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System of a Down Released Toxicity 16 Years Ago Today; Here’s a Never-Before-Seen Interview from 2001

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Toxicity was the album that made System of a Down. Sure, the self-titled had a couple of radio jams and put them on the map — and Mezmerize/Hypnotize turned them into arena-headlining superstars — but Toxicity was the album that put System on the broader map and catapulted them into the metal mainstream.

The potential the album had to build System into a worldwide force wasn’t lost on Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian in the below interview, an allegedly never-seen-before clip that surfaced online over the weekend (we haven’t been able to verify whether this interview ever aired on MTV2 or not, as per its watermark). Malakian talks about the record’s “more melodic direction” (“not softer, just melodic,” he qualifies), the band’s increased use of vocal harmonies, Rick Rubin’s role in crafting the album’s songs during the pre-production phase, and, interestingly, the completely hands-off approach their label, Columbia Records, took with the band’s music.

Watch the interview below, and jam Toxicity when you’re done — it turns 16 years old today! Thanks to MS reader Marios Y. for sending this in.

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