While we ever so patiently for System of a Down to get back together and make new music (we’ll be waiting a while guys) drummer John Dolmayan has ventured into the solo world and created a new collaborative project with a bunch of rad musicians in tow for his upcoming album These Grey Men which is set for release on February 28th.
The idea came about a few years back after a bit of soul searching from the drummer as he mentioned on his Kickstarter page for the project:
About two years ago, I began to feel somewhat incomplete. I was touring and having a great time with my friends in System Of A Down, but something was missing. After some soul searching, it hit me that I hadn’t given anything new artistically to the world in far too long. Though touring was fantastic, it didn’t fulfill a fundamental need that was growing day by day within me. A need to step into the studio with a blank canvas and share what comes out with fans across the world.
The project featured Dolmayan bashing away at the kit with plenty of guest cameos, performing covers of tracks from the likes of Eminem, David Bowie, Talking Heads, AFI and even Madonna! The album will also feature his SOAD bandmate Serj Tankian busting out a couple of songs too, so that’ll be the closest thing you’ll get to “new material” from two of the members of the band.
The album’s first offering is a cover of Radiohead‘s ‘Street Spirit‘ which has Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows on vocals and Tom Morello + James Hazley on guitars and to be quite frank with you, I kinda dig it more than the original. As John said in an interview with Rolling Stone, he wants to create songs that the average listener wouldn’t recognise was a cover:
“I don’t want to be someone that does just great covers… If I had any goal, it would be that the casual listener wouldn’t know it was necessarily a cover — that it’d be different enough to where they thought, ‘OK, there’s something original happening here.’ ”
Not bad I must say, if you’re digging it, check the band out on Facebook!
John Dolmayan – These Grey Men tracklisting
1. ‘Road To Nowhere’ originally by Talking Heads
2. ‘Starman’ originally by David Bowie
3. ‘What You Know’ originally by Two Door Cinema Club
4. ‘Runaway’ originally by Del Shannon
5. ‘Street Spirit’ originally by Radiohead
6. ‘Hung Up’ originally by Madonna
7. ‘Beautiful Thieves’ originally by AFI
8. ‘Rock Bottom’ originally by Eminem