The intensity of metal, the social commentary of rap and a plethora of influences – ranging from the band's Armenian heritage to jazz to Middle Eastern melodies to the nightly news – has made System Of A Down an international powerhouse. The members' shared and diverse musical and personal experiences created such an explosive musical mine field of such volatile, incendiary ferocity that Rick Rubin elected to sign and produce the group as the first new act on American Recordings under a pact with Columbia Records. From 2004-2005 System Of A Down recorded a double album's worth of material which they released in two installments six months apart later in 2005. The platinum certified Mesmerize was issued to critical acclaim in May and debuted atop the Billboard 200 while hit single "B.Y.O.B." took home a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. Searing anti-establishment themes abound shot through with distinct yet dazzling melodies and strident harmonies.