My Cart

0 items in your order

Shavo Odadjian

System Of A Down

"I'm a musician and an artist. I was born to create things and make music. It makes me happy." In this episode, Ernie Ball artist Shavo Odadjian of System Of A Down discusses his influences, his history with playing bass and guitar, and his Ernie Ball strings.

Transcript

Shavo Odadjian:
To me, I can't just say bass playing because I'm a musician and artist. And, I would just say that because most people will be like, "Oh, I'm an artist." And, they're full of themselves. It's not like that. It's just kind of I was born to create things and play and make music. It makes me happy. So, I mean, I can start from early age, five years old. I saw KISS on Solid Gold and I was kind of like, "I want to do that." And, I've always played music as in, in my head. I've always thought I could do this, you know? And, once the opportunity was there, when my parents bought me a guitar, I had a little Kramer with a little Randall amp. I just practiced every day, every day, every day. And before you know it, I knew how to play. Music to me is kind of like life, you know? And, bass playing is in that same category, is life.

Shavo Odadjian:
I was a guitar player throughout my teenage years. When I was 18 or 19 years old I was playing in this band in a studio and a broke up. And, while I was looking for something else and I was looking for a bass player and bass players were hard to find, you know, it was like either someone didn't know how to play the bass and was trying to be a bass player or someone was a virtuoso and was trying to be a lead guitar player on a bass at the time. So, no one really was the meat and potatoes. If you had a stew, you'd put the bass and the drums are the meat and potatoes and then the vocals and guitars are the salt and pepper. If you have good potatoes and you have good meat, you could just add all those spices you want, it'll be a good meal.

Shavo Odadjian:
So, I couldn't find someone that felt that way. So, I just said, "I'll pick up the bass and easier to find a guitar player." And, I did that for a little bit and then I linked up with Darren and we started System. So, I just started playing bass. So, I was playing bass six months when I started playing bass with System.

Shavo Odadjian:
When I was a kid I went to Guitar Center and Ernie Ball was attractive. I mean they just saw the package and it looked cool. And, I remember, I bought my first, it was green Slinky's, right? Got those, put them on great strings. They weren't too expensive. Now I never changed. I just kept doing it. And, then when our band kind of started getting endorsements, I went with you guys cause there's no other strings I play.

Shavo Odadjian:
So, the way I set up my strings for System is I get, because we tuned down to C, I'm tuned C-G-C-F so instead of tuning down an E string with a 100 down to C where it's going to be all floppy. I use a 130, a B string and I'll tune that up to a C and then use the 85, 65 and 45 for the rest of the strings. It gives the highest when I need them and it gives the ballsy lows when I need that.

Shavo Odadjian:
I don't sit there and write, I jam and then things come out. Then I'll pick and choose little parts that came out and I'll work on those. I'm not a technical bass player I'm not a solo bass player. I hear the drums, I hear the kick and I'm with it. You know, I'm like on it like, like glue with the drums.

Shavo Odadjian:
When I pick up a guitar, the first thing I do is play a fat, metal riff. I'll do a chunky riff. Something happened to me when I was a kid. I went to a KISS concert and I was in the sixth row and I looked and I thought Gene Simmons looked at me and I'm, what, 40 something. I'm telling you that story, right? Well I tried to give that experience to a bunch of kids every night so they can, when they're 40 they can say that Shavo looked at me or just give them that because they're there.

Shavo Odadjian:
So, anyways, that connection that you get where you're playing and you catch someone feeling it makes you feel it. And, it's like energy cycle. So, it's that's a show right there. Yes. Creating music is great. Good music, you have it on the album, but if you're playing live, anyone could go put the album and listen to it. So, I think when you're playing live, it should be a show. The best part of doing what I do is being able to share your music with people. That being on stage and the crowd that's the best moment ever.

Shavo Odadjian:
On tour, is the best thing is you wait all day for that one or two hours at night. It's that's the thing. You're waiting for that moment to get out there. That's the rush. The first time I got on stage, I knew this it. Best feeling ever.

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyze traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You indicate your consent to this use by clicking “I Agree” or by continuing to use this website. View details.