System of a Down Drummer’s New Band Covers Radiohead With Tom Morello + M. Shadows
Though System of a Down are currently on a recording break, drummer John Dolmayan has kept busy with his These Grey Men project. Calling in a few musical friends, the drummer has reimagined some well known tracks into covers that have his unique stamp on them.
The self-titled These Grey Men album finds Dolmayan working with Serj Tankian, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows, Sirusho and many others. Over this past weekend, the drummer posted shots of a video shoot he was doing with M. Shadows that can be seen below.
The eight song album started with Dolmayan sparking ideas on his drives between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Beginning in 2014, he began to start coming up with the ideas and putting out feelers. The drummer says the idea for the group came “out of the necessity to give artistically, to create, and to reimagine.”
The first song to surface from the collection is a take on Radiohead's "Street Spirit," as can be seen in the video below. Dolmayan told Rolling Stone, “This song in particular is a really touching and moving song. I love the morose, in-your-room-and-it’s-raining-outside, it’s cold, and your girlfriend dumped you feeling that this song always gave me.… But when I listened to it, I’d be like, ‘I kinda wish the drums came in earlier,’ or, ‘How would [John] Bonham approach this song if this was a [Led] Zeppelin song?’ Because I’m such a fan of the song, I wanted to do a version of it in homage.”
The track is bolstered by Tom Morello's guitar solo and vocals from Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows. “I gave him an idea of the vibe I wanted and said, ‘Just be yourself and play throughout the song.’ The point isn’t to agonize over something, it’s to just be spontaneous and create something cool,” said the drummer of Morello's killer guest turn.
Shadows adds of his participation, “When John told me he wanted to reimagine some of his favorite songs for an album I was very intrigued. I’ve always respected Radiohead but wasn’t familiar with their full catalog. When John sent ‘Street Spirit’ I instantly was blown away by the sounds. Since then, I have been on a huge Radiohead kick. Adding Tom Morello to our version was the icing on the cake. I feel this recording stays true to the original while adding John’s overall vision.”
Aside from Radiohead, other acts covered on the album are AFI, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Eminem, Del Shannon, Two Door Cinema Club and one mashed up track taking on a Madonna song with a nod to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. See the track listing and take a listen to These Grey Men's take on Radiohead's "Street Spirit" below.
These Grey Men, "Street Spirit"
These Grey Men, These Grey Men Track Listing
1. “Hung Up” (a mashup of Madonna’s song, with original edits and a tip of the hat to “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
2. “Street Spirit” (Radiohead)
3. “Beautiful Thieves” (AFI)
4. “Road To Nowhere” (Talking Heads)
5. “Rock Bottom” (Eminem)
6. “Runaway” (Del Shannon)
7. “Starman” (David Bowie)
8. “What You Know” (Two Door Cinema Club)
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