Come June 19th, I will finally see System of a Down live and in concert. Anybody who knows me, knows that I have been waiting for this concert for YEARS. To be completely honest, I can barely contain my excitement, which would explain why I am wrote this post.
It was roughly 14 years ago now where I first heard Chop Suey! (Official Music Video) and was astonished by the unique sound I was hearing. The music going from head banging then slowing pace, it was a real roller coaster ride. A couple weeks after hearing it, I still could not get the song out of my head, not only that, I did not even know the band's name yet. I spent the next few days poorly mimicking the song to my friends trying to find out who sang it. Eventually I was told the name of the band that I later fell in love with.
I ended up borrowing a copy of Toxicity from a friend, and I could not stop listening to this album. I wanted more. It wasn't just the unique sound that attracted me now, it was the energy coming from the music. Some songs would sound like they were just having a great time playing them, but then there were songs that just made you think. However, the more I listened to each song, the more I realized that even the supposed fun songs were as thought provoking as the more serious toned ones.
It wasn't long until I realized that before Toxicity, System released two other albums; their self-titled album System of a Down and the ever popular, Steal This Album. I was able to acquire these CDs as well, and again went into a trance listening to each song of the entire albums from start to finish. I couldn't believe how I didn't discover the band earlier, but it was obvious why you wouldn't hear these songs on the radio. The mainstream would not accept it for what it is, four friends having a good time playing music. But to the band members (Serj, Daron, Shavo, and John) System of a Down was more than just playing music and having a good time. They had a message to spread.
Each of the members from System were decendants of some survivors of the Armenian Genocide, committed by the Turkish people which happened in 1915. Over 1.5 million souls were lost during this dark period, and still governments deny it happened at all. The band wanted to spread awareness of this event, but not just this event, but to spread awareness of the wrong doings of all governments of the world. Listening to their music, you can hear the themes of death and betrayal. You can also hear rebellion.
You can ask each member of System if the songs have any hidden meaning in them, but you will not get any answer, the songs are all open to interpretation. But there is one song that is so painfully obvious what it is about and what it is trying to say. That song is Boom! from Steal This Album (Official Music Video). One line in this resonates quite strongly, no matter how often I listen to it: "Every time you drop the bomb, you kill the God your child has born" which is very obvious. When wars break out and human lives are lost, landscape is levelled, we are destroying the world for our future generations, a world of endless possibilities, that are now limited from the destruction carried out.
If there is one song that everyone in this world needs to listen to, it is Boom!. Hopefully, if the right people hear it, they can realize that they are not just ruining the lives of the current generation of humans, but the hopes and dreams of every generation to come.
Signed, Alex Boddam