Soil and System of a Down
Daron Malakian met Serj Tankian in 1992, while they both shared the same rehearsal studio in different bands. Serj was playing keyboard for a band, and Daron was singing lead vocals for another band. They formed a jam band called Soil (Serj on vocals/keyboards and Daron on guitar; not to be confused with the Chicago band Soil) with Domingo Laranio (drums) and Dave Hakopyan (bass). Around this time, they also met Shavo Odadjian. The next year, in 1994, after one supposed jam session recording and one live show, Dave and Domingo left, thinking the band wasn't going anywhere.
The band later broke up and Tankian and Malakian formed a new band "System of a Down," based on a poem that Daron wrote entitled "Victims of the Down". Shavo Odadjian thought that the word System appealed to a much broader audience than "Victims," and they wanted their albums to be stored near the Slayer band's. Odadjian was the band's original manager and promoter, but joined as the bassist, and managerial duties were taken over by the Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group and founder David "Beno" Benveniste. Daron then asked his friend Ontronik "Andy" Khachaturian (who had played in his first band with Daron at age 15) to join the band as the drummer. Andy was later replaced by their current drummer, John Dolmayan, due to a hand injury.