Your Sunday headliners System Of A Down are known for having some pretty out-there videos. Full of special effects, crazy moshpits, and often laced with political undertones – it’s no surprise that their videos have been nominated for multiple awards.
So, we’re counting down the 5 Sickest System Of A Down Videos to raise the DL horns to their visual masterpieces.
‘Aerials’ was directed by bassist Shavo Odadjian along with David Slade, who went on to work on the likes of Breaking Bad and Black Mirror. The video is a razor-sharp dissection of fame and greed. In a desolate landscape we meet a strange looking young boy in a circus tent. As the band rock out you see the boy transported to the modern world where he becomes surrounded by money, sex and power.
The video ends with the boy lying down on the floor of the circus tent and you can’t help but feel his despair. It’s an epic video for an epic track as ‘Aerials’ earned System their first number one slot in the US.
System’s first video ever was this one for ‘Sugar’, their debut single back in 1998. And, it’s as heavy and confrontational as the monstrous riffs in the track as System take aim at the establishment and media.
The news anchor at the start of the video still haunts our nightmares as he has on-air meltdown that channels the rage of Howard Beale from the classic 1976 film, Network. It’s an intense watch as the band’s performance in front of an American flag is quick cut with scenes of war, the holocaust and riots.
Ending with footage of the Upshot-Knothole Grable nuclear test, needless to say the video received little airplay when it was originally released. However, it went down in history as a total classic.
If System were to do Halloween, it would probably take the form of the video for ‘Spiders’. Elements of the supernatural blend with sci-fi to create a moody, atmospheric scene that leaves us with a lot of questions. What are all those wires? How long did all that make up take? Did the director Charlie Deaux watch the Matrix before or after he came up with the treatment?
Whatever the answers, ‘Spides’ goes down in System’s video canyon as one of their most ambiguous and ambitious videos.
One of metal’s most well known protest songs, ‘B.Y.O.B’ (Bring Your Own Bombs) has an equally provocative video. Written in condemnation of the Iraq war, the video shows an army of soldiers with helmets emblazoned with words like “DIE” and “OBEY”, who storm System’s nightclub gig and cause chaos.
The video for System’s most recognisable track, ‘Chop Suey!’, was nominated for two VMA’s when it was released in 2002. It’s not surprising either, with its wild special effects that seem to show the band walking through each other and a mosh we’d kill to be part of.
We know you’ve seen it 100 times already, but why not make it 101? Horns in the air for that classic shot of Serj eating the title dish.