Hopefully there will not be a time when people don't freak out by our music
Having released three of the most acclaimed extreme metal albums in recent memory, Thy Art Is Murder return with "Dear Desolation". The band manages to take an even darker turn, while maintaining its brutal, heavy style, and straight up attitude. Guitarist Andy Marsh answered our questions about their latest work, composing, performing on the stage, and his take on the mainstream scene.
This is the fourth full-length album that Thy Art Is Murder release. How was the creative process compared to your previous works?
Only slightly different, but mostly more efficient. We took a little longer time to make the record overall which allowed us to take a look at it from further away throughout the process, and not make some of the mistakes we had made in the past from being in too much of a hurry.
You worked with Will Putney once again. What is the main reason behind your successful collaboration?
We understand one another and we have shared visions. Will is also one of our best friends so that makes it very comfortable to work with him.
With "Holy War", the concept was quite obvious. Is there a theme behind "Dear Desolation", as well?
Loss, despair, the end.
A while ago you released two video clips, for "Slaves Beyond Death" and "The Son Of Misery"; there are some seriously cool shots on both of them. Did you come up with the ideas for the visual parts?
We work a lot with our directors to create something cool for the songs. For those two we worked with two long time friends to create something visually unique for each song. Thomas Savage the bands full time visual media specialist designed the music video for The Son Of Misery and shot it on a special anamorphic lens and we think it looks fantastic.
Those two tracks are the first ones on the album, and if you ask me they are a great way to start off the whole thing. Was it your choice to use them as precursors?
Yes, we design the album sequence and decide how we wish to release our own music.
While listening to the title track I couldn't help but imagine it being played live. Is this something that you have in mind when writing?
We have factored it in more over the years, what works well live, how to structure a song and so forth.
Your music has never been one to be described as 'happy', but I feel that tracks like "Death Dealer" or "Fire In The Sky" add an even darker atmosphere to your trademark sound. Do you agree with that?
Well we hope so, we worked really hard on developing that aspect of our sound on this album.
You always took a stand as a band. How much does the social/political stuff happening influence you while creating?
Not so much on the music, but lyrically quite a lot. This album reflects a couple of real world events, but is mostly an introspective album.
When I saw the cover of the album I was surprised; it's fantastic, but really different from what I was expecting. How did you decide to go with that aesthetic?
We worked with out artist Eliran Kantor on a couple loose concepts or themes from the album and then let him do his thing, we are very stoked with how it turned out.
Lots of people categorize you as a 'deathcore' band, and while I do not completely agree, I can see why someone might do that. With "Dear Desolation" you take another step further away from that genre. Was that a deliberate choice, or was it something that just happened?
Its just something that happened as we evolved as people and songwriters.
There's no denying that your music is too extreme for the mainstream. Given the fact that thrash metal was considered equally as extreme some years ago and now it's almost acceptable by most, do you believe that a time will come when people won't freak out by, let's say, "The Adversary"?
Hopefully that will never happen, we like being under the radar.
You've shared the stage with lots of great bands. Is there any tour in particular that sticks out for you?
Too many to think about, but we would really love to tour with Behemoth in the future.
Across the years you've played gigs that range from small, underground venues to Download Festival. When on stage, how different is the one from the other?
They’re all vastly different and all have their own qualities. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to play larger festival stages and experience performing in front of tens of thousands of people.
If my math is correct, you've been around for more than a decade. Looking back, is there anything regarding Thy Art Is Murder you would've done differently?
Your math is close. Honestly, its been a wild ride and I think its turned out just right.
Between the US tour with Decapitated and the European tour after that, you're going to be pretty busy for the months to come. It's roughly been a year since your last show in Greece, but is there a chance to see you guys again?
We hope so, we would really love to come!