In 1995, two Armenian friends Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian formed System of a Down (SOAD) in Glendale, California. They invited their school friends Shavo Odadjian and Andy Khachaturian to join the band. During the next three years, the musicians dedicated themselves to recording four demo albums and a few performances at different events. In 1997, Andy left the band to work on his own project called The Apex Theory. He was replaced by John Dolmayan.
While performing at the local venues and events, the band got the attention of a famous producer Rick Rubin, who helped the young musicians get a contract with American Recordings.
By the summer of 1998, the new LP was ready. It immediately became very popular. The album System of a Down reached the 124th spot of Billboard 200 and eventually received a platinum certificate in the USA. To support the LP, the band recorded several music videos, which were successful on MTV. The most popular songs from the album "Sugar" and "Spiders" reached the 28th and 25th spot on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks accordingly.
Besides that, in 1998, SOAD recorded a new single "Will They Die 4 You" together with several famous rock musicians, such as Mase and Puff Daddy. The song became a part of a compilation album Chef Aid: The South Park Album.