Malakian performing with System of a Down in 2006.
|Born||July 18, 1975|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Heavy metal, experimental, alternative metal, progressive rock|
|Occupations||Musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, dulcimer, viola, keyboards, mandolin, mandola, sitar, sarod, banjo, ukulele, tambura|
|Years active||1990 – present|
|Labels||Interscope, eatURmusic, American, Columbia|
|Associated acts||System of a Down, Scars on Broadway|
50th Anniversary Flying V
Daron Vartan Malakian (Armenian: Տարոն Մալաքյան, born July 18, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is best known as the guitarist, songwriter, and occasional vocalist of the rock band System of a Down and as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and songwriter of the alternative metal band Scars on Broadway. Like the rest of the Hollywood-based band System of a Down, he is of Armenian ancestry, but is the only member to actually have been born inside the United States. He is placed 30th in Guitar World's List of The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.
Daron Vartan Malakian was born on July 18, 1975, in Hollywood, California, the only child to Vartan and Zepur Malakian, immigrants originally from Iraq and Iran respectively. Vartan Malakian is a painter, dancer, and choreographer and Zepur Malakian is a sculptor who used to instruct college-level sculpture. At a very early age, Malakian got into heavy metal music; his distant cousin played him a Kiss record when he was four years old. Malakian started listening to Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motörhead and Ozzy Osbourne among others. He always wanted to play the drums, but his parents got him a guitar instead because “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 on him 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. Daron went to Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in the Los Feliz side of Hollywood, which his future bandmates Shavo Odadjian and Ontronik "Andy" Khachaturian (System of a Down's original drummer) also attended. System of a Down vocalist Serj Tankian attended the school as well, but he was many years above Malakian and the others. Malakian attended Glendale High School as a teenager. He is a lifelong fan of the Edmonton Oilers and has a large collection of Oilers-related memorabilia.
Malakian met Serj Tankian in 1993, while they both shared the same rehearsal studio in different bands. Tankian was playing keyboard for a band, and Daron was playing guitar and singing for another band. They formed a jam band called Soil with bassist Dave Hakopyan and drummer Domingo Laraino. Shavo Odadjian then became their manager, and then rhythm guitarist. Soil broke up and Malakian, Tankian, and Odadjian (who switched to bass) formed a new band using the name “System of a Down”, based on a poem that Daron wrote. The poem’s title was “Victims of a Down” but Odadjian thought "system" was a stronger word than "victims." They then recruited drummer Andy Khachaturian, who was replaced by John Dolmayan in 1997.
Malakian co-produced System of a Down’s albums with Rick Rubin, as well as albums by The Ambulance and Bad Acid Trip (a band on fellow member Serj Tankian’s Serjical Strike Records). In 2003, Malakian started his own label, EatUrMusic, on which Amen was the first signed band. The label is now inactive and its current status is unknown.
Scars on Broadway
In 2003, Daron Malakian (lead guitar and vocals), Greg Kelso (rhythm guitar), Casey Chaos (vocals), and Zach Hill (drums) recorded a demo tape entitled "Ghetto Blaster Rehearsals" credited to the name Scars on Broadway. However, in 2007, an official letter appeared on the band's website that stated that these tracks are not in any way affiliated with Malakian's later project Scars on Broadway. Incidentally, these demo sessions produced "B.Y.O.B.", which would be a major hit for System of a Down in 2005.
Following System's hiatus, Malakian announced his latest project — Scars on Broadway — a band which would include System of a Down bassist, Shavo Odadjian, and himself. Ultimately, Odadjian was not involved with the band, and instead System of a Down drummer, John Dolmayan became a member. After Malakian and Dolmayan experimented with different musicians (for a period of nine months in 2007 - 2008) the band took form and forged its sound in intense rehearsals and recording sessions (under Malakian’s direction at his home studio and Sunset Sound) with musicians Danny Shamoun on keyboards, Dominic Cifarelli on bass, and Franky Perez on guitar and backing vocals for live performances (in the studio Malakian played nearly all the instruments with the exception of drums which were played by Dolmayan and some overdubs provided by the other members). The group released an eponymous album in 2008, which featured the hit single "They Say" (written by Malakian). However, shortly before the tour supporting the album, Malakian cancelled all scheduled concert and TV appearances, blaming a lack of enthusiasm and that his "heart wasn't into touring." This sudden cancellation prompted speculation and rumors that the band had broken up. It was the last that would be heard of Malakian for more than a year.
