ALLARD, SYSTEM OF A DOWN GROOVE ON GENOCIDE BILL
By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News
Rocky Mountain News, CO
April 25 2006
Wayne Allard co-sponsored a symbolic bill on Armenian genocide.
Republican Sen. Wayne Allard and members of the heavy metal band
System of a Down would seem to have little in common.
For starters, Allard has shorter hair and wears ties more often.
While Allard is quiet and conservative, the band is, um, not.
But they share concern over Armenian genocide. And on Wednesday the
band will drop in on Allard to thank him for co-sponsoring symbolic
legislation casting a spotlight on the deaths of an estimated 1.5
million ethnic Armenians under Ottoman Empire rule in the early
The Armenian-American band, known for political lyrics, has made
remembering the Armenian genocide a cause celebre.
Its Web site urges fans worldwide to pressure their representatives
to remember crimes against humanity.
So is the band’s music on Allard’s iPod?
“Sen. Allard does not yet own an iPod,” chief of staff Sean Conway
Even if he did, it’s doubtful it would be loaded with System of a Down.
Its song list includes “F— the System.” One song, “B.Y.O.B.,”
includes the lyrics “Why don’t presidents fight the war? Why do they
always send the poor?”
And then there are profanity- laced songs like “Cigaro,” which includes
bragging references to various male physical attributes.
“Sen. Allard is aware the band is heavy metal and has strong political
lyrics in their songs, but he admires the band members for their
standing up for what they believe in and for their strong support of
the Armenian Genocide Resolution,” Conway said.
Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Denver, also is among the 26 co-sponsors of the
bill. Salazar spokesman Drew Nannis did not know if band members
planned to visit Salazar’s office.
Band members reportedly plan to meet with numerous members of Congress
as they try to get the bill moved on the congressional agenda.
On Monday night, they were scheduled to join members of the Armenian
National Committee of America and Armenian Youth Federation for a
protest outside the Turkish Embassy.
Today, they are planning to host a congressional screening of the
documentary Screamers, which highlight’s the band’s role in the
Armenian genocide campaign, according to NewAmericaMedia.org.