April 27, 2018 - 18:17 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - One of guitarist and second vocalist of System Of A Down Daron Malakian's latest singles, called "Lives", is meant to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and celebrate its survivors, the musician revealed in a recent interview with The Rolling Stone.
"All of our lives we've put up a fight, all heroes have died," he sings in his trademark, almost operatic way. "All of our lives we've known wrong from right, our people survived."
"I'm Armenian, so I wanted to do something for Armenian people – especially since April 24th is the day we remember the Genocide," he says, noting the date the country recognizes as the start to the Genocide propagated by Ottoman Turks in 1915. "It's about being proud that people did survive the Genocide, and it's not just for Armenian people. It could be for anybody whose people have suffered that type of thing, such as Native Americans."
He's also using the song to effect positive change to survivors of the Genocide. Half of the proceeds from purchases of the song on iTunes will go to sending first-aid kits to Artsakh, a republic populated mostly by Armenians that borders Iran and Azerbaijan. "There was supposed to be a cease fire, but the Azeri government does not follow that all the time, so there's a lot of women and children that get caught in the middle of all this, and I really wanted to send some first aid kits out to Armenians that are living there," he says, referring to the conflict between the country and Azerbaijan. "It's very possible that another genocide can happen, so I really want to bring attention to what's happening there and keep that from happening."
"For me, it's ["Lives"] about how Armenian people have survived the genocide. I've always heard about how we were victims, and we always saw pictures of our ancestors and our great grandparents with their heads chopped off. I wanted to write a song that would be a morale booster, something uplifting and let people know that while there were a lot of people that died and we should respect that, there was also a lot of people who survived. It's a tribute to that and how far we've come. The video complements the song really well," Malakian expalins.
"We feature a lot of traditional, old Armenian folk dancing that matches the song. My father, aside from being an artist – he did the first Scars album cover and [System's] Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums – was a pretty well known choreographer in Iraq before they family moved to the United States. It's always been a part of my life. When I wrote the song, I always pictured the video with this style of dance [and] costumes. It's also another way to boost morale and have us look at our culture and be proud of our culture. When people think of Armenians, they think of genocide. I don't want to be looked at as a victim forever. I want to show people other parts of our culture, and this video does that."
According to him, SOAD's concert in Armenia in 1915 "was a high point of my career as a musician. I think everyone in System of a Down feels that way. The show was great and really emotional for us."