Since the release of their second full length album Hate in 2012, the extreme metal band has gone from strength to strength despite a number of member changes along the way. Guitarist and band mastermind Andy Marsh admits that he had a feeling the band would be where they are today all those years ago.
“I felt I thought that it would be doing about what it’s doing, maybe even better, I don’t know,” Marsh muses. “I knew that it was the beginning of a journey that would ultimately lead to here. I was confident in our ability to write records. I was confident in my new friendship with Will [Putney] that it would be something that would really go forward together with and so far over the last seven or eight years, it has.”
A lot of bands find an additional member in the form of their producer and that certainly rings true when referring to Thy Art’s relationship with New Jersey based guru Will Putney. Having worked on every record since Hate, the sound of Thy Art Is Murder has only gotten more immense, mature and world class with Putney at the helm. What started as a working relationship quickly turned into friendship and the rest is history, which has led to more and less friction at times, Marsh says.
“I guess in the beginning he was the more dominant force because it’s was like ‘oh well, this guy makes records and we’ll put all of our trust in him.’ Then it got to a point where it was like ‘this guy’s my friend and I can tell him to go shove it when I feel like it.’ Now I think it’s kind of just in a very natural state of equilibrium where neither of us really cares to impose our will on the other one for whatever sake. You kind of just look at the music and go “I think that I’m right.” Not because I just want to be right, but I actually think that I’m right this time whereas in the past we might sidestep or dance around each other a little bit. We’ll just kind of have a fight now like an old married couple.”
Human Target is Thy Art Is Murder’s fifth full length album and their fourth with Putney producing. The band recently welcomed drummer Jesse Beahler to the fold, but he is certainly not new to the Thy Art family. Throughout the years, Beahler has filled in behind the kit on tours here and there and even went into the studio with the band to record The Depression Sessions split (released in 2016) while original drummer Lee Stanton was getting married. Marsh says that Beahler already having a close relationship made the writing and recording process very easy.
“He’s been touring with us pretty much nonstop for the last two years. He has been touring on and off with us for about five years and he recorded on The Depression Sessions so it was a supernatural progression for us. He’s a really good friend. He wasn’t afraid to kind of flex his ideas on us, and Sean and I actually really enjoyed it because normally we would just be in the studio by ourselves and write the record. Jesse lives two hours from the studio. So while I was writing, he would just come up for a few days at a time and kind of dig into what I’d been working on.”
As a band, Thy Art Is Murder isn’t afraid to broach tough subjects when it comes to lyrical content. Looking back through their back catalogue, there are plenty of examples of the band talking about important social and political events and the new record Human Target is no exception to this. With so many controversial and upsetting things happening in the world these days, Marsh says that it’s never too hard to find inspiration for lyrical themes for the band and it’s important to get these messages out to their listeners.
“I said to a Dutch interviewer last night that whenever I stop making music then the world’s probably in a much better place because I’ll have nothing to write about. It’s super easy. And I don’t mean to say that all of our songs are just low hanging fruit, but I mean it just makes me feel really crappy. There’s just so many different things. There’s so many issues. There’s so many things that I’m learning every day about the world that really suck. There’s also a lot of things that I want to say more about because I feel like the issue hasn’t been driven home enough to a lot of people that maybe we could reach that other avenues don’t.
Often people that listen to alternative or heavy music feel disenfranchised. They might not be academic, they might not be sporty. And music is their avenue to seeing a bigger picture of the world. You know, they might live in some small town and we come through once every three years, but the music stays with them and they probably listen to it a lot. And if we could kind of drive home to those people a lot more messages that we feel are important and I might have a better sense of accomplishment.”
Human Target is out Friday July 26 via Human Warfare.
Image – Jack Rudder