Fact is fact: We are who we are and they are who they are."
- Serj Tankian – lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar (1994–present)
- Daron Malakian – lead/rhythm guitar, co-lead vocals (1994–present)
- Shavo Odadjian – bass, backing vocals (1994–present)
- John Dolmayan – drums, percussion (1997–present)
- Andy Khachaturian – drums (1994–1997)
- Arto Tunçboyacıyan – percussion, composition (on Toxicity: "Science", "ATWA" and "Arto". Steal This Album!: "Bubbles". Some live concerts in 2005, 2013)
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1999||Kerrang! Awards||Best International Live Act||N/A||Won|
|2002||Grammy Awards||Best Metal Performance||"Chop Suey!"||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Modern Rock Artist of the Year||N/A||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica||Best International Rock Artist||Nominated|
|Best International New Artist||Nominated|
|Hungarian Music Awards||Best Foreign Rock Album||Toxicity||Nominated|
|2003||Grammy Awards||Best Hard Rock Performance||"Aerials"||Nominated|
|MuchMusic Video Awards||Best International Video - Group||"Boom!"||Nominated|
|California Music Awards||Outstanding Group||N/A||Won|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Alternative Artist||Nominated|
|Kerrang! Awards||Best International Band||Nominated|
|2005||Kerrang! Awards||Best Single||"B.Y.O.B"||Nominated|
|Best Live Band||N/A||Nominated|
|Best Band on the Planet||Nominated|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Alternative Artist||Nominated|
|Metal Storm Awards||Best Alternative Metal Album||Mezmerize||Won|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Art Direction||"B.Y.O.B."||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Alternative||N/A||Won|
|2006||Grammy Awards||Best Hard Rock Performance||"B.Y.O.B."||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Alternative||N/A||Nominated|
|ECHO Awards||Best International Rock/Alternative Group||Mezmerize||Won|
|Hungarian Music Awards||Best Foreign Rock Album||Won|
|mtvU Woodie Awards||Greatest Social Impact||"Question!"||Won|
|2007||Grammy Awards||Best Hard Rock Performance||"Lonely Day"||Nominated|
|2015||Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Awards||Best Film||Wake Up The Souls Tour||Won|
- McKenna, Dave (May 13, 2005). "System of a Down: Some Very Heavy Metal". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Grow, Kory. "Hear System of a Down's First New Music in 15 Years, 'Protect the Land' and 'Genocidal Humanoidz'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
- Meyers, Ben. System Of A Down: Right Here In Hollywood (2007), p. 14.
- "OnTroniK: System of a Down Information". Archived from the original on February 20, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
- "7 Things You Didn't Know About System of a Down's Self-Titled Album". Revolver. June 30, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Interview With David 'Beno' Benveniste". lamusicblog.com. March 13, 2011. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- Rees, Paul (October 2009). "The Q Interview: Rick Rubin". Q. p. 98.
- "Rock City Awards 1997". rockcitynews.com. Retrieved July 25, 2007.
- "Chef Aid: The South Park Album". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- Rogers, Paul (March 2, 2018). "The Wraith's Dark Punk Isn't All Doom and Gloom". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- RAMOS, GEORGE; BOUCHER, GEOFF (September 5, 2001). "Police Blame Promoter for Riot at Concert". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- "RIAA album certifications: System of a Down - Toxicity". Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Kaufman, Gil (March 10, 2003). "System Of A Down Bassist Sues Security Team For Humiliating Him In Front Of Fans". MTV. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
- Mike Lancaster (March 28, 2003). "The Daron Malakian Interview". Glendale High School Newspaper-the Explosion. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "System Of A Down Goes 'Boom' With Moore". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- "Mezmerize - System of a Down". Allmusic. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- "System Of A Down Honored With Grammy For 'Best Hard Performance'". Blabbermouth. February 8, 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- "System Of A Down, Mars Volta Plan Summer Tour". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- "System Of A Down Make It A Double With Chart-Topping Hypnotize". MTV News. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- "Hypnotize - System of a Down". Allmusic. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- Harris, Chris (May 3, 2006). "System of a Down Aren't Breaking Up—They're Going on Hiatus". MTV News. Retrieved February 2, 2009.
- "West Palm Beach, FL — August 13, 2006 Review". soadfans.com. July 13, 2006. Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2007.
