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System Of A Down - Toxicity

The breakthrough album of the band "System Of A Down", known as "Toxicity", was released on

September 4, 2001. We decided to bring you 11 facts you may not have known about this exploding and militant album.


The quartet teamed up with the giant producer Rick Rubin and after four months of musical experience they came out with 44 minutes of unbridled insanity that combines harmony, outbursts, harsh lyrics, and even Armenian heritage.


Before we begin we will tell you that this album came out a day after uncontrollable riots, as if the universe had signaled in its path what was going to happen with the release of the album.

The night before its release, the band planned to hold a free show in an abandoned hangar in their hometown. The equipment was ready, the record company organized a number of bouncers, the band warmed up and everything was ready to go!


Towards the start of the show, a huge number of fans began to arrive, much larger quantities than planned or allowed. The police established a command center to try to control the event but failed to do so. The band and the record label decided to cancel the show to avoid safety risks and events that might harm the audience. But the audience was outraged and took it all out... amplifiers were destroyed, musical instruments had crashed and the stage become a battlefield. It seems to us that there is no better way to describe what is happening on this album than this story.


So here you go, 11 facts on this explosive album:


1. The burst of creativity was uncontrollable and the band members recorded 33 demos over four months. They had no idea how many or which of the songs were going to enter the album. It was so hard for them to choose that they postponed the decision as much as they could, which almost led to the postponement of the album release. In the end, they chose 17 songs that they mixed and from them, they chose 14 songs for the album.


2. The song bearing the name "ATWA" is an acronym for Air Trees Water Animals. The song was written by guitarist Daron Malakian and was inspired by Charles Manson's story and cult. Manson used the acronym to promote a message of harmony through nature.


3. All three singles from the album - "Chop Suey", "Toxicity" and "Aerials", occupied one of the top ten places on the "Modern Rock Tracks" chart. The songs came in seventh place, third place, and first place, respectively. "Aerials" is the only "System" song to reach number one to date.


4. The songs on the album are full of lyrics that sometimes say a lot and sometimes say nothing.

Serj Tankian, the band's lead singer, wrote all the songs on the album and Malakian contributed his part in six songs. Producer Rick Rubin said that Serj has the ability to make you feel something even if you do not understand exactly what he is saying. Even his heap of incomprehensible words conveys feelings and sensations.


5. You must have noticed (either you did not see the movie or you did not notice) but in the animated film "The Secret Life of Pets" there is a scene in which the song "Bounce" is played. In this scene, the noble poodle is revealed as a metalhead the second his owner leaves the house. Watch the scene here:


6. The album came out a week before the tragic events of September 11th and took first place in the Billboard 200 during that week. It’s hard to think the band has achieved one of its biggest successes in such a tragic week.


7. Unlike the band's first album, Malakian decided that on this album he did not want thin guitars but lots of layers, lots of thickness. He said he was trying to create a loud and angry sound so instead of one or two guitar tracks he put on this album 12 guitar tracks per song. 12 layers of guitars that sometimes play the same thing and sometimes make different sounds.


8. One of the most important and exciting songs on the album for the band is the controversial song, which is hidden at the end of the album. The song is called "Arto", after the Armenian musician Arto Tunçboyacıyan who is featured in the song. The song includes singing by the band members and uses only percussion, inspired by Armenian culture.


9. During the recordings, Malakian, and drummer John Dolmayan used to fight each other. In one case, the two disassembled each other and ended up in a hospital with stitches in all sorts of organs in the body. Serj, for his part, thought the band had reached the end of its journey. The other two see this as one of the "cool" events in the band's history.


10. The album earned the band two Grammy Award nominations in 2003. One of the nominations was for the song "Aerials". The band refused to perform the song at the Grammys, claiming that a performance at the Grammys was suitable for bands like "N'Sync" or singers like Britney Spears.


11. The sentence you hear at the opening of the song "Chop Suey!", In which Serge says "We're rolling suicide", is actually the original name of the song during the recordings - "Suicide".


Listen to the album in a safe place on: Spotify, Apple Music


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