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System of a Down’s Daron Malakian Dishes on Politics and Religion

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Guitarist Daron Malakian (System of a Down, Scars on Broadway) sat down for an interview with KROQ recently, with the conversation turning towards politics and religion. After a slight dejection from Malakian, the guitarist found himself diving into the topic, sharing his views on President Obama’s first term, how organized religion can destroy the personal experience, global terrorism + much more.

Malakian spoke about President Obama’s first term and compared the ‘cult of personality’ honed by Obama to that of Bill Clinton. “Anybody who thinks that Obama was gonna come and fix that mess in three or four years is nuts,” says Malakian. “I mean, that by itself… You’ve gotta give him a little bit more time. I think he’s doing an alright job. I ain’t got no beef with Obama. But I’ll tell you this much: he is a politician, like everybody else, and he’s a damn good one. Because he can really make you like him. [It's the job of politicians] to bulls–t people and to make them like you, and he is king at it. He might be a little better than [Bill] Clinton, actually.”

Later in the interview, Malakian continued with the political discussion, bringing religion into the mix.

“I’ll be honest with you: politically, I have no issue with people, but my beef sometimes is with religion at the end of the day,” Malakian explains. “And that offends people, I guess, more than telling people what to do. But I just think a lot of people… Politicians use religion and they get their troops riled up with religion. And it’s not just here with Christianity, it’s… Those dudes, like [Osama] Bin Laden, these dudes are all politicians themselves.”

He continues, “They use the simple-minded and the poor and they promise them things and that’s how they rile up their troops using religion. And we don’t see that as the same as our politicians, but they play the same games with their people over there as the politicians play with the people over here to get them riled up, to go to war… ‘You’re fighting for freedom.’ I just think religion is something… It could be a beautiful thing for the individual, but when it becomes organized, that’s when religion starts taking a kind of ugly turn to me.”

Scars on Broadway are set to embark on a North American tour with Deftones. The trek kicks off Oct. 9 in Ventura, Calif.

Next: Drummer John Dolmayan Leaves Scars on Broadway

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