The latest edition of Ernie Ball's String Series sees System of a Down/Scars on Broadway guitarist-vocalist Daron Malakian sit down to outline his history with music, starting at the age of four when he would drag his mother into local record stores so he could add to his collection. While recounting his childhood, he brings up the story of how he wanted to be a drummer but space and noise constraints made his family push him toward the guitar: "Until I was 11 years old, I always wanted to play the drums," he says, "but in that small apartment that I lived in, we couldn't fit a drum set. So we finally moved into a house when I was 12 years old, and I was like, 'Great, now I'm gonna get my drum set.' We went to the music store on my 12th birthday ... My parents had a discuss among themselves and said, 'You know, you can't turn off drums.'"
Throughout the clip, Malakian talks extensively about his writing process and how playing guitar is an intimate experience. He describes his creative process as using notes the same way a painter would use paint on a canvas, attempting to "add a certain color that maybe [he] didn't use before" in both his work with System of a Down and Scars on Broadway.
"Guitars have so many different characters," he explains while detailing the countless shapes and looks of the instrument during the conversation's shift toward technicality. "You can express yourself by the way the instrument looks. Almost sometimes you can tell just by the way the instrument looks what kind of guitar player the guy is. I don't know if you can do that with turntables."
The video continues, interspersed with clips of Malakian's most well-known songs to showcase his eclectic writing and playing styles shaped by a wide range of musical influences. He claims the most important component of the songs he pens is the honesty behind his motivations. "I gotta love it, and I gotta really love it, if I'm going to convince you to love it."