System Of A Down’s Daron Malakian said he was ‘very sad’ to hear about ‘genius’ Charles Manson’s death

"Sometimes talented people do bad things. For example, OJ Simpson killed his wife, which is horrible"

System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian has caused controversy by saying that he was ‘very sad’ to hear about the death of Charles Manson – hailing him as a ‘genius’ for his music and interviews.

Notorious cult leader Charles Manson died in a hospital in California on Sunday (November 19). He was 83. After Marilyn Manson shared an image of the killer with a link to one of his own tracks, now the SOAD guitarist has spoken out for the influence that Charles Manson had on him as an artist.

“Very sad to hear the news about Charles Manson’s death,” Malakian wrote on Facebook. “During the time I was writing the Toxicity album, Manson’s interviews and music were a big influence on me as an artist. I titled the song #ATWA after Manson’s environmental organization. My interest was in the way he articulated his thoughts and his views on society, not in the murders.


“The painting in this photo is one I asked my dad to paint with the Charles Manson theme, which I later used as the art for the #ScarsOnBroadway song ‘Fucking’ that was released through limited vinyl.

Very sad to hear the news about Charles Manson’s death. During the time I was writing the Toxicity album, Manson’s…

Posted by Daron Malakian on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Responding to the backlash from a number of followers, Malakian then went on to defend his comments – arguing that of course he doesn’t agree with Manson’s murders, but that his crimes shouldn’t alter his contributions to art

Malakian wrote:

“Manson was a genius who could articulate his thoughts in very clever ways.””If all you know about Manson is what you’ve [been] sold by the media, I don’t blame you for you negative comments. But the other side of Manson was that he was a songwriter [whose] song ‘Look At Your Game’ was covered by GUNS N’ ROSES. Manson also had very valid view points on the society and the environment that even some of you people who are calling me disgusting couldn’t argue with if you took the time to look into his interviews. I would say you would be the disgusting ones if you disagree with him on some of these topics.

“If Manson was just some idiot who killed people, he wouldn’t inspire me in any way.

“I don’t back murders or murderers in any way shape or form!!!!!

“Manson was a genius who could articulate his thoughts in very clever ways. That was the Manson who affected me as an artist.

“For all of you who say [you’re] happy he is dead and he should burn in your imaginary hell, [you’re] the ones who should be ashamed of yourselves. You [seem] to be just as bad with your thoughts as the murderers you [say] that you hate so much!!!!”

“Let me try to explain one more time for those who just don’t get where I’m coming from on this Manson post. I don’t back the murderer Charles Manson, I back his art and his views on social and environmental issues. Sometimes talented people do bad things. For example, OJ Simpson killed his wife, which is horrible. But you can’t deny the fact that he was one of the best football players in history. So there is the murderer OJ and the football OJ. So if I was a football player, I could not deny Simpson’s contribution to the game and the impact he had on future football players. Yes, he did a horrible thing by killing his wife, but his talent as a football player in undeniable.

“And for the people who are asking if I would feel the same if Manson killed my family or pregnant wife, this is an example for you. My family was in the Armenian Genocide where millions of Armenians were slaughtered by the Turkish government and Turkish soldiers. But I still enjoy Turkish music, Turkish art, and I have Turkish friends who probably had grandparents who were Turkish soldiers during the genocide.”

Charles Manson shocked the world in 1969 after leading the Manson Family, a notorious cult that committed the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight other victims on his orders. Tate was found stabbed to death in her Hollywood home, while other victims included celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring and coffee empire heiress Abigail Folger.


When police investigated the deaths, they discovered that Manson had sent his followers to commit the murders as part of a sickening belief that it would start a race war which had been prophesied in ‘Helter Skelter’ by The Beatles.

After being sentenced to death in 1971, his conviction was eventually commuted into a life sentence, with Manson remaining imprisoned in California until his death.

Meanwhile, System Of A Down recently gave an update on their long-awaited new album.