Interview: CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder



I talked with CJ from Thy Art Is Murder before the show outside of The Orpheum, we talked about upcoming music, festivals and more. Thy Art Is Murder are currently on tour with Emmure, Volumes, Gideon and Sworn In, be sure to check out the remaining dates for this tour as well as any future dates.

Q – You guys are a week and a half into the tour, how’s it been treating you so far?

CJ – Rad man, all of the shows have been pretty big, most of them have sold out. We love the states, the weather is really good about this time of the year when we thought it was going to be freezing, so we’re stoked that it’s warm.

Q – Your band’s first tour in the US was on last year’s Summer Slaughter tour, both you(TAIM) and Cattle Decapitation were banned from the Orlando date at the House Of Blues, what were your thoughts on that?

CJ – I thought it was hilarious. We’ve sometimes come across some sort of conflict with promoters or venues, we’ve always got some shit we’ve got to deal with. We didn’t really care, we had a headlining show up in Lake Worth, it sold out in fifteen minutes, it was easily the hottest show we’ve ever played, it was just buck wild and rad as hell.

Q – Your latest release, “Hate”, has been out for a year and a half now, are there any current plans for new music?

CJ – Definitely. We’re writing, but our record label(Nuclear Blast) aren’t really pushing at us to do it, so we can just take our time and do what we want. To have where labels are always trying to get you into the studio to release a studio album every twelve to eighteen months, we’re just not about that, we just do what we want when we want and or label supports us. So I can’t really give an estimated time period of when it might come out, but it’s on it’s way. We’re going to do a pre-procession in a couple of weeks, we’ll put our ideas down and make sure we’re on track. The next album is going to help us take over the world, we want to make it the best album possible, we have to make it even better than Hate, which is going to be tremendously hard for us to do. But this next record is going to be the one that puts us up, that catapults us over every other band in any form of metal, hardcore or even pop music. I want to destroy everything possible with this next record. Taking over the world.

Q – With the late rising in popularity of the many bands coming from Australia over the last few years, such as The Amity Affliction, of course Parkway Drive who kind of started the whole thing. How do you feel Thy Art Is Murder sets itself apart from the rest of the bands in the scene?

CJ – We’re far heavier, more disturbing, and without trying to sound pig-headish about it, we play better than them. All of the bands you’ve named are good friends, especially with Parkway Drive, we’ve been friends with them, playing shows with them for years, they’re masters at their craft.

Q – You guys had a couple guest appearances from Joel of The Amity Affliction and Nico from War From A Harlot’s Mouth on the album, how did it come about having those guys on the record?

CJ – Joel asked us if he could be on the album, we were like “Oh man, I don’t know, what do you want to do?”, and he just wanted to do this sort of crazy black metal, anti-religious bit, so we found a part for him. We just really like Nico’s voice, when we have someone do guest vocals on our album, we just want them to be different, have different elements that I can’t give as a vocalist. But it worked out perfectly, both of the guys did well, their voices are really unique, it all worked out really well on the album.

Q – Thy Art Is Murder are a part of this year’s “New England Hardcore And Metal Festival”, you’re playing day two with bands such as Behemoth, Goatwhore, 1349, among others. What are your expectations for the festival, and are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing?

CJ – Behemoth, Behemoth are the best band on this planet, we pretty much may break the band up after playing with them because the only thing we’ve ever wanted to do is play with Behemoth. I don’t care what band is playing what stage on which day, Behemoth is playing on that day, so that’s all that matters to me. We have friends that are playing as well in Kublai Khan, Fit For An Autopsy, I Declare War, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, they’re all really good friends of ours.

Q – What are your thoughts on Behemoth’s latest release, “The Satanist” ?

CJ – It’s flawless.

Q – What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended that you didn’t play?

CJ – I can’t answer that with just one. I saw Limp Bizkit play in 2000 in Australia, and a girl was killed in the pit, and aside from that ordeal the show was amazing, it was just an unfortunate accident. I saw Mike Patton’s project “Mondo Cane” in pouring rain, with around fifteen thousand people in Sidney, and it was one of the most amazing experiences to watch one of your idolized musicians. There’s just so many different shows that I got something special from it, I could name another ten shows if I took a minute to think about it. I can’t name just one, but I think that’s a good thing, I listen to so many different styles of music. I’ve gone to hip-hop concerts and the DJ is just giving me some sort of feeling, or seeing a black metal band that gives me the same feeling in a different way. Music is my life.

Q – What’s the one band you’ve never toured with you wish you could tour with/open for?

CJ – Behemoth, we have too. I don’t know if they would really like our stuff cause we have breakdowns and such, and I respect that, but we have to tour with them. If it wasn’t for that band, we would not sound anything like we do, it’s the one band that all of us agree on. Behemoth are one of those iconic bands for our band to look up too.

Q – After this tour Is finished, what’s next for Thy Art Is Murder?

CJ – We are doing a Canada tour, we’re doing the “Eat Your Heart Out” festival in New York with Whitechapel, then we go home and do a tour in Australia, then we go to Europe for the summer, do all of the big European summer festivals. After that we have this tour with Suicide Silence, who are good friends of ours, we just did a tour with them as a festival package before coming here. Then maybe after we’ll come back here, around July or August, you’ll definitely see us again in a few months.

Q – Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, is there any last thing you’d like to say to any fans and supporters of Thy Art Is Murder?

CJ – If you know who we are, thanks for listening to us, if you don’t know who we are, check us out on Youtube, if you like it then welcome to the family, if you don’t that’s cool too, it’s not meant for everyone.