Daron Malakian is best known as the guitarist, songwriter and producer in heavy metal band System Of A Down, commonly abbreviated to SOAD, and as being the driving force in his alternative rock band Scars on Broadway.
SOAD and Daron Malakian in particular, are known for expressing political opinions and have denounced the Armenian genocide of 1915 as well as protesting frequently against the War in Iraq.
All of the band members in SOAD are Armenian except Daron Malakian who was born in California in 1975 but is of Armenian ancestry.
Daron Malakian grew up in Hollywood, California. His parents were involved in the arts and he started learning the guitar when he was 11 years old becoming influenced throughout his teen years by bands such as Pantera, Metallica and Slayer. He was also influenced by British bands such as The Who and The Kinks.
He attended the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School as a child, learning about the Armenian culture and language. It was there he met fellow SOAD band mates Shavo Odadjian and Ontronik “Andy” Khachaturian (SOAD’s original drummer).
Daron Malakian formed a band Soil in 1992 along with fellow Armenian singer Serj Tankian. Although the band stayed together for nearly 3 years, they produced very little and disbanded in 1994.
SOAD was formed in 1994. The band name was taken from a poem written by Daron Malakian. The band played LA clubs and while at gig they met record producer Rick Rubin who signed them to American Columbia records. They released a self-titled album in 1998 and toured extensively to promote the album. They appeared at Ozzfest on the same bill as Metallica and Slayer.
Since then SOAD have released a further four albums, all of which have been awarded gold and platinum status in the US and elsewhere. Daron Malakian is the driving force as he writes most of the compositions plays lead guitar and produces all the albums. The band won a Grammy award for the best hard rock performance in 2006 for the song BYOB – “Bring Your Own Bombs“ – which was a protest song about the war in Iraq.
In 2006 the band went into hiatus but in November 2010 it was announced that SOAD would be reforming to play a string of large European festival dates in 2011. In their reunion statement posted on their website, the band was unclear as to the extent of their reformation. It read, “We have no master plan of sorts – we are playing these shows simply because we want to play together again as a band and for you, our amazing fans.”
In 2006 Daron Malakian had started work on his side project band Scars On Broadway. A debut album was released in 2008 and a tour arranged for the same year. This was later cancelled by Daron Malakian who said that his heart was no longer in touring.
The band seemed to fizzle out for a while and Daron Malakian disappeared from the public eye for a year. However in 2010, Scars On Broadway had performed and new work is planned for the future.