Latest release: The Adversary (Skull and Bones/Shock)

Sydney deathcore mob Thy Art is Murder pulled off one of the greatest turn-arounds in musical history with the release of The Adversary last year. From a heavily panned EP that many critics considered worthless to an album that set a new benchmark for the genre in this country, Thy Art is Murder successfully reinvented themselves and have since gone on to a raft of national touring with the likes of Confession, Despised Icon and The Red Shore. With another Australian road trip about to kick off, guitarist Andrew Marsh gave Loud the low down on where the band is and where they want to go.

Q: Hi Andrew. How are things with you today?
A: Just waking up after a big sleep! Had a couple of big days recording a new song and it’s finally over and done with.

Q: You’re about to do another big tour. TAIM has already done a bit of that this year.
A: This year… I think we did the Confession tour. I think it was in October [2010] that we went around with Confession, then in the middle of this year there was a couple of tours that we were on. But [we’re]finishing up strong. We’ve got a couple of big plans for early next year, so it’s important that we get out on the road before we break at the end of the year then knuckle down and do some writing.

Q: You don’t do things by halves. There are a lot of shows on this trip.
A: No we don’t do things by halves. We like to get around. We like to get into all the nitty-gritty places. Go to Adelaide, go to Perth… a lot of places most bands would probably skip on their tours. I think you could still class it as a capital city, major city run, but I think we’d like to get out and do more regional shows sometime next year if we get the chance.

Q: Most of the shows are all ages too.
A: We love playing all ages shows. We’ve got a lot of underage fans. I think it’s really important to facilitate a show that they can come to as much as possible. Give them something to do and it’s good for the community and it’s good for us!

Q: I have to say I’ve really noticed the development of Thy Art is Murder over the last few years. I got the first EP several years ago and to be honest I didn’t think much of it, but then I’ve really seen you guys come along as an artist.
A: Well I can’t say too much about the EP because I had nothing to do with it. Likewise, I didn’t have much to do with the album either (laughs). But what I can say though is that the new stuff is taking on a very unique style. The Adversary was very different to the EP, but I think the primary difference was song structure and vocal delivery. And lyrical content, obviously. This time we’ve gone for a completely different approach in the song writing in terms of structure, the riffing, the heaviness and the vocal delivery.

Q: It’s certainly great to see a band moving forward with every release, rather than just churning out the same thing all the time. Because that would get pretty boring for you guys too.
A: People always worry, Are we gonna win fans? Are we gonna lose fans? At the end of the day, we love playing in a band and we love playing to people, but we love writing music that we like. And we like to push the boundaries. We’re all phenomonal musicians, if I may say so myself, and we would get pretty stagnant if we were just playing the same songs. It’s great fun to play the old songs and re-interpret them live, but we still have that desire to push forward and – some would say – lead the pack by doing something a little bit different. Innovative.

Q: What has been your personal highlight from the tours with other bands you have done the last year or so?
A: I think just playing with my friends. I dunno… I’ve played with a lot of bigger bands with my old band and it didn’t really do much for me. I just like playing with my mates. Touring with Confession was great fun. Crafter’s always hilarious to hang out with. I really appreciated touring with The Red Shore guys last year. As it turned out, it was pretty much The Red Shore’s last tour in Australia. So to be able to see them… I think they really stepped it up for Australia for heavy music. They were really unique, really phenomenal musicians – some of the best in the country, if not the best. To be able to watch them every night for months before, well, whatever it is that happened, was fantastic.

Q: Does that inspire you to try and go out there and make something as special as what they were doing? Because The Avarice of Man was a sensational album.
A: I know! And I am so disappointed that it didn’t get the credit that it deserved. In my opinion it was one of the greatest releases in Australian music. That record is phenomenal… Roman, Tim, Chase, Jason and the other Tim… well, Jon played bass on the album and he contributed but he wasn’t on the tour I don’t think. I don’t know what happened there. Those guys… fuck. They did something psycho (laughs). The riffs were amazing, the technicality was incredible but at the same time they had great songs, and they were very, very catchy. It’s just something very hard to do, as I’m finding out!

Q: So that is something that you’re aiming for now in your own music – creating that level of catchy technicality that a band like that had?
A: Yeah for sure. I think it’s something to aspire to. You might say that “catchy” is kinda pop, but if you think about some of those catchy riffs that are on that Red Shore album… how do you even come up with that?

Q: You said before you’ve just recorded a new track. Is that something you will be debutting on the tour, or will that be left until afterwards?
A: We’re gonna release it sometime through the weekend for free download for all the children. Hopefully the response to it is good. We’ve been practising it for a few weeks in our rehearsal space and we like to play something new. Keep it fresh. We’ve had the same set for a year or so nearly, so it would be great to throw something completely new into the pile. It would be cool to play it next week, so we’ll see how the fans react to it on the weekend.

Q: And you’re playing with some other great bands on this tour, including Northlane.
A: Yeah we’re doing a couple of shows with Northlane in Perth. I think maybe someone double-booked something, maybe. Then we got asked if we were gonna play the show and we were like, Yeah, Northlane are sick! I haven’t played with them for a while and Josh their guitar player is a good mate of mine, so it’ll be cool to catch up.