System of a Down guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan are putting the finishing touches on the debut album from their new rock band Scars on Broadway, the pair tells

The artists are currently shopping for a record label, and hope to release the self-titled set by late summer. "We're in the final stages," Dolmayan reports. "There are three or four songs left."

Scars on Broadway will perform tomorrow (April 26) at this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, which begins today at Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif. The band already received a warm welcome earlier this month during its debut performance at the Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles.

"It was crazy," Malakian recalls. "Nobody knew any of the songs, but the crowd was going off. The response we got gave me a lot of confidence."

So far, only one Scars on Broadway song, the hard-edged "They Say," has been released online. With about 20 songs already recorded, many of which won't make the final album cut, another track could be posted online before the album drops, according to Malakian.

The concept for Scars on Broadway has been in the works since SOAD's chart topping 2005 releases "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize," says Malakian, who wrote 95% of SOAD's material.

As opposed to SOAD, Scars on Broadway is "driven more by rock than it is by metal, even though there might be some metal overtones there," the guitarist/vocalist explains. "I see it more as a rock band."

While drawing influence from early punk bands, along with heroes like David Bowie and the Beatles, Malakian made a conscious attempt to maintain his songwriting style without delving too much into the SOAD back catalog.

"I was trying to keep my identity but not copy past work," he says. "I'm proud of everything that I've done with System, but right now I'm focusing on moving forward with Scars."

Although famed producer Rick Rubin -- who has previously worked with SOAD -- offered a few suggestions during rehearsals sessions, Malakian is the new album's chief producer.

On the touring front, aside from its performance at Coachella, Scars on Broadway will appear at KFMA Day, to be held May 16 at Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz. Future road plans haven't yet been solidified, but "we're going to play live quite a bit," Malakian says, noting that he's not opposed to supporting a larger act.

"John and I have no ego in this situation," he explains. "It's not like we think we deserve something because of our old band. Everything we have done so far is out of our own pockets -- we've paid for the record."

While SOAD remains on indefinite hiatus, Malakian wants to assure fans that Scars on Broadway is "not a side or solo project. This is System to me right now. This is what I'm focused on."

But that doesn't mean SOAD won't ever revisit the stage, or possibly the recording studio. "We don't have any future plans, and we don't have any plans not to have plans," Dolmayan says. "System of a Down is always going to be present in our hearts, and one day we'll be onstage together again."