This song is about how money is spent on weapons and bombs for war when it could be spent on much better things. People are starving, seriously ill, and need help and war is wrong and nothing good comes out of it. It was released at a time when America was going through conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Before the US invaded Iraq, there were massive worldwide protests. The music video for "Boom" uses real footage of coordinated rallies on February 15, 2003, with people reciting the words to the song and voicing their opinions. System Of A Down (and also Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine), participated and show up in the video as marchers and journalists, documenting the peace effort. The video opens with this statement:
On February 15, 2003, 10 million people in over 600 cities around the world participated in the largest peace demonstration in the history of the world. Because we choose peace over war, we were there too.
The video was directed by Michael Moore, known for his documentaries Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11.
The lyrics were written by lead singer Serj Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian; music by Malakian. Tankian told MTV
: "To me, 'Boom' is kind of like building a little pyramid of what may or may not lead us to bomb someone or be at war. It's about human life, and there's a lot of civilians that die when bombs fall, and that's the problem."
SOAD recorded this song during sessions for their 2001 Toxicity album, but it didn't make the tracklist. In 2002, it was leaked on the internet along with other unused songs from those sessions. "Boom" showed up under the title "Everytime" on Napster and other file sharing sites, but with a dodgy mix that horrified the band. In response, they quickly released the leaked songs as their third album, Steal This Album!
Unlike Toxicity, which debuted at #1 thanks in part to a well-funded promotional campaign, Steal This Album! was packaged to look like a home-burned CD, with no liner notes or artwork. "Boom" was issued as a single with a similarly spartan look.
Both the single and album sold poorly relative to Toxicity, but the band wasn't concerned; they just wanted the songs heard as they intended. Their next album, Mezmerize, was released in 2005 and went to #1.