Grammy-winning drummer for System of a Down has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new project These Grey Men.
John Dolmayan has been noted as the man behind the kit for the band System of a Down for over 16 years. After not fulfilling his desires and unknowing potential in the studio, he decided to take matters into his own hands with These Grey Men.
With a creative mind there is always a void to fulfill, â€œIt was really a lack of work with not being able to get in the studio and record for a long period of time,â€ he said. â€œI felt very dissatisfied, playing live is a lot of fun itâ€™s a joy to be able to play with [SOAD] and go on tour. But without the recording aspect of it there is emptiness there, and itâ€™s an emptiness that needs to be filled.â€ John said.
â€œItâ€™s different to be in the studio and the creative process and have that pressure on you and then itâ€™s different to go out and play. Thereâ€™s a difference between building a house and living in it, theyâ€™re both unique and a fun experience,â€ he said.
The album consists of cover songs and live performances with not only Dolmayan, but also other artists, â€œI made phone calls and asked if they were interested in doing the project. It was basically a no pressure situation, I said, â€˜If you donâ€™t have time, or youâ€™re not interested, if you want to wait to hear the music before you make your decision thatâ€™s fine.â€™ I wanted everyone involved with this album to do this album because they were excited to do it.â€ John said.
The recording process is something Dolmayan is familiar with, â€œThe challenge of taking a song that has been heard before and making it into something new, Iâ€™m not a songwriter per say, but I do have a talent for arranging and rearranging, it is a departure from what I normally do.â€ He said.
His favorite part of These Grey Men has been rearranging the songs with co-conspirator James Hazley , â€œI want the project of these cover songs to maintain the integrity, it wasnâ€™t a matter of can we do it, it was a matter of should we do it.â€ He said.
Some of the artists working on the record will be, David Bowie, Eminem, Madonna, Neil Young, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys, â€œItâ€™s a pretty diverse range,â€ John said. â€œI think that the audience will be shocked because they wonâ€™t necessarily recognize the song. A while back, we covered Snowblind by Black Sabbath and it was something completely different and we played aggressively and fast, you wouldnâ€™t recognize it to the original song.â€ He said.
With the high cost to record an album, John Dolmayan is not sure yet how the album will be distributed, however, â€œI want to involve the fans in a way that is unprecedented.â€ He said. Thatâ€™s where the Kickstarter Campaign comes into play. â€œI had been on Kickstarter before and I had heard about it, I thought that it was an interesting way to get attention for what I was doing.â€ John said.
Though John is exploring different roads throughout music and its creative process he will still bring his talents as a drummer to the record. â€œIâ€™m going to be more aggressive in my drumming as far as making that a focal point. Itâ€™s not so much about the song structure as it is about exploring my talents in drumming and my ability to produce other people as well.â€
John left NRR with an important message, â€œThank you to everyone who has supported us through our careers and supported us on Kickstarter and if you donâ€™t want to support, but you want to watch the progress, feel free to do so. Not everyone is financially capable I understand that, this a unique opportunity to be involved in and I hope everyone enjoys the music.â€