- "Indicator - Something Underneath live (John Domayan's new project) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Album Review: John Dolmayan – These Grey Men". Kerrang!. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead (2xLP - Limited Silver Marbled Vinyl)". Fat Beats. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Karan, Tim (November 29, 2010). "System Of A Down to reunite, headline Download Festival". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- ChartAttack Staff (March 1, 2011). "System Of A Down Announce North American Dates With Gogol Bordello". ChartAttack. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "System Of A Down". Systemofadown.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "Soundwave Festival 2012". Soundwavefestival.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- "Heavy TO and Heavy MTL Return with System of a Down, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Cancer Bats, High on Fire". exclaim.ca. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "System Of A Down, Fall Out Boy, Foals and more confirmed for 2013!". Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Young, Alex (November 25, 2014). "System of a Down reunite for "Wake Up the Souls" tour". Consequenceofsound.net. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Kissel, Chris. "Serj Tankian Goes Symphonic — Then It's Back to System of a Down". LA Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- Geslani, Michelle (July 5, 2017). "System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian says a new album is "not happening"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Grow, Kory. "Serj Tankian Talks New Film Scores, Chris Cornell, What's Next For System of a Down". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Wiederhorn, Jon. "System of a Down's Daron Malakian: Band Remains at Frustrating Creative Impasse With Serj Tankian". Loudwire. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "SERJ TANKIAN Opens Up About Business And Creative Differences That Are Standing In Way Of New SYSTEM OF A DOWN Music". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "SYSTEM OF A DOWN Drummer Says All Members Of Band Are To Blame For Lack Of New Music". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Baltin, Steve. "Incubus' Brandon Boyd And System Of A Down's Serj Tankian Open Up On Fame, Music, Touring And More". Forbes. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "Tuesday, October 9th with guest: System of A Down's Shavo Odadjian". KROQ-FM. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- Kaufman, Spencer. "System of a Down's Shavo Odadjian: "We Have Material That Tops Everything We've Done"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Grow, Kory. "Serj Tankian on Writing 'Requiem Music,' System of a Down's Creative Stalemate". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Stryker and Klein. "Daron Malakian Talks System Of A Down with Stryker and Klein". KROQ-FM. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Kaufman, Spencer. "Daron Malakian on Scars on Broadway, the State of System of a Down, and More". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- "System Of A Daron - From Chop Suey to Scars On Broadway - Talk Is Jericho". omny.fm. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- "SHAVO ODADJIAN On The Possiblity [sic] Of New Music From SYSTEM OF A DOWN: 'Why It Isn't Happening Is A Big Question'". Blabbermouth.net. August 13, 2019. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
- "SERJ TANKIAN Says He Is 'All For' SYSTEM OF A DOWN Putting Out Previously Unreleased Material". Blabbermouth.net. December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- "JOHN DOLMAYAN Is 'Not Even Sure' He Wants To Make A New SYSTEM OF A DOWN Album Anymore: 'It's Just So Much Drama And Bulls**t'". Blabbermouth.net. April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- "Drummer Says Hiatus Was a Huge Mistake for SOAD: We Could've Been the Biggest Band in the World". www.ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Grow, Kory (December 17, 2020). "'RS Interview: Special Edition' With Serj Tankian". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- brownypaul (November 6, 2020). "WOAHH Two New System Of A Down Songs Outta Nowhere". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
- Chloe Melas. "System of a Down releases first new music in 15 years". CNN. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
- "System of a Down Detail Why They Decided to Release New Music". Yahoo.com. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
- "Daron Malakian Doesn't See SOAD Making More New Music Soon". Loudwire. November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
- Aarons, Ricky (December 17, 2020). "Shavo Odadjian – 'Introducing North Kingsley and Protecting Armenia with System Of A Down'". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "SERJ TANKIAN: 'Time Will Tell' Whether Recording Two New SYSTEM OF A DOWN Songs Will Lead To Something More". Blabbermouth.net. December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo (September 4, 2001). "Toxicity - System of a Down". AllMusic. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Begrand, Adrien. "System of a Down: Mezmerize". PopMatters.com. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Loftus, Johnny (May 17, 2005). "Mezmerize - System of a Down". AllMusic. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Sinclair, Tom (January 17, 2015). "System of a Down". EW.com. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "Rolling Stone : System of a Down: Steal This Album : Music Reviews". November 19, 2002. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "NME Reviews - System Of A Down : Steal this Album". Nme.com. September 12, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Hartmann, Graham (July 14, 2014). "System of a Down's John Dolmayan Reveals Lyrical Inspiration for 'I-E-A-I-A-I-O'". Loudwire. Townsquare Media. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- Sinclair, Tom. "Mezmerize". EW.com. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "System of a Down: Mezmerize / Hypnotize | Album Reviews". Pitchfork.com. November 21, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "Rolling Stone : System of a Down: Mezmerize : Music Reviews". June 2, 2005. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "Picks and Pans Review: System of a Down". People.com. June 27, 2005. Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Begrand, Adrien. "System of a Down: Hypnotize". PopMatters.com. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "USATODAY.com - System of a Down zooms way up with 'Hypnotize'". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. November 21, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "System of a Down: Hypnotize : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". November 17, 2005. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "System Of A Down - Hypnotize - Review". Stylusmagazine.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "System of a Down: Hypnotize". PopMatters. November 21, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- "System's Stolen Tracks Compiled On Steal This Album". MTV.com. October 16, 2002. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Milner, Greg (June 20, 2003). "System of a Down, 'Steal This Album!' Review". Spin.com. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography of System of a Down". Allmusic. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- Web Dept (April 8, 2011). "Choose System of a Down's Set List This Summer". Revolver. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Lipshutz, Jason (April 8, 2011). "System Of A Down, Deftones Team For Summer Tour". Billboard. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Grierson, Tim. "Top 10 Rock Albums of the '00s". About.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Sciaretto, Amy (July 28, 2003). "Loud Rock". CMJ New Music Report (824): 23. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Udo, Tommy (2002). Brave Nu World. Sanctuary Publishing. pp. 183–185, 242. ISBN 1-86074-415-X.
