Daron Malakian in a scene from the video for Lives

System of a Down’s Daron Malakian Releases Track Dedicated to Armenian Genocide


LOS ANGELES —  System of a Down guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian has released Lives, a much-anticipated new track/video from his critically acclaimed band Scars on Broadway. The video, which was directed by Hayk Matevosyan, is about celebrating life in the face of tragedy.

Its release coincides with the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, an attempted extermination of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire, which saw the loss of 1.5 million lives. Though widely recognized as a genocide by most historians, the Turkish government denies it ever happened. As a member of Grammy winning band System Of A Down, Malakian, who is of Armenian descent, has lost family members and history to the Genocide and has worked tirelessly over the years to promote awareness. In 2015, Malakian and System Of A Down launched the “Wake Up The Souls” tour, a sold-out global trek that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Genocide and included the band’s first-ever performance in Yerevan’s Republic Square.

“The traditional Armenian folk dances and colorful costumes that you see in the video are an homage to Armenia’s rich history and culture,” says Malakian. “The song and the imagery in the video are meant to inspire pride among — and empower — the survivors of a historical tragedy.”

Lives is available on iTunes and Malakian is donating a portion of the song’s sales proceeds to Armenia Fund, a Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to worldwide humanitarian aid.

“I want to help the innocent people currently caught in Azerbaijan’s ceasefire violations against the Republic of Artsakh and prevent another genocide against Armenians,” says Malakian.

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To that end, Armenia Fund will run the “Lives First Aid Kits Campaign,” which will supply life-saving first aid kits purchased from the sales proceeds of the song, as well as from direct contributions to villages in Artsakh that are under constant threat of sniper and mortar fire from Azerbaijan’s armed forces.

Lives is the first song from Scars On Broadway’s upcoming album, “Dictator,” which is set for a July 20 release. The recording saw Malakian write, produce and play every instrument — including all vocals — himself.

The new album follows Scars On Broadway’s critically-lauded debut, which Rolling Stone praised for its “awesomely satisfying guitar crunch and sweet, soaring harmonies.” The Guardian gave that album 4 stars, Entertainment Weekly hailed its “gloriously over-the-top heaviosity” and Guitar World described it as “deliciously hooky pop with a minor-key melody worth of The Kinks or The Zombies.”

As a member of System Of A Down, Malakian was a driving force behind five studio albums, which sold over 31 million copies worldwide, had three No. 1 debuts on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart,  garnered a Grammy win and amassed a global following whose members number in the tens of millions. Together with SOAD, he has written and recorded seven top-10 radio hits, two of which were chart-topping No. 1’s (2002’s Aerials and 2005’s Hypnotize). In 2005 the group released both “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize” in two installments as a dual album in a single year. Each debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and on charts around the world, achieving the rare feat of having two No. 1 albums in the same calendar year. B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bombs) was the first single released from “Mezmerize” and earned the band a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

To see the video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsmmQ1EqSIc&feature=youtu.be

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