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Daron Malakian

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Daron Vartan Malakian (born July 18, 1975 in Hollywood, California, USA) is the guitarist in the Armenian-American band System of a Down, comprising vocalist Serj Tankian, bassist Shavo Odadjian, and drummer John Dolmayan. Malakian has written most of the band’s music, and, more recently, has taken on a large share of the vocal and lyrical work for the band as well. Like the rest of the Hollywood-based band, he is of Armenian ancestry.

Daron was born on July 18, 1975 in Hollywood, California, USA. Malakian is an only child. At a very early age, Daron got into heavy metal music; his distant cousin played him a KISS record when he was four years old and he was hooked. Daron started listening to Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motörhead and Ozzy Osbourne among others. He always wanted to play the drums, but his parents got him a guitar instead because “You can’t turn the drums off.” By the time he was a teenager, he got into heavier metal bands such as Slayer, Venom, Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura and Cannibal Corpse. At around 17 he started getting into The Beatles and cites John Lennon as one of his biggest influences on him as a songwriter. Daron went to Rose & Alex Pilibos’ Armenian school in the Los Feliz side of Hollywood, which bandmates Serj Tankian and Shavo Odadjian also attended. Daron is still a big Slayer fan, as is band member Shavo Odadjian (bass) who sometimes wears Slayer t-shirts to shows. Also in his childhood he became a fan of the LA Kings Hockey Team.

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