AllMusic: If I’m not mistaken, you were wearing a Hellhammer shirt that night.        

Malakian: For me, the black metal scene is one of the last great things that has happened in heavy metal music. Even though people don’t put these two genres together, black metal and nu metal kind of came out around the same time in the 90s – I’m talking about the second generation of metal, like Darkthrone and all that – since black metal and nu metal, there hasn’t been a scene in heavy metal music that has really impressed me and drew me into it.

AllMusic: Did you embrace it right away or did it take some time?

Malakian: It took a second, some of the imagery, when it was new to me, I was like, “Why do all of these dudes look like Kiss?” I didn’t know the stories, I just saw them on their album covers, and I didn’t take it too seriously at first. It wasn’t until maybe the late 90s that I picked up Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger album and I really felt what those guys were doing. Especially the classic albums from that genre, and there’s a lot of great ones, from ImmortalGorgoroth, Darkthrone, Satyricon, there’s a lot of great music there that some people know about and some people don’t. It’s pretty underground.