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­Armenian rock legends back together

Published time: June 20, 2011 08:37
Edited time: June 20, 2011 14:06
Armenian-American band System of a Down (AFP Photo / Nicolas Asfouri)

Armenian-American band System of a Down (AFP Photo / Nicolas Asfouri)

The living example of how friendship and nationality-based connections within the Armenian Diaspora of LA have transformed into a major international success on the musical stage is set to perform live in the Russian capital.

Their musical career started with warm-ups for Slayer and Metallica, however soon the LA-based Armenian band System of a Down rose to the tops of the world’s charts and secured themselves a solid place among the top alternative rock and metal bands of the word.   

System of a Down was founded thanks to two Armenians Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian, whose paths first crossed in Rose and Alex Pilibos’ Armenian School in Hollywood. The band was formed in 1994 and included Tankian as lead vocalist and keyboard player, Malakian on guitar, their school mate Shavo Odadjian on bass and drummer John Dolmayan.

They released five studio albums within just seven years, with all of them eventually becoming platinum. They have sold 20 million copies of their extremely-successful recordings worldwide. The year 2005 became even more fruitful, with the band releasing two platinum albums, Mezmerize and Hypnotize.

Their style is highly connected to their national culture and thus even more difficult to classify. Even the band members have trouble naming the genre. Malakian once said they do not belong to any genre, while Tankian says “System of a Down is pretty much pop.”

This experimental sound was probably the key to their enormous success and numerous awards including MTV Europe Music Award, ECHO, and a Grammy for the Best Hard Rock Performance.

However in 2006, the band members decided to take a break that has so far lasted five years and potentially would not end. Thus the news that the band has launched a world tour that features Moscow on its route came out of the blue for the fans in a good way. The message on the band’s website said “We are excited to announce that System will be playing some dates together in 2011.” Read as follows: “we’ll just play these shows together because you want this to happen.”

The only Russian concert of SOAD will take place at Moscow’s Olympiisky Arena on Tuesday June 21.

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