Artist picture of System of a Down

System of a Down

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System of a Down had their beginnings in LA band Soil, who included Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian sharing vocals. When Soil split in 1994, Tankian and Malakian formed System of a Down, taking their name from one of Malakian's poems and drawing on their Armenian background. They were discovered in LA by producer Rick Rubin, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1998, though it was their second album Toxicity in 2001 which established them as one of America's hottest bands. The album topped the US charts and has sold 12 million copies, while their hit single Chop Suey stirred up much with lyrics deemed contentious at the time of the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks in New York. The band's bold, alternative rock won them a devoted following and in 2004 they achieved the rare distinction of having two albums - Hypnotize and Mezmerize - debut at Number 1 in the same year; the Beatles, Guns N'Roses, 2Pac and DMX are the only other artists to have achieved this. They featured in the 2006 movie Screamers raising awareness of the Armenian genocide and the same year announced an extended break but that they were not breaking up.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved