This Los Angeles, California, USA-based alternative metal band was formed by three members of Armenian heritage, Serj Tankian (21 August 1967, Beirut, Lebanon; vocals, keyboards, guitar), Daron Malakian (b. 18 July 1975, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA; guitar/vocals) and Shavo Odadjian (b. Shavarsh Odadjian, 22 April 1974, Yerevan, Armenia; bass), and John Dolmayan (b. 15 July 1973, Beirut, Lebanon; drums). Tankian, Malakian and Odadjian first played together in 1993 as Soil, renaming themselves System Of A Down, from a poem by Malakian, in 1995. Recruiting drummer Dolmayan (after initial choice Andy Khachaturian did not work out), they built up a following on the southern California circuit with their explosive live act. Rick Rubin, who, in September 1997, made the band the first new act on his American Recordings label, spotted them playing at Hollywoods Viper Room. Their debut album, released in June 1998, was recorded at the Sound City studios...
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