Over the past decade, veteran musician and songwriter Levon Sultanian has been a valuable player within the Los Angeles music scene. His musical journey began on piano at the age of seven, where he studied classical music with his grandfather. He eventually picked up the guitar at age nine. Discovering players such as Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, it inspired him to buy his first Fender Stratocaster at age 11.
As a musician, he has played with Onesidezero, recording and writing on their two full length recordings, 2001’s Is This Room Getting Smaller? (Maverick Records), and 2007’s Onesidezero (Corporate Punishment). ‘Tapwater’ was featured in the 2002 film A Walk To Remember (Warner Bros. Pictures), while ‘New World Order’ was featured in the television series Smallville (CW Network), both songs that Levon co-wrote. They toured with Incubus, 311, Rob Zombie, Zebrahead, and the Static X and Soulfly tour, which eventually led to the formation of his next project, Abloom.
In Abloom, Levon had worked with former Soulfly members, drummer Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour), guitarist Mikey Doling (Snot/Invitro), and bassist Marcello Dias (Against All Will/Dead Heart Saints), as well as Onesidezero vocalist Jasan Radford. Within its brief time, the band recorded material with System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, and later opened the Southwestern dates on the Static X/SOiL tour, as well as participating on the 2005 Zippo Tour. Their song ‘What You Came For’ was featured in the B-Movie The Passing.
Levon has since expanded his horizons into other areas, including producing and sound engineering. He has previously worked with producers Ulrich Wild (Static X), Toby Wright (Sevendust, Fear Factory), Jim Wirt (Incubus, Jack’s Mannequin), and John Travis (Kid Rock) on many of his previous musical ventures. His personal credits include classical outfit Kohar, Los Angeles based rock band Red Snow and Russian metal band ANJ (he co-wrote songs and hired as their live guitarist). ANJ was nominated in three categories for the 2009 Los Angeles Music Awards – Music Video of the Year, Best Song, International Showcase Artist of the Year, and International Songwriter of the Year.
As a songwriter, he has teamed up with various musical acts to collaborate for songwriting. His understanding and adaptability between different genres of music has made his skills a valuable asset. He has co-written with people such as Poet Named Life, which featured Black Eyed Peas members Jaime Luis “Taboo Nawasha” Gomez and Allan “apl.de.ap” Pineda Lindo ; Mazik (Blood of Abraham); and Takbir ‘Tak’ Bashir (Styles of Beyond); as well as a song on Roy Mayorga’s solo album titled ‘Desert Song’ (also featuring Slipknot/Stone Sour guitarist Jim Root).
Levon has been involved with coordinating benefit concerts for various causes. He was involved in four high profile Los Angeles benefit shows – Sultan To Mars Productions – Der Zor Eve Of Justice: A Rock Concert To Benefit Pyunic Disabled Children of Armenia at the Roxy Theater, Amplifly Your Voice Against Genocide” benefit concert for Darfur at the El Rey Theater, Recognize The Armenian Genocide Festival (with Axis of Justice) at the Knitting Factory, and Silenced Cries: A Benefit Concert For Humanity (co-sponsored by the USC Armenian Student Association) at USC Bovard Auditorium (with Jacob Armen). Each of the benefit shows helped raise money for various causes he felt deeply about.
“Just like our Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Native Americans discovered and conquered, Rwanda, and now a current genocide in Darfur, Sudan. We gather together to amplify our voices against genocide,” says Onesidezero/Abloom guitarist Levon Sultanian. “I am the offspring of martyrs of a genocide perpetrated 92 years ago. I bear testimony to the atrocities imposed upon my people. I can empathize with others in the same position. That is why I participate in the Darfur demonstrations, and I do so through my music.”
Levon is endorsed by ESP Guitars, Bogner Amplifiers, Dunlop Electronics, Dean Markley Strings, and Seymour Duncan Pick Ups.
Watch Levon Sultanian in Interview