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Shavarsh "Shavo" Odadjian


1995- System Of A Down - bass  
2005- Achozen - vocals, guitars, bass  

Personal information

Born on: 22.04.1974

Official website

Shavo was born in Armenia as Shavarsh Odadjian lived there in his early ages before his family moved to Italy for a short while and then headed to Los Angeles, California eventually.

In his youth, Shavo used to spend most of his time skateboarding and listening to punk rock and heavy metal music. Among others, he names The Punk Angle, Dead Kennedys, KISS and Black Sabbath as his favorite bands with great influence on his future musical development.

Shavo was raised in a great part by his grandmother, after whose death he claims to have lost faith and to have stopped praying every night as he did before. He attended 'Alex Pilibos' High School in Los Angeles, an Armenian parochial school, including his future band mates Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian, although they were not acquainted at the time due to age difference.

Apart from working in a bank doing wire transfers, he also started managing Soil, the band of Malakian and Tankian in 1993 after meeting them in a recording studio, where he was recording with his own band. In 1995, Shavo became the permanent bassist of the band, which from then on called itself System of a Down.

Before Odadjian and his high school friends formed System, the band's bassist appeared on MTV as an extra in AC/DC's video for "Big Gun" from 1993's "Last Action Hero" soundtrack. He was just 18 years old. "You see me full-on," Odadjian said. "It just happened where Arnold Schwarzenegger came next to me. ... It was bad lighting, because they had more light on me than they did Arnold. And I'm watching it going, 'Whoa, dude ? I'm on TV!' It was really strange."

In addition, Odadjian is a popular DJ in the LA area, taking part in such events as the "Rock/DJ Explosion" on March 2nd 2001 at The Roxy in Hollywood, CA and collaborating with band mate 'Serj Tankian' on SerArt, the singers side project with multitalented Armenian musician 'Arto Tuncboyaciyan'. He goes by the name "DJ Tactic."

Stating himself to be a "very visual person," he has also directed music videos for System of a Down ( Aerials, Toxicity, Question! and Hypnotize), and Taproot, creating surreal atmospheres and using innovative methods in filming.

Shavo made a short cameo appearance in the 2001 movie 'Zoolander' as one of Hansel's friends. His favorite actor is Christopher Walken, and he declares to be fascinated with occultism, mainly in the form of movies.

Shavo was originally a guitarist, and claims to play guitar better than he does bass. In fact, he was the guitarist for Soil for a short period of time. Apart from playing bass, Shavo did a little bit of vocals on the song, "Bounce", with a strange high pitched voice. He usually plays bass with a pick, but he can be seen using his fingers from time to time.