Wake EntertainmentSystem of a Down drummer John Dolmayan has now announced all the details of his debut solo album, These Grey Men.
As previously reported, the eight-track album, due February 28, is a collection of cover songs, and the first single, a take on Radiohead‘s “Street Spirit,” features vocals from M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and a guitar solo from Tom Morello.
The eclectic track list, which includes songs by everyone from Madonna to AFI, was inspired by what Dolmayan heard on the radio while driving between L.A. and Las Vegas.
“I’d hear something and ask myself how I would play or arrange it,” says Dolmayan in a statement. “I actually started to make a list of about 30 songs I might cover someday…System wasn’t making music at the time, but I needed an outlet for my artistic energy. So, I whittled down the list and reached out to some artists I wanted to work with.”
Another track on the album, a cover of David Bowie‘s “Starman,” features vocals from Dolmayan’s SOAD band mate Serj Tankian. Tankian also sings on a version of “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads.
“Since Serj is the singer of System, I know where his vocals are going to go before he does,” says Dolmayan. “I was able to cater to what he had in mind. He did a phenomenal job on both songs.”
As for the title of the album, Dolyman was inspired by something he was told by an ex-Navy S.E.A.L.
“He told me S.E.A.L.s would always try to be nondescript. You would never notice them in a room. In other words, they were ‘Grey Men.’ He said, ‘They’re kind of invisible — similar to a drummer’…because many people don’t necessarily notice the drummer unless there’s a mistake.”
Here’s the track listing for These Grey Men:
“Road To Nowhere” (Talking Heads cover featuring Serj Tankian)
“Starman” (David Bowie cover featuring Serj Tankian)
“What I Know” (Two Door Cinema Club cover featuring Jonathan Dorr)
“Runaway” (Del Shannon cover featuring Franky Perez)
“Street Spirit” (Radiohead cover featuring M. Shadows and Tom Morello)
“Hung Up” (Madonna cover featuring Sirusho)
“Beautiful Thieves” (AFI cover featuring Jonah Perry Nimoy)
“Rock Bottom” (Eminem cover)
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