System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian created an eerie nightmare world full of skulls, gun-toting devils and grimy imagery of him and his band members melting into darkness for his video for “Guns Are Loaded,” a track off his other group, Scars on Broadway’s recent Dictator album.
“‘Guns Are Loaded’ isn’t necessarily about specific things, but more about a feeling or emotion,” he tells Rolling Stone. “The song is about a feeling of anger, a feeling of a breaking point, or times when the world is coming down on you.”
He took inspiration from “parts of our nature” for the clip’s dusky imagery. “The skulls and devils are symbols for parts of us within,” he says. “When you’re to the point when life is coming down around you, sometimes a darker side, a darker feeling or darker thoughts come out of us. When we are afraid, frustrated or angry, that side may show itself. The guns also symbolize something too: The song isn’t necessarily about actual guns, but they represent the desperation of a moment.”
That said, he doesn’t have any particular message for listeners, despite singing, “This is for the abused and for the abuser/I know you didn’t choose it, you just wanna survive” at one point in the song. Malakian tells Rolling Stone he doesn’t write songs to offer lessons on how to deal with dark emotions. “I’m not trying to tell anyone how to feel or react,” he says. “I would rather people take what they want from it. It’s more about the feeling I had personally when I wrote the song.”
The video comes ahead of a brief Scars on Broadway tour that he and his bandmates will embark on next month. Beyond planning for those, he says he’s “working on a new Scars record,” which he hopes to release soon. “I’m definitely focused on Scars right now and what is next for that band,” he says.
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Scars on Broadway Tour Dates
March 3 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
March 4 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
March 6 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
March 7 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
March 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
May 19 – Columbus, Ohio @ Sonic Temple Festival