Scars on Broadway Overview:
Scars on Broadway are a rock band consisting of vocalist/guitarist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan. The duo first worked together in System of a Down, but when that band went on hiatus around 2006, Malakian and Dolmayan joined forces for a new project. Calling themselves Scars on Broadway, the band released their debut, simply titled Scars on Broadway, in 2008.
Daron Malakian – Lead Singer and Guitarist:
Daron Malakian played guitar in System of a Down and was the principal songwriter for the group. Born in Hollywood in 1975, Malakian met two of his later-to-be System band mates – lead singer Serj Tankian and bassist Shavo Odadjian – in private school. The three men would form System of a Down in 1995. Malakian's System songs were noted for their complexity and ambition, capped by the Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums of 2005. He has cited Kiss, Slayer and the Beatles as some of his influences, and that mixture of hard rock, metal and pop comes through in Scars on Broadway's accessible brand of guitar-driven rock.
John Dolmayan – Drummer:
John Dolmayan was the last member to join System of a Down, becoming the band's drummer in 1997. Born in 1973 in Beirut, Lebanon, Dolmayan began playing the drums at the age of 15. His rhythmically inventive drumming was partly influenced by his father's jazz albums, which he played along with as a teenager while learning the instrument. In an interview, Dolmayan admitted that he and Malakian were the two members of System of a Down who got along the worst, which made their later collaboration in Scars on Broadway all the more surprising.
The Birth of Scars on Broadway:
System of a Down went on hiatus after the tour to promote Mezmerize and Hypnotize, freeing Malakian up to pursue music away from the band. Scars on Broadway developed from a series of demos Malakian recorded in 2003 with side musicians. Some of those songs were later leaked to the public, but Malakian had already decided to move in a different direction, scrapping those tracks and eventually recruiting Dolmayan to join the group as an official member.
A Promising Debut Album:
The songs that would end up on Scars on Broadway were recorded in 2007 and 2008. The album debuted July 29, 2008, peaking at No. 17 on the Billboard 200. The first single, "They Say," a ferocious diatribe against faddishness that features an explosive guitar solo from Malakian, was a hit on the mainstream and modern rock charts. The album displayed Malakian's musical eclecticism, ranging from pop to psychedelic numbers.
Abrupt Tour Cancellation:
In October 2008, mere days before they were to launch their first U.S. tour, Scars on Broadway announced that all dates had been canceled. Internet rumors began spreading immediately, with fans wondering if Malakian was in rehab or if System of a Down were reuniting. No official explanation was ever given for the aborted tour.