Interview: Andy Marsh of Thy Art Is Murder
Following the release of their crushing fourth LP 'Dear Desolation' which spurred a SOLD OUT Australian tour in February this year, the kings of extreme, Thy Art Is Murder, will bring their relentless aggression to a regional venue near you this August. Keeping good company on this regional bombardment, Thy Art will be joined by Melbourne's Alpha Wolf - who have just returned in full force from a short hiatus with two new members - as well as New Zealand's Antagonist A.D and hot newcomers Xile. This is a must see tour, and we were able to chat with guitarist, Andy Marsh, about the upcoming tours in Australia, cooking on the road, new music and much more.
Thanks for chatting with us today Andy, I understand you're currently right in the middle of your European tour, how's that been so far?
It's been real good, we're on the highway in Slovenia. We just finished up a week in the Balkans which was pretty nuts. I think we were one of the first Aussie bands to do that, so it was a pretty cool feeling to go to some untouched places. Otherwise, the festivals have been massive, the headlines shows have been huge, it's been a great tour.
Yeah, you're certainly no strangers to playing in Europe now and especially the big festivals, is each show getting bigger and better now every time you guys go back?
Yeah, we even headlined a couple of stages this year, so that's pretty nuts.
You're back in the country mid-July for a couple of weeks off then straight back into the regional Death Dealer tour, you guys excited about that one?
Super excited! I can't wait to play a couple of places that we haven't been in ages. We're taking Alpha Wolf, Antagonist A.D and Xile who are all really good friend of ours. It's going to be a pretty cruisy month, with the shows being on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of each week. Going through some rural parts of New South Wales and Victoria, so it should be a fun time.
Is it pretty fun for you guys being able to play some smaller towns and places you don't really get to visit that often?
One hundred percent. The crowds are obviously way closer to you, which makes it super intimate and it just gives off a different mood and energy for the performance. We all really enjoy those kinds of shows.
The fans in attendance probably go a bit more nuts and appreciate it more because it's pretty rare that they get shows like that in their town as well.
I think so, I mean as I just said before, where we are now on the road I don't think much comes out here at all because everyone here just seems so grateful that we made the effort and came down. So I'm thinking it's going to be very similar when we hit up the regional towns on this upcoming tour.
Nice. Then in October you've got the big one with Parkway Drive and Killswitch Engage, is that like a dream tour for you guys?
It's just like the dream that keeps on coming true, just like how Parkway Drive keep getting me to play guitar for them when they need me. So that might have something to do with why they put us on the tour with them (laughs) but yeah it's ridiculous. We've done a lot of tours with Parkway, but with that being said I think these will be the biggest shows in Australia that I think our band have ever played. So in that regard, yeah it's definitely a dream come true. We're also massively stoked that we get to call the parents up and say "Oi, do you wanna come and watch us play some breakdowns? You thought that we'd never get anywhere did ya?" Sort of rub it in their faces a little bit. It's been a long road for us, sometimes you can forget how long it's been, at least when it comes to myself, I mean I'm always looking at the future and the bigger picture. But you know, hard work and getting stuck into making good music has helped us out a lot.
Speaking of making music, you guys always seem to be on the road, do you like to write music on the road when you're on tour or do you prefer the starting from scratch in the studio approach better?
I think I would like to do it on the road, I mean sitting on the couch downstairs on the bus would be a pretty ideal spot to put some ideas together. But normally I'm just sleeping and I don't really care for it, and same with Sean. Both of us sort of lock ourselves away together after we finish touring and then we start getting ideas and putting stuff together, that's just what we normally do. Then we'll usually meet up in the studio and start sharing our ideas with each other. Generally about this far into our album cycle is when the creative juices start flowing again. I start to gather memories, feelings, ideas and whatnot, then I try to develop a theme or a metaphor, or a story that drives me onward to continue making new music and a new album eventually, if that makes sense. When you're on the road you have a lot of time to think, you don't decide consciously that you're going to do it, it just starts happening and it has begun happening. So naturally we've begun talking about the new album and ideas are starting to flow. But in terms of lyrical content and themes, I haven't quite arrived there yet and I think it's going to be a couple more months before we realise my own thoughts.
You guys also like to cook on the road as well, so what's your favourite or easiest go-to meal when you don't have the luxury of having everything available if you're stuck somewhere?
The things that get prepared the most on our bus would be, generally some kind of muesli with natural yogurt and some sliced bananas. We make a lot of chicken salad wraps with tortillas and lot of avocado. The other thing that we make heaps of would be omelettes, with cheese and mushroom, other vegetable thrown in there as well, whatever we've got in our fridge basically. Generally, we have this massive rectangular frying pan which is electric and we make this massive 12 egg omelette thing in the morning, then we fold it over, slice it into squares, and then everyone that's on our bus has breakfast with us.
Are there any band that you'd love to tour with someday and perhaps co-headline with?
Yep, we'd love to tour with Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse, that would be fully sick. Metallica obviously, even though they suck, I mean, everyone hates Lars but I reckon he's alright. Gojira would be another great one, fantastic live band and also they have a very environmentally strong lyrical theme. I think playing with all of those bands would be great.
Would you guys like to be a part of Download Festival Australia next year?
Absolutely, we didn't hear much about the first one, but hopefully it was a great success and we'd love to have more music festivals in Australia. I mean there's so many dance festivals, so to have one that's going to cater to the heavy music market is great and we'd love the opportunity to play it.
Written by Steve Jenkins