Джон Долмаян: StereoKill.net Interview
Like System of a Down/Scars on Broadway drummer John Dolmayan, I don’t have too much to say, so I’ll dispense with the obligatory opening paragraph and let you get on with reading this long-awaited email interview.
Stereokill: As a muscian, who are your key influences?
JD: My dad has always been a huge influence on me; he introduced me to jazz at an early age and has always supported my choices in life. Other then that, there’s about twenty bands who were my key influences including: The Who, Rush, Led Zeppellin, The Rolling Stones, Billy Idol, Maynard Furgeson, Fishbone, Pink Floyd, The Police, Daft Punk, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Muse, The Beatles and countless others.
Stereokill: It’s been twelve years since you first joined System of a Down. What do you consider high-points in your career so far?
JD: There are many, but I’d say that my favorite moment was playing a nearly-cancelled show in Spain, at four in the morning. The stage fell apart due to wind, and it was the ten year anniversary of System of a Down.
Stereokill: With the release of Toxicity in 2001, System became a hugely successful band. How did it feel, for you personally, to experience such growing interest in the band from the public/press?
JD: It wasn’t all that noticable for us; it was very much a whirlwind. Looking out from within, we just didn’t feel the impact of what was happening until much later.
Stereokill: Is there a System album that you are particularly proud of?
JD: I’m proud of everything we’ve done, but Steal This Album! is my personal favourite.
Stereokill: You crafted a rather gnarly looking skull for your limited edition version of that album. Any reason why?
JD: Thought it looked cool, and I cant draw much else.
Stereokill: Out of the many songs you’ve recorded, which are your favourites?
JD: “Holy Mountains”, “Nüguns” and “Soldier Side”.
Stereokill: The band recorded Mezmerize/Hypnotize in Rick Rubin’s famed Mansion. Other bands that have recorded there [Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Mars Volta] have claimed that the building is haunted. Did you encounter any spirits when recording there?
JD: Sounds like a bunch of bullshit.
Stereokill: Following Daron’s tour cancellation in October, many fans have been in the dark as to whether Scars on Broadway are still together. Can you shed any light on this matter — will Scars ever record/tour again?
JD: I’m not sure, but I do miss it.
Stereokill: Have you heard from [Scars frontman and System bandmate] Daron [Malakian]? Can you discuss why he decided to cancel the tour?
JD: Thats a personal matter, but he’s well.
Stereokill: Scars on Broadway was often portrayed by the media as a band that consisted of only Daron and yourself. Did you consider Franky [Perez], Danny [Shamoun] and Dominic [Cifarelli] “official” members of the band, or “touring” members?
JD: I consider them as members, as well as family.
Stereokill: I recall reading that [System bassist] Shavo [Odajian] was originally linked to Scars. Is this true? If so, why did his involvement with the band never come to fruition?
JD: That’s a question that would be better directed at Shavo.
Stereokill: What have you been up to since Scars went on hiatus? Have you been involved in any music-based projects?
JD: I’ve been playing, but nothing I’m ready to share.
Stereokill: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
JD: Working on Torpedo Comics, and playing for personal satisfaction.
Stereokill: How is Torpedo Comics?
JD: It’s tough to make a new venture profitable, but I believe in my vision for it and I’m giving it my full attention.
Stereokill: Will you release your “superhero-based” comic one day?
JD: I’m working on it now.
Stereokill: What’s your take on the music industry these days?
JD: It’s in serious trouble.
Stereokill: Do you think you’ll remain within the industry until you’re old and grey?
JD: I’m not in the music industry; I play music.
Stereokill: Are there any up-and-coming bands that you recommend?
JD:I’m sure there are tons of bands that are great, but I’m not exactly the pulse of the next great thing. I prefer bands that have at least three albums so I can follow their growth and grow with them.
Stereokill: What are your favourite albums of all time?
JD: I can’t answer that.
Stereokill: A hard task, but can you list your top five musical artists of all time?
JD: I’d prefer not to try.
Stereokill: If you be could any drum/cymbal piece, which one would you be?
JD: I am a drum/cymbal piece already.
Stereokill: Have you ever given drum lessons?
JD: A handful.
Stereokill: A lot of fans are curious as to whether you’ve read Switch!, the continuation to the Schnibbel series [fan-fiction about John and Daron’s genitalia]?
JD: I read some of it — very creative. People have a lot of time on their hands.
Stereokill: I’ve read that you have a sandwhich named after you, have you ever tried it?
JD: Not yet, is it tasty?
Stereokill: Finally, a question I’m sure you’re tired of hearing, but is there any news regarding the future of System of a Down?
JD: System of a Down is dead: I killed all the members for my sandwich.
by Andrew Lindsay