Sure, in System of a Down, Malakian and John Dolmayan earned five straight platinum albums, including three #1's, and headlined numerous festivals and sold out shows around the world. But he is sincere when he says, "I really didn't feel like, "Hey, just because I'm Daron from System of a Down, everyone's just going to bow down to this music." That he's not taking anything for granted about Scars' self-titled debut due out July 29 (Interscope) is evident in his enthusiasm as he talks about the immediate success of the powerful guitar driven rocking first single, "They Say." "When I first heard that song on the radio, I was so excited, like I'd never had a song on the radio before. That's really how I felt."For both Malakian and Dolmayan, the opportunity to prove themselves all over again is one they're genuinely relishing, especially since both concede that after System's decade-long run atop the metal and hard rock world they had started to lose that feeling of newness. Recalling Scars' first two shows, including a critically acclaimed set at Coachella called "One of the festival's hottest highlights," by the L.A. Times, Dolmayan says, "At those first two shows, there was an energy in those rooms that I haven't felt for a long time. And it's nice to have that fresh feeling because with System we kind of took for granted that people would be there. We were playing old songs so the fans were still going to get crazy for them. With Scars, we don't have that; we've got to earn everything and I like that. I like having to fight for things."Artistically though, both Dolmayan and Malakian are very emotionally satiated by Scars. In talking about his feelings when he listens to the finished album, Dolmayan says, "I take pride from it. It's like watching a child graduate from college. You're responsible for raising that child, making sure it's a good person, taking it to the next level and helping the child grow to be an individual. And it's kind of like that with these songs."And Malakian's thoughts? "I feel that Scars is an evolution and a progression from where I came from, which is System, and it feels that way to John. When I listen to our songs this feels right, like this should be happening right now."He trusts that when people finally do hear Scars on Broadway, they'll have the same feeling. "I can't wait for people to hear the songs because I feel it's some of my best material ever," he says. "I really am proud of the material and of what we've done."