“I don’t need a dictator to control me,” System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian sings on his heavy new song “Dictator.” The song, which is also the title track of the upcoming album by his side project Scars on Broadway, throbs with tension throughout its three minutes with crunchy guitars, an urgent tempo and more lyrics about resisting authoritarianism. “Your politics will never correct me, your politics will never correct me,” he sings later in the song. The LP is due out July 20th.
The song follows up “Lives,” another spry, political track Malakian released from Dictator in April. Malakian wrote, produced and played every instrument on the album in a 10-day recording sprint in 2012, but had been sitting on the music ever since in anticipation of System of a Down recording a new album. He thought he should save the songs for them, but since they haven’t been able to agree on how to make a new record, he has decided to release Dictator as it is.
“This album has more of a System flavor to it than the first Scars on Broadway did,” Malakian told Rolling Stone. “There were songs on the first Scars album, like ‘Stoner Hate’ and ‘Babylon’ that could have easily been System of a Down songs, too, but there were also songs that leaned a little more on the rock side. This album has that rock flavor as well, but it has more of a System of a Down flavor, too, because System has more of the metal tones going on there.”
Malakian has no plans to mount a tour with Scars on Broadway anytime soon, but will be hitting the road with System of a Down on their first U.S. live dates in three years.