Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

System of a Down has released new music.

But what makes this news significant is that it’s been 15 years since the heavy metal band has dropped new songs.

The two singles, “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz,” made their debut on Friday, with proceeds from the music going to Armenia Fund, since the group’s band members Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan are of Armenian descent.

The group wrote about the meaning of the two songs on BandCamp: “These two songs, “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” both speak of a dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia.” Adding, ‘We’re proud to share these songs with you and hope you enjoy listening to them. Further, we encourage you to read on to learn more about their origins and once you do, hope you are inspired to speak out about the horrific injustices and human rights violations occurring there now. Most importantly and urgently, we humbly implore you to donate, in sums small or large to help those adversely affected with what are ever growing accounts of crimes against humanity.”

A little about SOAD:

Tankian, as a student, had a 4.0 grade-point-average. He hated school.

Malakian has said that he would like to see Charles Manson released from prison, because he supports Manson’s views on the environment. Their song “A.T.W.A.” is about Manson.

The band is very opposed to “oppression and aggression.” They often take a political stance in their songs.

Tankian has his own record label called Serjical Strike. In April 2006 he signed the band Fair To Midland, which gets their name from an old Texas play on the term “fair to middling.”

Although the band mates met and formed in Southern California (in a recording studio while working on separate projects, no less!), all four members have lineage in the Middle East. Dolmayan is Lebanese-Armenian, Odadjian and Tankian are Armenian, and Malakian is Iraqi-Iranian. They are all of Armenian descent and their families were affected by the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915 at the beginning of World War I when the Turkish military began deporting and killing about 1.5 million Armenians.

The band has no piercings or tattoos.

Dolmayan’s dad played the saxophone and Tankian’s dad was also a musician.

Serj worked as a shoe salesman before joining the band, and also ran a successful software company.

As a child, Malakian went to Alex Pilibo’s Armenian school and has said he still has nightmares from things he endured there. He went to Roosevelt Middle School and Glendale High School, where he frequently cut class. Malakian now lives in Los Angeles and likes to collect candles, Persian rugs, instruments, and skulls.

Before Malakian joined the band, Shavo was the guitarist.

Malakian’s father painted all the artwork that was used on their Hypnotize album.

When Dolmayan was a child aged 5, he was lying in his bed when he heard a noise and got scared. He left his room asked his parents if he could sleep with them for the night. A few minutes later, a bullet came through John’s bedroom window and hit the bed where Little John would’ve been sleeping. Soon afterwards, John’s father decided that they had to move out of Lebanon.

Tankian published a book of poetry called Cool Gardens. He says the thought of cool gardens relaxes him.

In the fall of 2007 Serj Tankian released his debut solo album Elect The Dead.

As well as album art, Daron’s father also painted all of the custom Ibanez Icemen that Daron used in the Toxicity/Steal this Album era.

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