Guitarist Daron Malakian is celebrating his birthday today, and we wanted to tell you 36 facts about him:
(Photo: Francesco Castaldo)
1. He was born in Hollywood California on July 18, 1975, as Daron Vartan Malakian.
2. He was the only son of his parents - Armenian immigrants who originally came from Iraq.
3. He got into hard rock and metal music through his distant cousin who first introduce him the band "Kiss".
4. Further down the line he listened to bands like "Van Halen", "Def Leppard", "Black Sabbath", "Iron Maiden", "Judas Priest", "Motörhead" and Ozzy Osbourne.
5. As a child he wanted to learn to play the drums, but his parents bought him a guitar because they thought a guitar would be more "silent".
6. He started playing guitar at the age of 11. In the first year and a half he learned to play by ear.
7. When he was a teenager he started listening to thrash metal and was influenced by bands like "Pantera", "Metallica", "Venom" and "Slayer".
8. Later he was also influenced by bands like the Who, the Kinks and the Beatles, citing John Lennon as a significant influence on him during songwriting.
9. He attended an Armenian school in Los Angeles called "Rose and Alex Pilibos" where his future friends from "System Of A Down" also studied, bassist Shavo Odadjian and drummer Ontronik "Andy" Khachaturian.
10. Singer Serj Tankian also attended the same school but he was a few years older than Malkian and due to age differences they did not meet.
11. Darron met Serj Tankian only in 1993, they were in the same rehearsal room, each with his own band. Daron played guitar and sang in his band and Serge played keyboards for his.
12. The two formed a band called "Soil" together with bassist Dave Hakopyan and drummer Domingo Laraino. Whoever became their manager and later guitarist was Shavo Odadjian.
13. After the dissolution of "Soil" Malakian, Tankian and Odadjian who moved to playing bass formed "System of a Down".
14. The name "System of a Down" was given to the band based on a song by Daron called "Victims of a Down".
15. The three recruited drummer Andy Khachaturian but after injuring his hand he was replaced by John Dolmayan and the first "Armenian" metal band was ready to record it's first album.
16. The band's first professionally recorded song, was called "Hye Enk" which means "We are Armenian", and it called for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
17. The band performed in the clubs of Los Angeles and managed to attract the attention of the Jewish producer Rick Robin who signed them to his record company - American Records.
18. In June 1998, the band released their first studio album, bearing it's name. The person who produced the album together with Robin was Malakian who will continue to produce the rest of the band's albums with him.
19. Malakian also composed all the songs on the album, most of them alone, some in collaboration with the band members.
20. In addition to playing the guitar, Malakian provided vocals and background vocals.
21. Malakian will use his production skills to produce other bands such as "The Ambulance", "Amen" and "Bad Acid Trip".
22. The band's big break came with the release of their second album "Toxicity" that became the first album to be released in America after the events of September 11.
23. The album included the song "Chop Suey!" Whose original name was supposed to be "Self Righteous Suicide", but the record company objected and the band members changed it.
24. In this album Malakian will expand the range of instruments on which he will play. Keyboards, sitar, banjo. He noted that it was under the influence of the Beatles.
25. Also in this case Malakian was a partner in composing all the songs on the album.
26. In 2002, the band released their third album, "Steal This Album!" The name was influenced by an incident in which a file from the recordings of the previous album "Toxicity" leaked to the net.
27. In 2003 Malakian set up his own label called "EatUrMusic".
28. In 2005 SOAD released the album "Mezmerize". On this album Malakian began to share the singing roles with Serj Tankian and his share in the writing (also of the lyrics) grew at the expense of Serge.
29. The album cover was designed by Malkian's father - Vartan Malakian.
30. This album was originally intended to be a double album, but eventually the band released it in two parts as two separate albums. Malkian's father also designed the cover of "Hypnotize" which came out half a year after "Mezmerize".
31. In 2006 "SOAD" announced that it was going on an indefinite break.
32. This year Malakian formed the band "Scars on Broadway", together with "System of a Down" drummer John Dolmayan. This band will release two albums, "Scars on Broadway" in 2008 and "Dictator" from 2018.
33. In 2010 he was a guest on "Cypress Hill's" "Rise Up" album.
34. In 2014, Malakian was a guest on "Linkin Park's" "The Hunting Party" album. He played guitar in the song "Rebellion".
35. In November 2016 John Dolmayan revealed that the band is working on a new album, we are still waiting...
36. In November 2020, 15 years after the release of their latest album “Hypnotize”, Malakian and the band "System Of A Down" released two powerful protest songs about the war raging on their homeland.
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Picture: Mondadori Portfolio, Getty Images