Daron Malakian on how System of a Down ended up recording their first new music in 15 years – and what the future holds for the alt-metal icons

Daron Malakian of System Of A Down
(Image credit: Joseph Okpako/Redferns via Getty Images))

15 years is a long time in rock and roll. That’s how long it’s been since System Of A Down last released new music, though the Grammy-winning Armenian-American quartet have been still headlining festivals and arenas around the world to a loyal fanbase itching for more of their alternative metal anthems.

The two new tracks, Protect The Land and Genocidal Humanoidz, would never have materialized under the SOAD banner if were not for the recently erupted conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan/Turkey– unleashing the greatest violence the Artsakh region has seen in almost three decades.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).