System of a Down have reached a huge milestone, with their music video for ‘Chop Suey!’ hitting one billion views on YouTube.
Their classic breakout hit achieved the landmark just months before the 20th anniversary of the song’s release, according to Loudwire.
Taken from their second album Toxicity, that record propelled the heavy metal band into the musical stratosphere. It hit the top of the U.S. Billboard 200, going on to be certified triple platinum by the RIAA. ‘Chop Suey!’ even earned the group its first Grammy nomination in 2002 for Best Metal Performance.
“I remember when I wrote ‘Chop Suey!’ we didn’t even have a tour bus yet,” Daron Malakian recalled during an interview with Loudwire. “We were still in an RV and I was playing my acoustic guitar in back of the RV where there was a bed. I never write on the road.
That’s one of the few, very few songs that I wrote while I was on the road, I remember writing the song when the RV was on the highway. I don’t know where we were, probably [driving] to the next gig, and it all came to me just hanging out in the back of the RV playing my acoustic guitar.”
He continued, “I can always feel when I write something good and I can always tell when I write something that needs a little work. I thought it was really good, but did I think it was going to turn into this huge song that was gonna get on MTV and become a huge hit for System of a Down?
No. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that it was gonna be our first [hit] single. I didn’t think it was gonna be so huge, but at the time I thought it was good. I was a fan of it.”
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“All of a sudden I’m walking in the mall, and there are people who recognize me and know who the hell I am through the video asking for pictures, asking for autographs,” Malakian recalled. “I was a big famous rock star, yet I was still living with my parents.”
At the end of the 2010’s, ‘Chop Suey!’ was the eight-most watched music video on YouTube from the 2000’s. By passing the one billion mark, one of the greatest metal songs of all time is now safely also one of the most defining songs of the 21st century so far.