What’s The True Story Behind The Name Of ‘System Of A Down,’ Serj Tankian Explains

In an interview with Q104.3 New York, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian shared the story of how they decided the band’s name and revealed that it was actually inspired by a poem written by one of his bandmates, Daron Malakian.

The popular heavy metal band, System of a Down was founded by Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, and Shavo Odadjian back in 1994. Later in 1997, John Dolmayan joined the band as the drummer replacing their original drummer Andy Khachaturian. Since the beginning of their career, the band has released five studio albums, three of which managed to reach number one on the US Billboard 200.

Although System Of A Down hadn’t released any new albums since the ‘Mezmerize‘ and ‘Hypnotize‘ LPs in 2005, the band’s frontman Serj Tankian has released the title track of his upcoming solo EP named ‘Elasticity,’ which will be released on March 19, 2021.

Recently, Tankian joined a conversation on Q104.3 New York and looked back to the very first years of his career with System of a Down. During the interview, Serj was asked to share the backstory of how they decided the band’s name in the first place. Apparently, the band’s co-founder and guitarist Daron Malakian had a poem titled ‘Victims of a Down,’ which inspired them while making a decision about their new band’s name.

However, Tankian stated that they thought the word ‘victim’ had too many negative connotations that might not provide them the attention of the audience as they wanted. Therefore, they decided to change the word ‘victims’ to ‘system’ and named the band System of a Down.

Here is what Serj Tankian stated about the backstory of System of a Down’s name:

“Our guitarist Daron Malakian had a poem called ‘Victims of a Down,’ and we thought the word ‘victims’ was a negative connotation, and so we kind of changed that to System, and that’s where the name of the group comes from.”

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