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Daron Malakian On Politics

Politics and music have always gone hand-in-hand, but views on issues always seemed black-and-white in the past. Rough-and-ready country boys were usually gun-toting Republicans and young punk rockers were often super liberal Democrats.

But these days, with socio-economic boundaries more blurred than ever and ready access to news from all slants on the internet, musicians like Daron Malakian from Scars on Broadway and System of a Down are rocking a diverse outlook on the current political climate.

Backstage at Epicenter 2012, Malakian told KROQ’s Rich Rubin that he’s not political in the sense that he wants to “stand up on a pedestal and fight for everybody’s rights,” but that he does think the public should be wary of their perceptions of politicians. Because that’s exactly what they are–politicians. He said that even Obama is a “king” at making people like him; maybe “better than Clinton.”

“Anybody that thinks that Obama was going to come and fix that mess in three or four years is nuts,” said Malakian. “I mean, that by itself–you’ve gotta give him a little more time. I think he’s doing a pretty good job. I ain’t got no beef with Obama. But I’ll tell you this much: he’s a politician like everybody else and he’s a damn good one.”

Although Malakian’s beliefs seem to skew left, the NASCAR-loving Armenian musician said that there’s always “two sides to an argument” and brought up hot button topics like stem-cell research and a rape victim’s choice to have an abortion.

“You can’t really hate people for thinking what they think,” Malakian asserts. “It’s just what they’re raised with.”

In the end, it’s not the never-ending debates of politics that Malakian has a problem with but organized religion being used as a tool of manipulation by politicians. Malakain said that it’s just Christian American politicians that use religion to “get their troops riled up,” but also “dudes like Bin Laden.”

“These dudes are all politicians themselves, you know. They use the simple-minded and the poor and they promise them things and that’s how they rile up their troops–using religion,” said Malakian, passionately. “I just think religion could be a beautiful thing for the individual, but when it becomes organized that’s when religion starts taking a kind of ugly turn.”

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Review – Scars on Broadway

Scars On Broadway are back! Well, frontman Daron Malakian (who you may recognize from his stint in System of a Down) may argue that they were never gone. After the 2008 release of their stellar self-titled debut and a few shows, the band canceled their planned headlining tour and went on the down-low for a spell … popping back up in 2010 with a new song and a show here and there. Fast forward to 2012 and drummer John Dolmayan has departed the band but a new album is on the horizon and they’re thankfully back on the road with Deftones.

The Bay Area loves its Deftones and it’s a brave band that stands between their fans and a headlining set. When 8 pm rolled around and Scars took the stage, it was immediately clear who was there for what. The rail was populated side-to-side with the obvious Deftones fans, but right behind them was a mob of rabid Scars on Broadway die-hards singing and moshing along. Further down the rail … what appeared to be SOB’s #1 Fan (tall, white t-shirt, not to be missed) who went nuts throughout the set and hollered to Daron at one point, “you’re my hero.” And the Deftones crowd? They may not have known the words to the songs but they were right there with them too.

Only the second show into the tour, Daron and the band sounded tight as can be; well-rehearsed and keenly focused on the music. They only took a break to address the crowd right before Cute Machines to dedicate the song to the horror on the street outside their tour bus (if you’ve ever been to the Warfield, you’d know exactly what he was talking about). Bottom line: 40 minutes of bad ass rock and roll. Oh, and #1 Fan got a guitar pick personally delivered by Daron himself.
Keep any eye out for Scars when they hit your town and watch out for their next release which will hopefully be as strong as their first.

Setlist:
Scars On Broadway
World Long Gone
Sickening Wars
Universe
Chemicals
Insane
Dictator
Cute Machines
Kill Each Other/Live Forever
They Say
F*** n Kill
Exploding/Reloading
Stoner Hate

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