- Weisbard, Eric, ed. (2004). This is Pop: in Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project. Harvard University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-674-01344-1.
- Unterberger, Andrew (September 10, 2004). "Top Ten Nu-Metal Bands". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- Grebey, James (April 23, 2015). "Watch System of a Down's Full First-Ever Concert in Armenia". Spin. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Bella, Sarah (August 1, 2013). "Serj Tankian Nixes Talk of New System of a Down Album". Music Feeds. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Gelt, Jessiva (November 6, 2016). "System of a Down's Serj Tankian goes classical with symphonic concerts in Northridge". Retrieved August 29, 2019.
- Hogan, Marc (July 31, 2013). "System of a Down Hint at New Album After Denying Internal Drama". Spin. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "System Of A Down To Headline Ozzfest". Billboard. January 29, 2002. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Lullaby Versions Of SYSTEM OF A DOWN Due This Week". Blabbermouth.net. October 21, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Serpick, Evan (December 15, 2005). "System of a Down — Prog-metal Radicals". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- Cridlin, Jay (June 24, 2010). "System of a Down's Serj Tankian coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Harris, Chris (May 25, 2005). "System Of A Down Top Billboard With Mezmerize". MTV News. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "System of a Down set for NZ show". The New Zealand Herald. October 25, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "System of a Down". Guitar Techniques. December 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Boughen, Brendan (August 31, 2003). "Serart". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Archive Biography". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011.
- Christgau, Robert. "Reviews of System of a Down". Retrieved April 2, 2009.
- Harris, Chris (May 10, 2005). "System Of A Down Mezmerize NYC With Crushing 90-Minute Gig". MTV. Viacom International. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- Morse, Steve (August 26, 2005). "Pounding out a blistering attack: System of a Down lashes out at Hollywood, war, and hypocrisy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- Perry, Megan (2004). "Daron's Guitar Tunings". Wired: musicians' home studios : tools & techniques of the musical mavericks. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 79. ISBN 0-87930-794-3.
- [dead link]
- DeRogatis, Jim (September 14, 2001). "They're an Armenian band". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "System of a Down biography". 8notes.com. Retrieved June 26, 2006.
- Nalbandian, Bob. "Interview with System of a Down". Shockwaves Online. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
- Liebman, Jon (January 1, 2018). "Shavarsh "Shavo" Odadjian opens up about System Of A Down". For Bass Plays Only. Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Appleford, Steve (July 25, 2018). "System of a Down and Scars on Broadway's Daron Malakian: The Albums That Made Me". Revolver. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Rosen, Steven (July 6, 2018). "Daron Malakian: There Is No New System of a Down Album Planned". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Gabriella (November 2000). "Interview with System of a Down". NY Rock. Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Alderslade, Merlin (September 4, 2016). "Serj Tankian: The 10 albums that changed my life". Metal Hammer. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Eakin, Marah (September 18, 2012). "Serj Tankian on his musical firsts and learning to love Iron Maiden". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Eakin, Marah (September 18, 2012). "Serj Tankian on his musical firsts and learning to love Iron Maiden". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- "System of a Down's Daron Malakian on Slayer's Influence, Farewell Tour". Revolver. June 6, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Chad Childers (May 11, 2012). "Serj Tankian Says System of a Down Bandmate Daron Malakian First Turned Him on to Metal". Loudwire. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- Sinclair, Tom (September 3, 2001). "Review of Toxicity". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
- "Many musical influences in System of a Down". Long Beach Press-Telegram. August 3, 2005. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- "Official System of a Down MySpace". myspace.com/soad. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
- Toxicity (booklet). System of a Down. Los Angeles: American Recordings. 2001. 86059.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
- “System of a Down (Ft. Arto Tunçboyacıyan) – Arto.” Genius, September 4, 2001, genius.com/System-of-a-down-arto-lyrics.
- "The Winner takes it all" (in German). Intro.de. August 17, 1999. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- "System Of A Down". The Recording Academy. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "2002 MTV Video Music Award nominees". Billboard. July 25, 2002. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "2003 MuchMusic Video Awards Nominees". Billboard. May 30, 2003. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- "American Music Awards: And the nominees are . . ". Deseret News. January 10, 2003. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "Kerrang! awards 2003: The nominations". BBC. August 6, 2003. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- "System Of A Down Lead Kerrang Awards Nominations". metalunderground.com. August 9, 2005. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "2005 American Music Awards Nominees". Billboard. September 20, 2005. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "MTV Music Video Awards 2005 - Nominees of note". Channel 24. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "MTV Europe awards 2005: The winners". BBC. November 3, 2005. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "Nominations for MTV Europe Music Awards announced". NME. September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "Angels & Airwaves, Gnarls Barkley Lead Woodie Winners". Billboard. October 26, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- "System of a Down to receive 2015 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award". Hollywood Reporter. October 20, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- "System Of A Down". Parajanov.com. April 24, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to System of a Down.|