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Thy Art Is Murder: Australian Metal's Finest Export

Monday, 10 February 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Australia may be more readily associated with cricket-related nightmares and its local cuisine than its metal scene but when they do turn their hand to it, it's fucking heavy. Thy Art Is Murder, who hail from Blacktown, New South Wales, have been laying waste to venues the world over off the back of their second album, 'Hate', a true masterclass in brutal, uncompromising death metal.

During their recent UK tour, alongside fellow bruisers Heart Of A Coward, we caught up with the band’s frontman, CJ McMahon, before their sold out show at Camden’s Underworld to discuss ‘Hate’, internet trolls, tour mates and more.

'Hate' has given your band so much exposure and acclaim, despite being a ferociously heavy record.

'Hate' is pretty much our saving grace. There were a few members of the band – including myself – that, before writing and recording the album, [were] suggesting that it would be either the last thing we ever do, or it'd be something that'd catapult us into a higher level. Fortunately enough, it's boosted our band to international status around the world.

We're definitely staying on the wagon and pushing further forward. We're stoked how the album came out, we're currently doing our third European tour off the back of 'Hate', so this will probably be one of the last touring cycles we do in Europe before the rest of the world get a new record out of us in the last half of the year.

A follow-up to 'Hate' is on the cards, then.

We've been writing. Sean [Delander, bass] and Andrew [Marsh, guitar] have been working hard on new material. It's kind of hard for them at the moment to be writing because of how much touring we do, so we have snippets of a week or two when we're writing back at home. Shaun tries to write as much as he can, and Andrew is a producer and engineer himself, so while he records bands he writes stuff for us too.

We're all trying to write as much as we can on our own so when we all go to record at The Machine Shop in New Jersey, we can sit down with Will [Putney, producer] and nut out the rest of the songs. Sean, Andrew and Will have their work cut out trying to write an album as good as 'Hate'. It's going to push us even further because 'Hate' was so successful. It's going to be extremely hard.

During that time on the road, you've toured with too many awesome bands to count.

Martyr Defiled, War From A Harlots Mouth, Fit For An Autopsy and the Dillinger Escape Plan are all amazing to tour with. We'll always be very close with those bands regardless of whatever happens. The reason why we get along so well is because we all enjoy each other's music, each other's company and everybody is just so relaxed and open – we just get each other. We all come from different parts of the world and play different styles of music, but we understand and respect each other. We just gel.

Despite the success of ‘Hate’, Thy Art Is Murder seem to get quite a bit of flak from internet trolls.

A few years ago we used to cop a lot of shit for interviews in magazines and stuff, even on my personal social networks like Instagram and Facebook. I'd get hate mail from people all over the world. It's definitely died off in the past year or two, but you still get it every now and again. Fortunately or unfortunately, everyone has a social network these days, so everyone has an opinion that they can voice.

We're not gonna win everyone over, but for every one person who doesn't like us or slags us off in a derogatory manner, we've got a thousand – 10 thousand? - people who think the complete opposite. I care more about the people who enjoy and respect what we're doing rather than the small minority who don't.

As an extreme metal band, you must wrap your ears around some pretty nasty stuff. What have you been spinning of late?

The new Fit For An Autopsy album, 'Hellbound', is just ridiculous. It's produced and recorded by Will, our producer, who's also a part of that band. All the musicians are just ridiculous, and it's a great, well-rounded album. I heard a few tracks off the new Behemoth album...that's pretty ridiculous. 'Obzen' by Meshuggah is a big-hitter for me, and their 'Colossus' album too. I really enjoy that record.

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