Alex Haber of Heavy New York recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andy Marsh of Australian deathcore masters THY ART IS MURDER. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether THY ART IS MURDER sticks to the same formula with every record, or tries to make each record its own thing:
Andy: "Everything is its own experience. I will say that we have a formula in the way we decided to approach things, but after that, all bets are off. We really threw out all of the rulebooks that we've had on ourselves in terms of writing the songs for this record ['Human Target']. We kind of just thought, 'We're a metal band. Let's just think about it as writing metal songs and do that.' In terms of a formula or a level of comfort, we like to write the records really fast. We like to write them right before recording. We feel like the pressure and the urgency and the short amount it takes kind of identifies the record to a timestamp in our lives. Whereas if you write the record over a couple of years, it might be a very broad range of influences and moments in your life that the record comes from. For us, the record was written in three to four weeks. Whatever happened in November last year, that's what kind of came out in the record. We like recording in New Jersey. We don't like being at home. Going home at the end of the workday removes some of the urgency, also. We normally work about 18 hours a day, seven days a week when we're making a record. It's a big grind, but again, I think you can hear that in the records. There's not a level of comfortability in sitting at home and playing Xbox all day writing songs when you feel like it. The other one is liking working with [producer] Will Putney. It's our fourth record together and we're old friends. He understands us and we understand him. It makes the whole record making process an absolute pleasure."
On new drummer Jesse Beahler (ex-BLACK CROWN INITIATE, JUNGLE ROT)
Andy: "Absolutely. Jesse's one of my best friends. He lives in Delaware, the studio is in New Jersey, so it's not very far away. And, he's an insane drummer. I mean, I will happily go on the record saying he's one of the best metal drummers in the world today. He's insane. Being able to have him come in while we're writing and putting the songs together and throw his kind of vibe on certain sections, and really make a few things more complicated than we've been able to make them before, or more groovy, technical, faster, is kind of like, I wouldn't say it has changed the sound, because Sean [Delander, guitar] and I will write the drum parts anyway. [Laughs] We program drums while we're writing songs, but having him come in and put his brain into certain sections was really, really good. I would say it certainly made three or four moments on the record something they definitely wouldn't be without him."
On THY ART IS MURDER's songwriting process:
Andy: 'It always starts with guitar. Sean and I write the music. He's got a home studio; I've got a home studio, so we could write at home if we wanted to. We're really lazy. At that studio, I have a room and he has a room across the hallway, and that's the way we've made the last three records. We're just in there writing riffs, writing songs. We're very close to one another, so we can get up and say, 'Hey, what are you working on? Do you have any cool riffs? Do you got anything I can borrow? I'm stuck on a song.' It happens like that. Then, we put all the songs together, then the lyrics get written to the music, then we're done. We normally record drums and vocals last because once the music is sort of set in stone, throughout the recording process, we might go, 'Oh, it would be cool to make this bit bolder. It could be cool to make it a little bit faster.' Or change the drum pattern to suit the vocals more. So by doing drums and vocals last, we're able to individually tailor those things to the songs."
"Human Target" will be released on July 26 via Nuclear Blast and Human Warfare (Australia and New Zealand). The disc was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Putney at Graphic Nature Audio in Belleville, New Jersey. The artwork was once again painted by Eliran Kantor (HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM).
Photo credit: Jake Owens