System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian spoke to KROQ and talked about their record’s great success and popularity, which coincided with a very tragic event that affected millions of people.
System of a Down released their second studio album named ‘Toxicity’ on September 4, 2001. It received very positive reviews from music critics and metalheads and reached no. 1 on Billboard. The band’s fusion of folk, progressive rock, jazz, Armenian and Greek music drew significant attention.
Unfortunately, one week after the record’s release, the September 11 attacks terrorized the USA and the whole world after 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked airplanes to crash them to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Thus, Shavo Odadjian learned the good and bad news simultaneously.
Following his mother’s call, the bassist found out about the attack because he had gone to bed early to prepare for Slipknot’s Pledge of Allegiance Tour, also known as the Iowa World Tour. Then, their manager called and said the album is on no. 1 in Billboard, so it turned into a bittersweet and crazy moment of his life.
In Odadjian’s words, he said:
“There’s a crazy story about that. Sound scans came, our album dropped the week prior to, so the sound scan dropped on September 11, in the morning. We had this tour coming up with Slipknot called Pledge of Allegiance, so I was kind of getting ready for that. I was sleeping, and at 9 am, my phone was ringing off the hook and wasn’t answering for a while.
Then it didn’t stop ringing so I answered, it was my mom, and she said ‘Turn the tv on, something crazy is happening.’ I turned it on and saw the towers falling, burning. I was like, ‘What the hell! Is this a movie or real?’ The phone beeps, and I go to the other line; it’s my manager, Bino, going, ‘Hey, congratulations, you’re no. 1 on Billboard.’
I heard both things in the same five minutes, and it was bittersweet, nasty, good, happy, not happy. It was crazy, so that’s how I remember being told we were no. 1 on Billboard.”
You can watch the interview below.