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Thy Art is Murder (band)
Thy Art is Murder just signed a record contract with Nuclear Blast Records to issue their follow-up full-length album, Hate. Before it hits the shelves, I’ve been given an opportunity to interview one of the members via e-mail while they are out on tour. Vocalist Chris McMahon was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to get the answers back to me about the touring, album, and more.

First of all, how’s everything on your end? I see you guys are in New Zealand the day I’m getting these questions together, then doing a mini-tour in Australia. Having fun on the road?

We are going great, we just wrapped up New Zealand and Europe, head to Tasmania tomorrow then we have a break before the Australia album tour with Cattle Decapitation. Lots of cool shit happening.

Have there been any problems, or have any interesting stories from your recent shows you can share with us?

It’s not that exciting but we had to reschedule our Russian shows for early March to later in the year because of visa issues, that was a bummer. Selling out shows in Europe was fucking crazy!

The rest of your dates are throughout Australia up until June 15th. Do you guys intend to head out of the country again after that, or will you be preparing for any sort of metal fests you haven’t announced yet?

Yep, we head back to Europe straight after for some shows with Between The Buried And Me which will be amazing and then some fests like Ghost Fest in Leeds, UK and the Parkway Drive Open Air in Germany. First stop is the Metal Hammer Golden Gods in London, we got nominated for Best New Act. Cannot believe it.

Hate was actually released back in October of last year through Halfcut Records. Given you’re the only band and it only has two releases, is this a label you guys put together, or is it really that small an underground label at this time?

Actually there’s a few bands on the label – While She Sleeps, Gallows, Crossfaith and Heroes For Hire. It’s probably a year old and an imprint of Shock in Australia.

Hate was picked up by Nuclear Blast Records. How did this deal come to be? Also, were you surprised they offered to pick it up? Deathcore groups only recently seem to be growing in the label’s ranks.

Monte our A&R guy heard the record, checked us out and was stoked, which of course we were stoked on! It happened pretty quickly. Couldn’t tell you about the deathcore thing, the genre nitpicking is for mental cases on youtube comments.

Speaking of Hate, how has it been received so far with the additional push the label has given it recently? I’ve seen a good deal of negative reviews from the closed-minded elite, but how have others responded to this?

It’s been received amazingly well which we are very happy about, tonnes of new people checking out the band and digging what we do. Couldn’t care less about the people not liking it.

You recently picked up Andy Marsh and Tom Brown, both for guitars. How much did they contribute to the material of Hate, and has their presence changed the band and their output at all?

By recently you mean years ago, they’ve been around for a good long while now. The writing was a solid group effort, Sean who plays bass now was originally one of our guitarists so there was plenty of riffing going on. Their presence means the lineup is the most solid it’s ever been and shit actually gets done now.

You guys did some track-by-track videos of Hate recently for Nuclear Blast’s Youtube page. How did this come about, and do you think it might have helped fans better understand what to expect, or perhaps better grasp the lyrics if they heard the album already?

The label wanted us to do them so we did, pretty standard. Im sure people can grasp what the vibe, there are some specifics that it was good to explain, like Dead Sun and the whole global warming crisis.

The band also did two music videos, one for “Shadow of Eternal Sin,” and another for “Reign in Darkness.” What was it like shooting this videos? Also, does Nuclear Blast happen to want another video off the album, or are you and the label done shooting anthing more off of Hate?

Nope, only one music video. Shadow Of Eternal Sin is just a very well shot play through video. Music videos are pretty weird, playing live is one thing but for a camera is a bit odd. There may or may not be more coming, we’ll see.

Hate definitely sounds a lot heavier compared to your previous outtings, which is an obvious signature of Will Putney. What was it like working with him on this album, and was the final sound of the music more his experience (or that of anyone who may have mastered it) moreso than the idea of how it should sound the band members walked in the studio with?

Not really, production and mastering is one thing, songwriting another all together. Will definitely helped us make this album as kick arse as it could be and we owe him massively for his help.

Did it take the band long to put everything down in the studio, or has everything become more organic to the group at this point?

It was a pretty standard few weeks of bashing it out, nothing special or miraculous there.

How about with Andy and Tom? I don’t see they were involved in other groups in the past, so was this their first venture into a studio? Either way, how did they do during the recording process?

Tom is a gear nerd and was in a tech band called The Ailment and Marshy has played guitar in almost every band in Brisbane in addition to running his own studio at home. They are old hands at the studio!

Thank you very much for your time, Chris. I really appreciate it, and I hope all goes well for you with all the tour dates you guys have coming up, as well as with the release of Hate. Take care!

Cheers for the interview, Hate’s out April 1. Check it out!

Thy Art is Murder: Hate
Thy Art is Murder
Interview conducted thanks to Nuclear Blast Records.