Daron Malakian

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Daron Malakian was born July 18, 1975 in Los Angeles, California, USA and plays guitar in the American band System of a Down, as well as writing most of the music and lyrics for the band.

As a child Malakian went to Rose & Alex Pilibos' Armenian school in Hollywood and has said he still has nightmares from things he'd endured there. He went to Roosevelt Middle School and Glendale High School, where he frequently cut class. Malakian now lives in Los Angeles in a home by himself and likes to collect candles, Persian rugs, instruments, and skulls over his house. Daron has been voted 4th best guitarist of the year by Metal Edge Magazine. He has family living in Iraq.

He co-produced System of a Down's albums with Rick Rubin and also produces The Ambulance and Bad Acid Trip (a band on fellow member Serj Tankian's Serjical Strike Records). He recently got his own label: EatUrMusic on which Amen are the first signing. Also involved in a project called Scars on Broadway, with Amen-singer Casey Chaos and Zach Hill from Team Sleep.

Early in 2005, Malakian dropped an F-bomb during an appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live. While censors were forewarned about B.Y.O.B.'s lyrics and bleeped out five words, the guitarist unexpectedly slipped one in at the end of the song, much to the consternation of the show's executives. Unlike Motley Crue, who claimed they were banned from NBC's airwaves after swearing on The Tonight Show, Dolmayan says System wasn't blacklisted. Nor did the U.S. censorship bureau, Federal Communications Commission, crack down on the network or the band.

Analysis: Subject Daron Malakian is met at his house. Examiner is shown the subject's room, a dark hovel in dire need of janitorial assistance. Both the bedroom and living room are strewn with guitars and roadcases, symbolizing a strong desire for perpetual inundation in work. Absence of order (subject notes he's "no good at paying his bills") also strongly suggests Malakian prioritizes creativity above all else. Subject consumes a massive "cheese steak" during examination process.

Malakian radiates the telltale unease and intensity of a creative wizard. Examiner notes that at no time do his wheels appear to stop turning, as though even mid-analysis he's conjuring compositions or pondering certain licks, riffs and time changes. Malakian admits to being " defensive and aggro" when faced with critique of his work. "I take any criticism very personally," he says. "How can I not? This comes out of my soul. I'm like, 'Well, if you don't like it, fuck you.'"

Subject does not retreat, but overtly responds to questions, nevertheless displays a thick emotional shield. This behavior may likely stem from Malakian's prior experience with the psychoanalytical arts. Following System of a Down's initial popularity surge, subject was subject to panic attacks and, in therapy sessions that followed, lost faith in the practice. "I've been wanting to do this since I was four," Malakian asserts. "I didn't just wake up when I was eighteen and decide I wanted to join a band. If you had asked me when I was a kid what I wanted to do, I'd have said, 'Be on stage playing music.' Then it actually happened.

"I was having panic attacks, seeing shrinks. It has a lot to do with this being a business. Art and business to me just don't mix. The therapy wasn't worth shit. You go to a shrink and all they do is put you on a bunch of pills. I was like, 'fuck that.' I did it my own way. I started meditating."

Subject Malakian, a professed "people-hater," is logically hard to pin one of the four fundamental orders upon. Among those cultural icons he identifies with: Madonna and Charles Manson (both Artisans), Gandhi (an Idealist) and Karem Abdul-Jabar (a Guardian). Said methodology is thus deemed moot and subject is instead defined by a most curious footnote from his formative stage, "I used to fall asleep listening to Cannibal Corpse and Deicide when I was a teenager," he says.

Malakian displays deep vulnerability when, in detailing the primary pivotal event of his life thus far, the death of his grandmother, he's asked how he dealt with the loss. "A lot of fighting," he says. "I kicked a lot of peoples' fuckin' asses. I realized that I had a lot of aggression in me. I've had to learn to keep it in check. If someone turns around to look at my chick, I want to fucking kill them. If someone fucks with my homeboys, I want to fucking kill them. I've got to keep it in check now."

Conclusion: System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian cautiously welcomes those who welcome him but reserves heavy artillery for those who'd wrong him or any loved ones. However misanthropic, he's forever faithful to those permitted passage to his exclusive sanctum. Would be fair to call a musical savant, headstrong with a devout belief in his own capacity to create titanic chunks of progressive metal. In laymen's terms: subject is an uncompromising kick ass guitar player and songwriter.

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