John Dolmayan is not a new name in the world of hard rock and metal music. The Armenian-Lebanese-American was born on July 15, 1973.
His rise to fame was with System of a Down. He also drums for a band called Indicators. Apart from being a drummer, John Dolmayan is also a songwriter. He is pure talent and everything you would expect from a great drummer. Very few in this industry can measure up to his level.
What makes Dolmayan stand out is his mastery of speed and agility. He plays the drums as though they can hear his thoughts and do exactly what he wants them to do.
When Loudwire made a list of Top 200 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of all time, Dolmayan ranked at number 70, displaying just how solid of a drummer he is. And it is no secret that his contribution to the metal genre has been immense as well.
Dolmayan, like many other great drummers, started drumming very early in his life. He got interested in music when he was just two years old. His greatest influence came from his father, who was a saxophone player. His mother would always take him to see when his father was performing.
Dolmayan started teaching himself drums by simply listening to records. He would then practice for hours until he was sure everything made sense to him. And he continued with that same spirit for many years. He says his musical style was influenced by anything he could get his hands on. Even if it were the jazz drum parts belonging to his father’s music, he would practice those to develop his skills.
He was a great fan of the Who. Consequentially, Keith Moon quickly became his biggest influence. He cites other drummers like John Bonham and Stewart Copeland as contributing to his drumming passion as well.
In 1997, Dolmayan joined System of a Down, replacing their original drummer. He has recorded five albums with the band, among them “System of a Down” and “Steal This Album.”
In 2006, Dolmayan won DRUM! Magazine’s 2006 Drummer of the Year. He also found himself in the March edition in the same year. His band was disbanded in 2006 but returned together again in 2010.
After System of a Down, when a member of Hiatus, Dolmayan and Daron Malakian, a guitarist from the band, joined hands to form Scars on Broadway. The band recorded its debut album in 2007 and 2008. The team went on to perform concerts to support the album until Malakian suddenly canceled the 2008 tour.
The remaining members traveled to Iraq in 2009 for the USO tour. They worked on several projects during this time which became successful, thanks to his creative skills. Later in 2010, the band reunited with Malakian and released a single. The project did not go far because Dolmayan wasn’t an active member of the band anymore.
In a more solo context, Dolmayan also worked on projects for Killing Jokes and Scum of the Earth. He also went on to play for Axis of Justice too. Finally, in 2009, he formed a new rock band named Indicator. And he has been with the group ever since.