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System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan Announces Debut Solo Album

The album features special guest artists including M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Serj Tankian of System Of A Down and Tom Morello.




John Dolmayan

photo by Greg Watermann

John Dolmayan, drummer of Grammy Award-winning, multiplatinum Los Angeles quartet System Of A Down, has announced his debut solo album, These Grey Men. The eight-track album, out Friday, February 28, is an eclectic collection of reimagined songs Dolmayan was inspired by during many drives between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. These Grey Men features special guest artists including M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Serj Tankian of System Of A Down and Tom Morello, among others, with a bulk of the album recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606.

“While I was driving, I’d put on satellite radio and listen to whatever came on,” says Dolmayan. “Oftentimes, I’d hear something and ask myself how I would play or arrange it. I actually started to make a list of about 30 songs I might cover someday. I just got inspiration from desert driving and listening to music. System wasn’t making music at the time, but I needed an outlet for my artistic energy. So, I whittled down the list and reached out to some artists I wanted to work with.”

Through the album’s track list are standouts including powerful renditions of notable song’s such as the leadoff single, “Street Spirit,” a lively cover from the Radiohead catalog that catapults the song into a new dimension with M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold on vocals and a blistering guitar solo from Tom Morello.

“It’s from my favorite Radiohead album,” notes Dolmayan. “In terms of approach, I thought about how it might sound if John Bonham was on it. I tried to channel that a little bit. It was the first time I worked with M. Shadows, and he hit it out of the park. Tom came in and did a fantastic guitar solo. For all of these, we tweaked them to the point where they became our own versions.”

Other tracks that break into new sonic territory include the high-voltage revamp of David Bowie’s “Starman” that rejoins Dolmayan with System Of A Down vocalist Serj Tankian. Dolmayan’s commanding drumming also links with Tankian on a spirited arrangement of Talking Heads’ “Road To Nowhere.”

“Since Serj is the singer of System, I know where his vocals are going to go before he does,” smiles Dolmayan. “I play drums to the melody. I was able to cater to what he had in mind. He did a phenomenal job on both songs. He has the same quirky element to his vocals that David Bowie did, so it was a perfect mix. He really stepped up on ‘Road To Nowhere’ too.”

Furious drum fills fire up a propulsive reinterpretation of Madonna’s “Hung Up” with new lyrics and “a hat tip to ‘Ohio’ by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.” The track vaults from a wild riff into a shimmering disco breakdown before a hypnotic bridge carried by Armenian superstar Sirusho on the mic.

Over a span of five years, Dolmayan carefully assembled what would become These Grey Men joined by James Hazleyon guitar, Tom Coppossela on bass, and Danny Shouman on keys for the bulk of the project. Choosing eight diverse classics from the popular music canon, Dolmayan recorded his parts at Dave Grohl’s legendary Studio 606 and personally arranged strings at Toys of the Masses.

Produced by John Dolmayan with James Hazley, the title for These Grey Men, was birthed from conversations with a close friend, a former U.S. Navy S.E.A.L.

“A buddy of mine is a former Navy S.E.A.L., and he was staying at my house when I was making the album,” Dolmayan says. “He’s a very introspective guy and a really good person. We’d have these long conversations. He told me S.E.A.L.s would always try to be nondescript. You would never notice them in a room. In other words, they were ‘Grey Men.’ He said, ‘They’re kind of invisible – similar to a drummer’. We thought it would be a great title, because many people don’t necessarily notice the drummer unless there’s a mistake.”

“I’m very appreciative of everyone who took time to work on this,” adds Dolmayan. “Fans have been waiting for a while, and I just can’t wait for them to hear it.”

These Grey Men cover


Stryper Releases ‘Even The Devil Believes’ Album Artwork




Stryper 2020

Stryper have released new artwork for their upcoming album, stating: “New single and album details coming next Friday, June 26th.”

Check out the detailed cover below:
Stryper Even The Devil Believes

A week ago, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet described the song in an Instagram post as “metal,” “powerful,” “relevant” and “life changing.” He added: “It is most definitely one of the best tracks we’ve ever recorded and it couldn’t come at a better time.”

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Buckcherry Releases ‘Acoustic Sessions Vol. 2’

‘Acoustic Sessions Vol. 2’ features acoustic versions of two songs from Buckcherry’s 1999 debut album.




Buckcherry 2020

Following the February release of Acoustic Sessions Vol. 1, Californian rockers Buckcherry have released Volume 2, which features acoustic versions of two songs from their debut album: “For the Movies” and “Check Your Head.” The LP, released in 1999 on DreamWorks Records, introduced the world to Buckcherry, and began what is now a 21-year career.

The EP is available on all digital download and streaming platforms.

Buckcherry Acoustic Sessions Vol 2

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