With Hiatus Looming, SOAD Guitarist Preps New Band

System Of A Down's post-Ozzfest life will include a new band for guitarist Daron Malakian. The artist is in the process of forming and writing songs for Scars On Broadway, which will start operating i

System Of A Down's post-Ozzfest life will include a new band for guitarist Daron Malakian. The artist is in the process of forming and writing songs for Scars On Broadway, which will start operating in earnest once Ozzfest wraps in mid-August. The band is shooting to have its debut album out in the summer of 2007.

"I'm still kind of getting the whole band together at this point," reports Malakian, who is SOAD's chief songwriter. "After I get back home from Ozzfest that's pretty much what I'll be focusing on.

"I think a System fan will be able to relate to the music, but there's a few different directions I want to take, whether it be a little bit more ethnic or sometimes electronic," he adds. "There's just a few artistic directions I want to take with Scars that I haven't taken with System yet."

Malakian says that so far he's brought in a drummer/percussionist to be part of the band and says that SOAD bassist Shavo Odadjian will likely join as well. Odadjian is also working on an album collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA.

The new band does not mean SOAD will be splitting up. But after 10-plus years of constant work -- including last year's pair of chart-topping albums, "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" -- Malakian says the group does plan to take a lengthy break.

"People are just gonna assume that we're breaking up, but we're not calling it that," he explains. "We just want to go off and do a few other things. If we were breaking up we wouldn't be able to get on stage together for this tour."

SOAD is about to begin rehearsals for Ozzfest, which kicks off June 29 in Seattle. The quartet will be headlining most of the shows in place of Ozzy Osbourne, who will only play on 10 dates this summer. Malakian says his band is feeling the weight of that role.

"There's something about having history along with the music," he notes, "and Ozzy and Black Sabbath have been around over 30 years with people growing up listening to them. There's a history and a connection with people. System isn't a brand new band but we're not 30 years old, either. So it brings a lot of pressure to come through and bring something to the table that hopefully will keep up with that."