System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian spoke in an interview with Ernie Ball and revealed the story of how he was influnced by David Bowie, The Beatles and Neil Young.

He said “people like Bowie or Neil Young, The Beatles, The Kinks, and that type of stuff started bleeding into my writing with songs like ‘Lost in Hollywood,’ ‘Soldier Side,’ ‘ATWA’. Here’s the statement:

“I feel like I have a certain style. I don’t know how that happens. But I always try to add to that style, I don’t just try to stick with it. I always try to add a certain color that maybe I didn’t use before.

“If you want to talk about the System albums, they evolve in that way as time goes on. On the first album [1998’s self-titled], it was more heavy metal and anger, I think.

And I think because we were playing the clubs at that time, on the first album, I was just trying to write songs that were going to get the club going, get a mosh pit moving. And then we started playing bigger places, and it wasn’t as intimate. I started going more into a songwriting direction and started getting more influenced by songwriters instead of riffs.

People like Bowie or Neil Young, The Beatles, The Kinks, and that type of stuff started bleeding into my writing with songs like ‘Lost in Hollywood,’ ‘Soldier Side,’ ‘ATWA.’

My songwriting started evolving into more of that stuff, into more melody, and I just wasn’t afraid to try that even though it might’ve been something we never did before. But it was honest… it was just honest, it was where I was as a writer at that time and I just felt like if it was honest then people would get it.”

You can watch the entire interview from below.