Metal Wani's Daniel Jaramillo recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andy Marsh of Australian extreme metallers THY ART IS MURDER. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether the return of vocalist C.J. McMahon means the band is working on a new album:
Andy: "Yeah, we've finished writing. We got together a couple of months ago, Sean [Delander, guitar] and I, and we spent a few weeks writing after a tour, and we did it for three or four weeks. We've written a record, now we just got to record the damn thing. We're excited for it. We topped ourselves. When we think about our music, obviously, in our heads, we think about C.J.'s voice singing over it, so having him coming back, at the end of us writing a record, it made us excited to go and record it and hear it the way we imagined hearing it. The fans, obviously, their idea of the band is with C.J. singing in the band. We shared that vision, that idea, also. Our band is like a small family and the way we imagine hearing our own music and how we craft the product is with that end-goal in mind. It's definitely exciting to know we can get the sound we want."
On the band's 2017 schedule:
Andy: "We're not too sure. We'd like to have the record out this year, 2017. A lot of work goes into recording and getting the artwork, lyrics, recording it, making videos. It's a pretty lengthy process."
On whether deathcore bands are adverse to experimentation:
Andy: "Yes and no. Genres exist because people like compartmentalizing; they want to catalog, and if you have a library of books in particular sections, and some people like reading particular genres or particular authors. People definitely have a pre-conceived notion of what they're going to get or what they want to get, at least. I think SUICIDE SILENCE definitely put a shock through the system of their fans by doing what they did. I can understand that from a fan's point of view a hundred percent. If I went to get a book by my favorite author and it was a completely different genre that I didn't enjoy, I'd maybe put the book down. But if you have respect for the artist or you just enjoy them and give it a chance to see, maybe you'll come away enjoying something out of it. I'm not trying to pick on SUICIDE SILENCE, they're friends of mine personally. I can definitely see what they're trying to do from an artist point of view. I applaud it. I think if you talk to those guys, and it's a shame fans often see the result and they criticize, but if they actually talked to the band as human beings, they might understand their perspective a little bit more. They want to try something new, or it made them feel good to try something new. Who are the fans to stop them from giving it a shot? At the end of the day, we do owe our fans for our career, but I don't think necessarily we 'owe' them something. We're thankful for the support and that they enjoy it. But an artist is free at any moment to create what they want. If the fans don't like it, unfortunately you don't have a career, but it doesn't remove the right of a band like SUICIDE SILENCE to do what they want to do or do what makes them happy or fulfilled. In the particular sub-genre of deathcore, for sure fans are very critical. It's a very mechanical style of music, and fans become acclimated to a certain standard of production, or level of songwriting or sense of songwriting, rather. Yeah, it's tricky to please everybody. We've definitely run into that problem a lot in the past."
On what's next for the deathcore scene:
Andy: "We're not trying to reinvent the wheel or do anything zany like that. Hopefully we can see, if you want to lump it as deathcore, you'll see that fanbase will grow into a more loyal, long-term, established kind of culture, like death metal. Deathcore fans can be critical much in the same way death metal fans can be extremely critical also, so maybe they'll be some sort of amalgamation of the two subgenres. We'll see deathcore bands touring with death metal bands and fans supporting both genres."
On whether THY ART IS MURDER will ever incorporate clean vocals into its music:
Andy: [Laughs] Never. That's one avenue that is definitely not open to our band. Not for any kind of limitation in terms of ability, but, I mean, that's our own restrictions. If we want to start a band that was going to play a different style of music, we would have another band for that. We've all played in other bands in different genres — hardcore, post-hardcore rock bands — so we have the ability to do that. We have the enjoyment that we get from that genre of music, but we have no need to put that into THY ART IS MURDER. We just want to refine our sound, evolve, just slowly perfect what it is what we focus on and what we want to do. So, no clean vocals for us."
McMahon's comeback performance with THY ART IS MURDER took place on January 14 at the Unify festival in Tarwin Meadows, South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
THY ART IS MURDER's third album, "Holy War", entered the official Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) chart at position No. 7 — the highest-ever position for an Australian extreme metal act. The Sydney-based band has generated controversy for the strong anti-religious stance of the title track's video, as well as the album cover which features references to a suicide bomber.
"Holy War" was released in Australia via UNFD and in other parts of the world through Nuclear Blast.