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System of a Down - July 18th, 1998
Jen Garber interviews System of a Down backstage at Ozzfest '98

Has Ozzfest been fun for you so far?

It's been beyond fun.  It's been Ozzfest summer camp.  It's been great.  But we've still got two weeks...

Jen: How does performing in a club differ from Ozzfest?

This is like a festival.  The vibe is the same as far as what we do and what we like to do.   But one is outdoors, one is indoors, one is during the day, the other is at night.

Jen: Is that different, performing in the daytime as opposed to night?

You have more exposed.  You're completely open.  And everyone is completely open, so like there's no hidden factor, there's no mystery, it's just served on a platter, you know what I mean?  But it's good!  I like that rawness and I like the afternoon.  You've got that energy.

Jen: Any dates stand out as being exceptional?

This is one [Somerset, Wisconsin].  Playing in the rain was crazy.  I went up to the mike stand and it was wet already.  It was like drenched and I'm like, Oh yeah, this is gonna be a fun show.  I actually like the rain for our music because, like I was telling Sam can't talk about death and destruction when it's sunny outside.

Jen: I heard you might do some dates with Incubus.  Do you know when that will be?

No we're just talking so far.  We've made great friends on this tour.  There are great people touring.  And we're just happy to be a part of it.  We've jammed with our friends Coal Chamber and Snot from L.A.  We met the guys from Limp Bizkit, and Incubus.  You walk around after a show and everyone is just kicking back and doing barbecue, like the guys from Soulfly, Max, Gloria, they were doing a barbecue and they invited us and we went over and it was really good, it was like home cooking.  It's like one big happy family on the road.

Jen: Are you playing any club shows between Ozzfest dates?

Yeah, we were actually in Des Moines yesterday.  We were at a small show there with Incubus and Snot.  We've been playing some off dates with Incubus and Snot and Soulfly as well.

Jen: How do you keep busy on those long drives between shows?

Reading, watching some movies.  Joking.  Sleeping sometimes.  It's nice.  Time goes by fast.  When we started off, a five hour drive was a five hour drive.  Now it's like how you cool off after a show.  A twelve hour drive is a drive.  I think we're gonna have a 23 hour drive.  Now that's a drive.

Jen: Where was your album recorded?

We recorded the album in Van Nuys, we did vocals at Rick Rubin's house which was crazy!  It was amazing.   He has an amazing studio.  Sylvia Massey was engineering the album, we set up a tent in the middle of the recording room.  That was the vocal booth.  It was a tent.  We had colored lights and incense and little antique rugs and just had a great vibe going.  We actually did some tracks in the dungeon, and we did some tracks outside.  She even made me record stuff upside down for the hell of it.

Jen: The dungeon?  Tell me about that.

Oh it was a scary vibe.  It's at the bottom of the house.  It's like an old storage area.  Cement.  Real cold, like a dungeon.  So we just lit some candles there and did some recording there.

Jen: Why would you be recording in all of those different locations?

Because I think there's a ghost there!

Jen: What are your plans after Ozzfest?

Tour.  Tour.  Tour.  Tour.  Tour.  Can't wait to hit Europe.  Can't wait to hit other areas of the country that we haven't hit yet.  We're really excited to yell at a bunch more people and tell them to go fuck the system.