What does the song “Toxicity- System Of a Down” mean?

What does the song “Toxicity- System Of a Down” mean? songs

Toxicity is a song by System of a Down (SOAD), released in April 2001 and belonging to the album of the same name. The single was awarded 14th place in VH1’s 40 Greatest Metal Songs contest. This song, sung in the nu-metal genre, has gained huge popularity all over the world. What is the meaning of the famous composition? Let’s find out together!

About the band

The Armenian-American music band “System of a Down” was founded in 1992. Though all the songs are sung in English only, all the band members have Armenian roots. For its unique style and great contribution to rock music, “System of a Down” has received prestigious awards at the Grammy, MTV Europe Music Awards, and ECHO Awards. Ben Myers’ book “System of a Down: Right Here in Hollywood” was written about the history of the band. The band’s discography includes five studio albums and numerous singles. The band has sold over 40 million copies of albums over the years.

The song style has become recognizable due to their interesting blend of rock and metal with motifs specific to their nation. Prior to SOAD’s arrival on the scene, this combination was unimaginable to anyone. Only Shavo was born in Armenia, but each of them remembers their roots and appreciates culture of the country of their ancestors, and this has left a mark on the musicians’ work.

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Music video

A music video was made for the song. At the beginning of the recording, the streets of Los Angeles are shown. Then the band members are shown. The homeless people living in the city are also shown. The surroundings are synchronized with the tempo of the music: in the sections where it is dynamic, white prevails, and in the places where the song sounds calm, the background has mostly dark tones.

The meaning of the song

The song Toxicity is known for its recognizable melody, energizing heavy vocals and high quality performance. The lyrics were written by Daron Malakyan and the music was composed by the band members. The song became the soundtrack of several video games. Initially, the concept of the song was invented by Shavo and the planned title was Version 7.0. Subsequently, the lyrics underwent many changes.

The title of the song “Toxicity,” as well as its lyrics, can be interpreted in many different ways. The popular opinion is that it is a reference to life in Los Angeles. There are also claims that the song criticizes such things as religious fanaticism, mass corruption, drug addiction, and other phenomena that disturb the peace and tranquility of society. As with many of the band’s lyrics, there is a certain political bias.

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The song is full of interesting expressions. For example, the phrase “clicking sunflower seeds to kill time” is an obvious reference to the post-Soviet period. In the countries of the former Soviet Union, sunflower seeds are eaten most often. In Armenia, this tradition can be traced very clearly. Also interesting are the words “somewhere between holy silence and sleep reigns disorder.”

Equally curious are the final lines “when I became the sun, I brought life into people’s hearts.” It can be interpreted as: if we can change the world for the better, we should do it.

There is no single meaning in the song. It is as if the authors left room for the listener to create, to allow for a unique interpretation of the multifaceted text. The song leaves after itself mixed feelings: you can feel a certain longing, which, however, is accompanied by the desire to change something in this world, which is full of shortcomings, but by no means hopeless.

Interesting facts

The song could not become a part of the album. The band members came to the studio with a huge number of songs: 44 tracks were created. However, the total number of songs in the album was only 14. Among all the variety, Version 7.0 hardly remained unnoticed.

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The track became the starting point of the changes in the band’s style. During the work on the album, especially on the song Toxicity, Daron took the reins of the band. He was very critical about every detail and concluded that the band should go beyond the metal and create more melodic compositions.

The creation of the song was completed after a fight between the band members. Malakian and Dolmayan are creative, enthusiastic and temperamental people. In the process of active work they had many disagreements, one of which turned into a real fight! After cooling down, the guys took the situation with humor and noted that it was one of the coolest moments in the history of the band. But the fight was not a joke, and the musicians ended up in the hospital. Shortly after being discharged, they completed their greatest hits: Toxicity and Chop Suey!

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