Against the backdrop of post-modern fantasy, chaos, and confusion arrives extreme metal players, Thy Art is Murder. Hailing from Australia, Thy Art is Murder creates music that serves as a loud voice for socio-political trauma. Fusing authentic crushing death metal with unapologetic primitive lyrics, the band takes a stand against the pangs of morality and the pains of government and humanity backlash. Thy Art is Murder unites and empowers the utmost metal fans in all corners of the genre.
Few embrace the feel of the apocalypse so dearly and expertly… Thy Art is Murder is clearly at the head of the modern death pack [and] they are just getting better.New Noise
Guitarist, Andrew Marsh took the time to answer our questions about TAIM’s songwriting process, the history of the band, and more.
Q&A WITH THY ART IS MURDER
EB: Your band is from Australia, where are you all based now and how does that work for writing and collaborating?
Andrew Marsh: Whilst we identify as an Australian band, we are a pretty global operation with 2 folks in Brisbane, 1 in Sydney, 1 in Delaware and one (myself) between Melbourne, Denver and New Jersey. It hasn’t changed how we operate much for writing over the years as everything begins its journey with a guitar riff and pro tools and we can share those ideas quite easily through the internet.
EB: You guys have been around since 2006, how would you describe your sound now versus then?
Andrew Marsh: The band may have had its humble beginnings in a garage at that time but not in any iteration that vaguely resembles the band we are today. The core of this lineup began in 2010 and has slowly evolved from that point forward. The sound has certainly matured, losing the youthful enthusiasm and energy for overplaying and cramming arrangements. We’re a lot more comfortable now to settle for ‘the’ riff, or ‘the’ moment in any one particular song.
EB: Over the years, there have been a number of member changes including yourself (Andrew) joining the band in 2010. How has this shaped the sound of the band?
Andrew Marsh: For the most part the creative growth has been a slow and steady refining of our songwriting skills and development on our instruments. Even before joining the band I had recognized the band members individual talents and really wanted to work on focusing the potential through arrangements and vocal delivery. After that we went to Will Putney (who really is another member of the band) to record the album ‘HATE’ and he has really helped hone our visions over the past decade. The next element was the addition of Jesse Beahler on drums who certainly opened our options to incorporating more syncopation and rhythmic elements.
EB: Small amounts of controversy has popped up for the band throughout the years, whether via your lyrics, stage antics etc. Do you think this is what draws people to your band sometimes, or is this something you are leaving behind in recent years?
Andrew Marsh: Certain things, intentional or not, can draw attention to your band but none of these things are ever what we want people to walk away from thinking about us. We appreciate any audience, but focus our energies on our creative output including our work ethic, professionalism and the quality of our live show.
EB: Lyrically, your band has really seemed to focus in on a range of topics like issues with religion, politics, mental health, sexual violence etc. Has this always been the band’s direction?
Andrew Marsh: I had stumbled accidentally into the realm of lyric writing when joining this band and it has been a prime focus of mine ever since. I think this ethos travelled with me into the world of death metal from the punk and hardcore scene that I had grown up in where it is commonplace to represent your beliefs and ideals. Being a messenger and catalyst for change is a big motivator for me when considering the topics for our songs to cover.
EB: According to Facebook, you’re the “soundtrack to the end of humanity,” but you also want to “raise awareness and empower listeners” to be informed in world-issues. Do you find that juxtaposition hard for people to understand?
Andrew Marsh: I suppose you could say we like to think of our songs as a sort of backdrop to what we perceive to be a “slow global suicide”, but we would rather we don’t end up that way. We push for progress through everything we do and if the sort of action we would like to see could come to light, we might have a brighter future. We see a distinct social and artistic responsibility to represent these ideas through our songs to reach those who might have turned off the other stations.
EB: You began working with the mighty producer, Will Putney in 2012, how has that shaped your band’s sound?
Andrew Marsh: Immensely. Will has been a big driving force behind the scenes for our band, he armed us with the tools and confidence to make better songs and helps guide each record to a place where we all feel satisfied.
EB: Sonically, it seems like a lot of your guitar riffs are getting more complex but still holding rhythm and melody rather than just racing towards the next breakdown. Is this a result from finding more of your band’s voice, or because your band’s musicianship is getting more honed?
Andrew Marsh: Honestly, a bit of both. To speak to the last question, Will helped us identify what was ‘our’ sound, what our strength and tendencies were as writers and players, and helped us consolidate those foundations yet reach for other sounds that we could hear in our heads but hadn’t committed to the guitar. We certainly got a lot more comfortable riding a riff or a hook for a bit longer and building up tension and release in a way that was more conducive to the songs we were trying to write.
EB: Do you remember when you/your band joined Ernie Ball on strings? What made you go with Ernie Ball?
Andrew Marsh: I couldn’t tell you, but I think it was around 2015 when we were on the Mayhem touring festival around North America. I’ve played Ernie Ball strings since I first picked up a guitar around 15 years ago and never saw any reason to change. I always loved the packaging and the list of players on the back. We might not be on the pack yet, but the support from Ernie Ball helping us out on the road has been nothing short of amazing.
EB: You play an Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty guitar, can you tell us why you chose that guitar?
Andrew Marsh: I first picked up an EBMM JP in Mystic Dream about ten years ago as I was a big fan of his work in Dream Theater and thought having his guitar might certainly make it a little easier to play like him. After the band became established and guitar companies wanted to work with me I tried basically everything out and eventually landed with the Majesty because of its superior playability. The guitar is super-fast to play and very light weight which makes it easy to navigate the stage with.
EB: What would you say has been the proudest moment of your band’s history so far?
Andrew Marsh: I try not to dwell on too much of what we’ve done and keep my eyes on the road ahead but the most recent headline tour of Europe we did will always remain a hallmark of what we’ve strived so long to achieve. An incredible band and crew playing with a great lineup in fantastic venues to our dedicated fans. It signaled the arrival of where we wanted to get to.
EB: In 2016, you did a split with Fit For An Autopsy and The Acacia Strain. Why did you decide that and do you plan on more?
Andrew Marsh: Through our relationship with Will Putney, we became best friends with his band Fit For An Autopsy and have toured the world a few times over with them now. We only wanted to do an original and a cover each so The Acacia Strain was brought in to give us a little more material to warrant pressing it onto a seven inch. We certainly want to do more fun and collaborative releases in the future, so maybe you’ll get one soon.
EB: What would you say is the biggest misconception of your band?
Andrew Marsh: I’m not really sure what it could be within the music community but, outside of our little world of death metal, I think not too many people understand the size of the genre or the level of professionalism. My mother only just realized last year when she came out to see us at a show in Australia in front of 8,000 people that this is actually my job.
EB: If you could tour with any band, dead or alive, who would it be?
Andrew Marsh: I would say Slipknot, I think that would be perfect!
EB: Once bands are allowed to tour again, what is next for Thy Art is Murder?
Andrew Marsh: We take each day as it comes for now, and aren’t committing to too much until things become a little more certain. We definitely will be continuing to represent our newest album ‘HUMAN TARGET’ around the world as this catastrophic event has struck right in the beginning of our albums touring campaign. It is the most successful Thy Art is Murder album to date and we believe it deserves to be played in front of folks.