Artist Spotlight
June 2, 2021

June 2nd Featured Artist – Daron Malakian!

Daron Malakian playing a bass

Are you a System of a Down fan? This week’s featured artist is Daron Malakian!

Born July 18th 1975, he is an Armenian-American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as the guitarist, songwriter, and second vocalist of metal band System of a Down, and as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter of Scars on Broadway. With Scars on Broadway he has released a self titled album in 2008, and a sophomore album, Dictator, in 2018.

System of a Down has achieved commercial success with the release of five studio albums, three of which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. They have 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.

At a very early age, Malakian got into heavy metal music, starting with his distant cousin playing him a Kiss record when he was four years old. Malakian started listening to Van Halen, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motörhead, and Ozzy Osbourne, among others. He originally wanted to play the drums, but his parents got him a guitar instead, saying “You can’t turn the drums off.” Daron first picked up a guitar at age 11, saying in an interview, “For the first year and a half, I learned how to play by ear, and did alright. After a few years I gained a reputation as being a guitar player in high school. And by 16 or 17 I actually realized it was a good songwriting instrument, and, over anything, that’s what I feel like. I don’t pretend to be Mr. Guitar Virtuoso.”

During his teens Malakian listened to thrash metal bands such as Slayer, Venom, Metallica, Pantera, and Sepultura. Malakian then began listening to The Beatles, and cites John Lennon as one of his biggest influences as a songwriter. He also cites other British Invasion bands such as The Kinks and The Who as major influences, as well as folk-rock such as trio Peter, Paul and Mary, and punk pioneer Iggy Pop.

Malakian is known for his distinctive playing and is ranked 14th in Loudwire’s list of “Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time” and number 11 in MusicRadar’s poll “The 20 Greatest Metal Guitarists Ever”. He is placed 30th in Guitar World’s list of “The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time”,

Check below for a live performance and tab of System of a Down’s hit song Aerials!

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