2015 Thy Art Is Murder interview with CJ McMahon and Andy Marsh
One of the highlights on the 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is the first time appearance of Australia’s brutalist deathcore machine, Thy Art is Murder. The band kicked off the rolling metal festival with the release of its new album, Holy War. The new record is darker and heavier than its predecessor, Hate, and finds the band digging into deeper and more meaningful lyrical content.
Thy Art is Murder was founded in 2006 by drummer Lee Stanton and guitarist Sean Delander. Vocalist Chris “CJ” McMahon and guitarist Andy Marsh solidified the band, which has now recorded three full-length studio albums. This year bassist Kevin Butler joined the ranks.
On Day 5 of the tour, Metalholic and Metal Nation Radio sat down with Andy Marsh and CJ McMahon to talk about Mayhem, Holy War, the lyrical themes they wanted to explore, and their thoughts on the role of religion and its impact on society. McMahon was also vocal about the band he is most excited for on this tour:
“I think the hottest band that we look most forward to watching and playing with is Code Orange. The band’s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They’re incredible, and they should be playing further up the bill. They’re probably the highlight band on this tour. With all due respect to Slayer, that’s the band that the musicians are here to see. This band is going to be something really special. I think it’s disrespectful to put them on so early when they are such a great band.”
“[Holy War is] definitely darker because it’s real,” offers McMahon. ”Like our previous records, and bands in our style of metal—or any style of metal—we feel that there’s a lot of metaphors and stories made up to really push across what you’re trying to say. We used to come to that sort of writing for most of our career and now I think it was Andy who said, before we started writing, let’s sing about real shit. Let’s have our finger on the pulse and talk about relevant things—real things—and talk about them in the real way rather than come up with some story to try and push across what you’re trying to say, but it’s like your disguising it with a story. This record is more about real things, such as religious political issues, social issues, environmental issues, animal welfare, the protection of children…. There’s a lot of strong topics on this album, and I think the lyrics fit the music because Sean and Andy wrote for a long time before we started recording. We put everything into this record that we had. There was nothing left out. We literally put every single idea we could come up with into this record. We tried to be as smart and intellectual as possible.”
On Mayhem Festival Day 5, Boise, Idaho, Thy Art is Murder pulverized the crowd with a tight set that included the tracks, “Reign of Darkness”, “Light Bearer”, “The Purest Strain of Hate”, “Shadow of Eternal Sin”, and “Holy War”. They were among the highlights of the day’s events
They Art is Murder will head back to Europe after the Mayhem tour concludes. They will then enjoy some much overdue and well-deserved downtime before beginning their next tour.
All photos © 2015 Suzette Mansfield @ Eyerock 2.
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