The Velvet Revolution and Daron Malakian: A New Surprise from the Band “Scars on Broadway”
“Dictator” is the second single from the eponymous album to be issued this July. The single was issued on June 1. We’ve already written about “Lives”, the album’s first single that was issued on April 23. The return of the musician has created great enthusiasm in his fan base. The new single once again proves that after a six-month hiatus the guitarist and composer is back with a vengeance and intends to stay focused on a creative and active work agenda.
Please talk about the new single, your expectations, and a bit about your musical perspectives.
See the music video HERE
The cover of the “Dictator” single was also based on a painting by artist and dance instructor Vartan Malakian, Daron’s father. Vartan’s paintings were also used in the designs for the System of a Down albums “Mezmerize” and “Hipnotize”. Hetq will soon publish a more comprehensive interview with the prominent musician Daron Malakian. In the interim, we talked with Daron about the “Dictator” single.
“Dictator" is your second single from the album “Dictator”, which will be out in July. Why and how was the second single was selected?
“Dictator” is a strong song to put out as a single and will feature the album art, which was created by my father Vartan Malakian.
Who’s the “Dictator” and what’s the message which you want to send through your music?
“Dictator” is not necessarily a political song. And there is no one dictator – it can mean more than one thing to different people. Maybe you don’t want somebody controlling you, either in government or in your personal life where there is an overbearing friend, wife, husband, or even family. Or maybe you don’t want religion to be your dictator. In my mind, the song was more about not wanting something to control you, although every person will interpret it in their own way.
Did “Lives” justify your expectations as a single?
I am not sure what expectations I had of the song “Lives” and its video when I released it, but I’m happy with the response that it received.
Do you have a special wish or a message that you would like to share with your Armenian fans?
In a way, Armenia overcame a dictator recently. And the ‘dictator’ perhaps wasn’t just one person, or a group of politicians, but rather a corrupt system that did not serve those it owed to serve. Quite coincidentally, the song “Lives,” which is supposed to be a morale boost and source of cultural pride, came out when Armenians were protesting that system. And so the message connects to the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution’s air of celebration and victory.
Despite living in the Diaspora, I feel very connected to my roots through the art that I create. Whether it’s been through System of a Down or Scars on Broadway, I’ve always chosen to express myself through my songs and lyrics instead of getting involved publicly in the political arena. I think of “P.L.U.C.K.,” “Holy Mountains,” and “Lives” as the songs that I wrote lyrics and music for that were inspired by my heritage.
Photos from Daron Malakian’s personal archive