Thy Art Is Murder

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Listen to THY ART IS MURDER while you read.

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“The song writing for ‘No Absolution’ started six or seven years ago,” revealed Andy Marsh, guitarist for Thy Art Is Murder on their most recent single.

 

“We had the breakdowns at the end of it for a few years – we used to jam it at sound check – but we never built a song around it and then a couple of years ago – 2014 I think – Sean (Delander, guitars) wrote the rest of it and then we recorded it during the sessions for Holy War. We just ran out of time in the studio and we didn’t have enough lyrics to release it as a song so we just put it in the old rest bank until about a year ago.”

 

At that time, vocalist Chris ‘C.J’ McMahon had left the band and while Thy Art Is Murder had decided to keep going, the position of vocalist had yet to be filled. Instead of going through the usual process of auditioning a large number of singers and sifting through the wreckage, the band decided to use ‘No Absolution’ and the fact it had not been released yet as a starting point.

 

“We thought it would be a really good idea,” Marsh continued, “because we had a few people interested in auditioning for the band and while we were getting a lot of submissions and we sent out instrumental versions of our songs so people could record over them, we thought it would be a good idea to have a new song they could record over so we could hear the vocals without comparing them to C.J’s if that makes sense. Naturally, if you’ve already heard a song that’s how you want to continue hearing it so nothing else would reach that mark to our ears. We wrote the lyrics to the song about a year ago and got a couple of guys to record that song with those lyrics so we could hear their actual performance without having anything to compare it to. Then we ended up figuring stuff out with C.J about six months ago so we thought it would be cool to release that new song with C.J singing on it as a gift back to the fans and to get them excited and get us excited about our music again.”

 

The future looked bleak for Thy Art is Murder when in December 2015 long term vocalist C.J left the fold to focus on his family without the pressures of being in a fulltime touring band. While his band mates didn’t question his decision, it did leave a gaping hole in the bands immediate future and in some ways it was a relief to the remaining members when the universe conspired to deliver C.J back to the fold.

 

“We’ve known for about six months,” Marsh conceded about the vocalists return. “There was nothing definite but we had started the process. We started talking to C.J and resuming a regular friendship and correspondence; checking in on him and seeing how he was. He expressed an interest in coming back to the band so we had a few things to work through first. Friendship things and his personal problems and just to make sure it was something we could all do together. We’re at that stage of the game now where you don’t wanna jump into things. We wanted to make sure that C.J was committed to it and he was doing it because he loved it – because that’s why we do it – and we wanted to make sure he wasn’t doing it for any other reason.”

 

Returning to a band and a scene that you left for personal reasons isn’t a step that can be taken lightly, and while Marsh concedes he can never speak for C.J directly, he can understand the logistics of both his decision to leave and come back.

“I think he probably just realized that he enjoyed what we do,” Marsh offered. “What we do isn’t for everyone but for the people who do love it it’s everything. It’s everything to me and it’s everything to the other guys in the band. We’ve never had normal jobs – except for odd jobs between touring – but there’s kind of a sense of freedom you get from doing what we do and creating music for yourself and your fans and getting to travel the world and explore and play music. It’s more of a community of touring bands and fans and promoters and guitar techs and managers and agents and all of those people that are in this industry because it’s what they love doing. It’s very unique in that regard in that we don’t do it 9 – 5 to get the four weeks paid leave at the end of the year. ”

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“I think working full time for a whole year and getting… obviously some things in life cost money and being able to work full time and save up some cash and knock off some personal goals that were important to C.J like getting married – and weddings are expensive – I guess he got to knock those things down and then re-assess what he wanted to do with life which wasn’t 9 – 5 (laughs). I think he missed performing and we’re all great friends – actually it’s beyond that, it’s a brotherhood . We live in a bus together most of the year or in studios or a house writing a record so I think he probably missed those things as well.”

After the successful return to the metal world with ‘No Absolution’, Marsh says the creative juices of Thy Art Is Murder are well and truly flowing and promises that fans can expect more new material from the band.

“Yeah, we’ve finished writing the next album,” he said. “We’re gonna have to book in some time to go in the studio and get the damn thing done (laughs). Hopefully it will be done later in 2017. We’re stoked. We got together after a tour a couple of months ago and just started writing songs and they came out pretty quickly and we ended up having enough to make a record so now we just have to make time (laughs).

 

Despite being written, Marsh says the direction of the songs and the music still isn’t set in stone.

 

“It’s difficult to say,” he mused, “without having all the extra bits in. We’ve got the songs but then there’s the matter of what C.J will do with the vocals or what Lee Stanton will do with the drums – it could be something crazy you never know. What the guitar solos will be we never know that either, we just kind of make them up on the spot. Once you get all those little bits, the 5% bits, here and there… sometimes you start off with a song and those extra 5% bits go totally left field and you end up with a totally different song. I’d say this album will maybe be a little bit more death metal and a little bit more streamlined but again, we haven’t done all of the extra layers over stuff but maybe we even might not. Maybe it’s time to strip things back a bit.”

 

Having just been announced as support for Meshuggah on their Australian tour kicking off in March, Marsh says that while it is a huge honour it is also a little intimidating to support such a high profile band.

 

“It’s pretty cool,” he gushed, “but also a high pressure situation for sure. We talked amongst ourselves – obviously we discussed that we weren’t gonna turn down the offer (laughs) because it’s Meshuggah – but at the same time what band in the world in existence ever has a chance of sounding heavy next to Meshuggah? No matter how heavy you are – and we’re a pretty heavy band – they’re gonna smoke you so it was one of those things (laughs). You get to open for Meshuggah which is great but it’s also damn, we have to open for Meshuggah that sucks (laughs). We’ve been a band for nearly ten years in some way, shape or form, but their place in history is already cemented – it already was ten years ago. They are a legendary act and icons of heavy metal and visionaries who did something no-one else had ever done and influenced an entire generation so it’s a great honour. We can’t wait!”

 

Written by Kris Peters

 

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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