In August 2009, Scars on Broadway, minus Malakian, traveled to Iraq for a USO tour across the U.S. army bases. Their setlist consisted of covers as well as a few Scars songs. Guitarist/vocalist Franky Perez stated on his Twitter that "the Scars tunes sound amazing but they're not the same without D..." He also stated before they left that Malakian had given them his blessing. In 2009 Franky Perez mentioned on his Twitter that he and the D-Man (Malakian) were going into studio to jam, this was the first news people have heard about Malakian's whereabouts for about a year.
On May 2, 2010 Malakian reunited with Scars on Broadway at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. It was the first time he had performed with the band since October 2008. The group played songs from their album as well as new songs. Odadjian performed with the band for two songs, playing guitar.
On February 24, 2012 System of a Down announced that the Scars on Broadway website <http://scarsonbroadway.com/> is back online featuring a preview of a new song called "Guns Are Loaded".
Malakian stayed out of the public eye following his cancellation of the tour in support of Scars on Broadway's debut album in October 2008. In 2009 Malakian made a surprise appearance (his first in a year) at Shavo Odadjian's Halloween Party and played "Suite-Pee," "They Say", and an unknown song with Odadjian, Dolmayan and Scars on Broadway's Franky Perez on guitar. It was the first time that the band members (minus Tankian, who was working on his second solo album) performed together in more than three years.
On November 20, 2009, Malakian played at the Chi Cheng Benefit concert along with Deftones and also performed with Odadjian and Dolmayan. Malakian, Odadjian, and Dolmayan played "Aerials" and "Toxicity."
On July 29, 2010, Scars on Broadway released their first new studio recording in exactly two years, a Malakian-penned song called "Fucking."
On August 20, 2010, Malakian played in Hollywood with Scars on Broadway.
On November 29, 2010, it was announced that System of a Down would reunite for a European tour to take place in June 2011. They played at the Download Festival on June 11, 2011. Despite playing a number of reunion shows, the band had no plans to record new material. In October 2011, John Dolmayan expressed his interest in writing new material but cited that band members are all busy with their other projects (such as Daron's Scars on Broadway and Serj Tankian's solo efforts).
System of a Down
Scars on Broadway
- Scars on Broadway (2008)
|Year||Artist||Song||Release and/or explanation|
|2000||Metallica feat. Jonathan Davis and Daron Malakian||"One"|
|Metallica feat. Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian||"Mastertarium"|
|2003||"Creeping Death"||Reading Festival 2003|
|The Ambulance feat. Daron Malakian||"Stop"|
|2010||Cypress Hill feat. Daron Malakian||"Trouble Seeker"|
Malakian has also produced a number of albums.
|1998||System of a Down||System of a Down||Producer, credited as System of a Down|
|2002||Steal This Album!|
|2004||Death Before Musick||Amen||Executive producer and A&R|
|Lynch the Weirdo||Bad Acid Trip||Producer|
|2005||Mezmerize||System of a Down|
|2008||Scars on Broadway||Scars on Broadway|
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (July 2010)|
- In 2002, System of a Down was nominated for a Grammy Award in Best Metal Performance for their song Chop Suey! but lost to Schism by Tool
- In 2003, System of a Down was nominated for a Grammy Award in Best Hard Rock Performance for "Aerials" but lost to All My Life by Foo Fighters
- In 2005, System of a Down won for Best Alternative Act in the Europe Music Awards
- In 2006, System of a Down won their first Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for B.Y.O.B.
- In 2006, System of a Down won the "MTV Good Woodie Award" for their song Question!
- In 2006, System of a Down's song Toxicity was #14 on the VH1 Top 40 Metal Songs list
- In 2007, System of a Down was nominated for a Grammy Award in Best Hard Rock Performance for their song Lonely Day but lost to Woman by Wolfmother
- Mike Lancaster (March 28, 2003). "The Daron Malakian Interview". Glendale High School Newspaper-the Explosion. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists Of All Time". Blabbermouth.net. January 23, 2004. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- Gowing, Liam (2 March 2006). "His son has got him covered: System of a Down's artist of choice is Vartan Malakian, the guitarist's dad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- "Daron: "Total Guitar" Interview". Total Guitar. 2002. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- Rex Rutkoski. "Daron Malakian's Music Canvas". Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "Scars on Broadway's Daron Malakin Has 'Compelling Reason' For Cancelling Tour". Blabbermouth.net. October 9, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "System Of A Down". System Of A Down. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "System Of A Down Drummer On New Studio Album: 'It's Gonna Happen When It's Right'". Blabbermouth.net. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.