In April, System of a Down's Daron Malakian surprised fans with "Lives," the first new song from his solo project Scars on Broadway in eight years. A hard-hitting cut "meant to inspire pride among — and empower — the survivors of a historical tragedy," according to the Armenian-American musician, the track also serves as the lead single off Scars' long-awaited sophomore album, Dictator, due out July 20th and recorded, produced and performed entirely by Malakian. Now, the SOAD guitarist has offered up the second single and title track from the record, a biting and very System-esque (especially in its chorus and breakdown) song that takes on "fake saviors," "crusaders" and, of course, dictators.
In an interview with Revolver, Malakian explains that he's been sitting on the new Scars on Broadway album for six years, thinking that System of a Down could make a record and that he might want to use the songs for that. "There was always this talk of maybe we'll do something, maybe we won't do something," he says. "So I was like, 'Maybe I should save these songs.' That's the biggest reason why I took so long to release these songs." And he adds, "This album is closer to a System of a Down album than the first Scars album was. I just wanted to make something that was heavier.
Below, you can see the cover art for the album, which was created by Daron's father, Vartan Malakian, who also designed the artwork for System of a Down's twin 2005 releases, Mezmerize and Hypnotize. "I told my dad that the album was going to be titled Dictator," recalls Daron. "I didn't go into any other details. I went to my parents' house a week later and he already had the album cover done."