System of a Down is one of the most popular anarchist metal bands of all time, and while many people understand the basics of their philosophy, many are still unaware of the historical struggle that has motivated them since day one.
Each of the band’s members share Armenian lineage, and unlike most of the world, they are well aware that the Ottoman Empire executed over 1 million Armenians during the first world war, within the borders of the country that is now known as Turkey.
The Turkish government continues to deny that this genocide even happened, although it is formally recognized by historians all over the world. This spring, System of a Down will be kicking off their “Wake Up Souls” tour, to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of this tragic genocide and raise awareness about what happened.
Speaking with Rolling Stone magazine, drummer John Dolmayan said “This is something that transcends the music. This is more important than a next System of a Down album. This is something that is far-reaching and even bigger than the Armenian genocide itself … We want to help prevent what happened to the Armenians happening to other people.”
“It stays with you, it’s still with me today, because of the stories that we did hear [from our families],” he added.