West Sydney, Australia’s death metal mob, Thy Art Is Murder will have its sophomore effort, “Hate” released worldwide by Nuclear Blast Records on April 2. It’s already being hailed a new monument to sonic brutality and a record which is likely to turn up on many a year-end list.
The band was formed in 2006 with bassist (formerly guitarist) Sean Delander and drummer Lee Stanton. Vocalist Chris “CJ” McMahon joined in time for 2010’s full length debut, “The Adversary“. Delander moved to bass so the band could welcome the guitar duo of Andy Marsh and Tom Brown from Brisbane deathcore band The Ailment.
This week on the cusp of the band’s global release of “Hate“, vocalist CJ McMahon traded some questions via email:
We here at Metalholic have had a chance to listen to the new album, “Hate” and we have to say it is subtle a curb stomp. We mean that in the best possible way. It is as brutal as it is technical. Did you approach this record any differently than “Infinite Death” and “The Adversary”?
“That’s a great compliment, cheers! We wanted to write the heaviest, meanest record we could. Two new members made it a spicy new experience.”
How does the songwriting process work within the band?
“Everyone works on material and collaborates when need be, and of course rehearse the balls off it!”
Hate is obviously a very angry album. What is pissing you guys off? What’s fueling your discontent? Are there one or two tracks on the record that speak to you perhaps more loudly than the others?
“The lyric writing was shared. The themes are all very much to do with Hate – hatred of humanity, religion, politics. For example, ‘Dead Sun’ is about global warming. Religious involvement attempting to discredit science and stunting education… It’s all about the frustration and rage. ‘Reign Of Darkness’ is a total rager so that and ‘Dead Sun’ are the picks in my mind.”
Hailing from Australia we have yet to get an opportunity to know you guys individually. I know your musical influences span the likes of Morbid Angel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, etc.. Individually though can you give us your personal inspirations as a vocalist. People you respect or even emulate?
“For me personally, I love Deftones and wanted to do what Chino did. Obviously I don’t in Thy Art! The bands that got me totally pumped as a youngster were Deftones and Limp Bizkit! We were all young once, haha.”
Was there a moment for you, whether it be an album, song, concert, where the lightbulb went off and you said “This is what I want to do with my life!”?
“When I first saw Deftones in the late 90s. They were incredible then and still are now! Koi No Yokan was amazing.”
This will be a big year for the band, and signing with Nuclear Blast had to be the perfect way to kickstart it all…
“You said it. It’s totally mental, very surreal seeing their logo under our band name! Lots of touring to new places is very exciting too.”
“Total freak out! We were playing a festival in Melbourne and had just finished a great set (some kids jumped out of trees into the pit while we were playing) when we found out. The UK seems to be really stoked on us at the moment and we are really stoked on it. We are going to the awards too which will be wild. We are stoked to just be thought of in the same league as those other bands.”
You also made the Top 40 Aria Charts. It was first time an Australian death metal band had charted that high. Tell us what that meant to you.
“The theme of this interview is us freaking out a lot isn’t it? It was pretty wild. Our friends in the Amity Affliction had just gotten number 1 which was mental, they have singing parts to help ’em along, haha. Parkway had also done really well with their last few albums so it was great company to be in, especially being the heaviest by a country mile. Mum was stoked!”
Australia is known for some great hard rock bands but it’s not really known as a hotbed of extreme metal. What’s the scene like in Sydney and Australia as a whole? Is it fairly deep?
“There’s loads of bands, shows and people getting involved. There is a shitty divide between ‘metal core’ and ‘true metal’ scenes but whatever, we leave it to them to argue on the internet. Check out Northlane, Amity, Parkway, Psycroptic, Resist The Thought, Blood Duster… There’s heaps of Aussie bands worth listening to!”
“I LOVE Sublime more than anything. Yes, the reggae / punk band from Long Beach!”
What else should readers be aware of? Any breaking news or hot tour announcements?
“Lurk our Facebook page, there’s lots of wild shit getting announced there all the time – Facebook.com/thyartismurder“
This week’s totally pointless and random question: Would you rather be a politician or a pornstar?
“Porn star. Der.”
Thanks for taking the time to enlighten, er darken our souls. -Metalholic
Contributors: Jeffrey Allee, Rob Ratliff, Rustyn Rose