These Grey Men With M. Shadows

Hear System Of A Down, Rage Against The Machine & Avenged Sevenfold Members Unite On Radiohead Cover


The first proper taste of System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan‘s long-gestating side project These Grey Men has arrived. Below you can hear the project tackle Radiohead‘s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” with Avenged Sevenfold‘s M. Shadows guesting on vocals and Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello on lead guitar.

Dolmayan and James Hazley formed the core of These Grey Men and originally crowdfunded $55,215 to get the project off the ground back in 2014. Bassist Tom Copossela and keyboardist Danny Shamoun have since joined to round out the lineup.

Dolmayan told Rolling Stone of his choice for this cover:

“This song in particular is a really touching and moving song. I love the morose, in-your-room-and-it’s-raining-outside, it’s cold and your girlfriend dumped you feeling that this song always gave me… But when I listened to it, I’d be like, ‘I kinda wish the drums came in earlier’, or, ‘How would [John] Bonham approach this song if this was a [Led] Zeppelin song?’ Because I’m such a fan of the song, I wanted to do a version of it in homage.”

Meanwhile, M. Shadows said of his own involvement:

“When John told me he wanted to reimagine some of his favorite songs for an album I was very intrigued. I’ve always respected Radiohead but wasn’t familiar with their full catalog. When John sent ‘Street Spirit’ I instantly was blow away by the sounds. Since then I have been on a huge Radiohead kick. Adding Tom Morello to our version was the icing on the cake. I feel this recording stays true to the original while adding John’s overall vision.”

Speaking of his overall vision for the project, Dolmayan told the aforementioned publication:

“I don’t want to be someone that does just great covers. If I had any goal it would be that the casual listener wouldn’t know it was necessarily a cover — that it’d be different enough to where they thought, ‘OK, there’s something original happening here.’”

These Grey Men‘s self-titled debut album will arrive on February 28th. As previously reported, it will find Dolmayan‘s System Of A Down bandmate Serj Tankian lending his voice to two covers. Here’s how the record will run:

01 – “Road to Nowhere” (Talking Heads cover) (feat. Serj Tankian)
02 – “Starman” (David Bowie cover) (feat. Serj Tankian)
03 – “What You Know” (Two Door Cinema Club cover) (feat. Jonathan Dorr)
04 – “Runaway” (Del Shannon cover) (feat. Franky Perez)
05 – “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” (Radiohead cover) (feat. M. Shadows & Tom Morello)
06 – “Hung Up” (Madonna cover) (feat. Sirusho)
07 – “Beautiful Thieves” (AFI cover) (feat. Jonah Perry Nimoy)
08 – “Rock Bottom” (Eminem cover)

Speaking of his inspiration for the project’s name, Dolmayan offered:

“A buddy of mine is a former Navy S.E.A.L., and he was staying at my house when I was making the album. He’s a very introspective guy and a really good person. We’d have these long conversations. He told me S.E.A.L.s would always try to be nondescript. You would never notice them in a room. In other words, they were ‘Grey Men.’ He said, ‘They’re kind of invisible—similar to a drummer’. We thought it would be a great title, because many people don’t necessarily notice the drummer unless there’s a mistake.”

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