The current drummer for System of a Down is John Dolmayan. He has been drumming for the band since 1998, replacing Darron Malakian’s cousin, Ontronik “Andy” Khachaturian. 

Dolmayan is a well-respected musician who has performed with some of Los Angeles’ most renowned bands. He was ranked 33rd on the list for Hard Rock + Metal Drummers by Loudwire, and he also drummed with Indicator before Scars on Broadway took over his former position.

Dolmayan originates from Beirut, Lebanon. His family moved to California during Civil War in their country.

Dolmayan’s first drumming experience came at the age of two when his dad would play saxophone for fun in their living room.

His mom was against it, but Dolmayan got permission because “I wanted him to be happy.” He learned how from while watching other people play, not just seeing them on TV or videos as many kids do today but actually watching their practice and then copying what he saw!

Dolmayan is a fantastic drummer who joined System of a Down in 1998 after their original drummer Ontronik “Andy” Khachaturian left due to an injury.

He recorded five albums with them, including 1998’s SYSTEM OF A DOWN and 2001’s TOXICITY.

Dolmayan also won DRUM! Magazine’s 2006 Drummer Of The Year. within the March edition.

What happened to the first drummer in System of a Down?

His name is Ontronik “Andy” Khachaturian, an American musician, DJ, and producer. He played in SOAD for three years (1994–1997) and leave because of the injury he suffered in martial arts.

The system of Down’s formation results between three high school friends banding together. In 1994, Andy met guitarist Daron Malakian and bassist Shavo Odadjian while they were both attending class.

Together with Serj Tankian, they formed Sistem of a Down in 1994.

After being with System of a Down for three years, Andy had to leave the band due to an injury he received while practicing a martial art.

He was replaced by John Dolmayan, who current drummer in SOAD.

What drum set does John Dolmayan use?

He uses Tama Starclassic, which is premium series made by famous drum manufacturer Tama.

The new Starclassic Performer series is all about maple and birch drums. The newest hybrid shell offers drummers powerful sounds as well as expressive playing opportunities, thanks to their exotic wood on top.

His setup includes:

  • 22 “x18” Bass Drum
  • 14 “x6” John Dolmayan Signature Snare Drum
  • 10 “x8” Tom Tom
  • 12 “x9” Tom Tom
  • 13″x10″ Tom Tom
  • 16 “x14” Tom Tom
  • 18 “x16” Floor Tom

He uses Paiste cymbals here, you can find his setup.

How old is John Dolmayan?

John was born on July 15, 1973, so he is 48. (2021)

How tall is John Dolmayan?

He is 5 foot 7 inches tall.

Why did System of a Down Break Up?

System of a Down announced they were going on hiatus in 2006, and one of the reasons was that members got into a different side project.

Guitarist Daron Malakian started the new band Scars on Broadway with John Dolmayan, Franky Perez, Danny Shamoun and Dominic Cifarelli.

SOAD split after a lot of creative differences made it difficult for them to work together.

Did SOAD get back together?

After 15 years, the band has officially released two songs in 2020 addressing the ongoing conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, “Protect The Land” and Genocidal Humanoidz.”

The Armenia Fund will use proceeds from the music to help “create a better homeland for our nation.” System Of A Down also elaborates on what’s happening in their home country; it went downhill at the end of September, and things haven’t improved since then…

Is SOAD recording a new album?

No. Malakian said he and vocalist Serj Tankian had commercial and creative differences in the past, and there are still things they need to overcome so SOAD can keep rocking.

However, he didn’t exclude the possibility of this happening in the future.

The two singles they released were for a noble purpose, and they didn’t make any money from it.

It’s a shame that System of A Down cannot put aside their differences and make new music.

The guitarist, Daron Malakian, has said it is unfortunate they cannot work together as a band.

Scars on Broadway

System of a Down’s hiatus ended with the formation of Scars on Broadway, which consisted of guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian,  guitarist Franky Perez, bassist Dominic Cifarelli, and keyboardist Danny Shamoun. The new band recorded their eponymous debut album in 2007-2008.

The Scars on Broadway musicians made history in August of 2009 when they traveled to Iraq for a USO tour.

They reunited in 2010 and released a single, but unfortunately, the band changed, and Dolmayan was no longer in the group since 2018.

Other John’s projects

Dolmayan has played drums for Killing Joke, Scum of the Earth, and Serj Tankian.

In addition to this, he was on tour playing various artists during the Axis Of Justice Tour.

In June 2009, Dolmayan formed a new rock band called Indicator. The band performed their first show at the Bitter End in San Diego, with Franky Perez joining them for some songs.

They only play two shows before they quit. In 2009, John auditioned for The Smashing Pumpkins in the absence of Jimmy Chamberlin. Although he didn’t make it into their band at first, they still allowed him to play with them live!

Dolmayan is a self-professed comic book collector and retailer who has devoted much of his life to the industry. He launched Torpedo Comics out of Nevada, with an emphasis on brick-and-mortar stores in addition to online presence.

In 2006, John won the Drum! Magazine’s award for the best drummer of all time. In addition to this prestigious title, he also took home Alternative Rock’s honor as well.

Personal life

Dolmayan is married to Diana Dolmayan, who happens to be the sister of Tankian’s wife, Angela.

He is very politically active on social networks and opens about Donald Trump’s support.

Politically, he is on the opposite side from Tankian, and according to him, that is frustrating since the two of them are very close.