We may never hear new music from System of a Down, but the band’s drummer, John Dolmayan, has finally launched his long-awaited These Grey Men project. His first offering is a star-studded one: a cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” featuring Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows on vocals and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello playing a characteristically searing guitar solo. The take on the classic The Bends closer also features guitarist James Hazley, bassist Tom Copossela and keyboardist Danny Shamoun, who worked on the arrangement with Dolmayan. Hear it — and watch its accompanying music video — below.
“This song in particular is a really touching and moving song,” Dolmayan told Rolling Stone of the song choice. “I love the morose, in-your-room-and-it’s-raining-outside, it’s cold and your girlfriend dumped you feeling that this song always gave me… But when I listened to it, I’d be like, ‘I kinda wish the drums came in earlier’, or, ‘How would [John] Bonham approach this song if this was a [Led] Zeppelin song?’ Because I’m such a fan of the song, I wanted to do a version of it in homage.”
Shadows added in a statement: “When John told me he wanted to reimagine some of his favorite songs for an album I was very intrigued. I’ve always respected Radiohead but wasn’t familiar with their full catalog. When John sent ‘Street Spirit’ I instantly was blow away by the sounds. Since then I have been on a huge Radiohead kick. Adding Tom Morello to our version was the icing on the cake. I feel this recording stays true to the original while adding John’s overall vision.”
Dolmayan’s solo debut, titled These Grey Men, is due out February 28th. In addition to the Shadows-and-Morello-assisted Radiohead cover, the record also features the drummer’s SOAD bandmate Serj Tankian singing David Bowie’s “Starman” and the Talking Heads’ “Road to Nowhere.” See the full track listing below.
These Gray Men track listing:
1. “Hung Up” — Madonna
2. “Street Spirit” — Radiohead
3. “Beautiful Thieves” — AFI
4. “Road to Nowhere” — Talking Heads
5. “Rock Bottom” — Eminem
6. “Runaway” — Del Shannon
7. “Starman” — David Bowie
8. “What You Know” — Two Door Cinema Club