Thy Art Is Murder and the story behind the Depression Sessions EP

A photograph of Thy Art Is Murder

2015 ended dramatically for Thy Art Is Murder. After six years and three albums, vocalist CJ McMahon announced that it was no longer financially viable for him to be part of a full-time metal band. Citing, too, the strain of touring and being away from his family, he held a fire sale for his clothing label, literally sold the stage jacket off his back, and bowed out. But CJ’s final work had yet to air: his contribution to The Depression Sessions, a split between Thy Art, The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy. Guitarist Andy Marsh gives us the lowdown on the release, life after CJ and bringing the fun back to metal.

How did this release come together?

Andy: “I saw splits as more of a hardcore thing, but Will from FFAA produces our records and we’d been talking about the idea of doing a metal one for years. Will mentioned the idea to Vince from Acacia, so it went from a 7-inch to a full 12-inch vinyl with six songs. It’s something we did for fun. Metal’s so serious – no one’s really having fun with it!”

Did that sense of fun drive the decision to cover 90s classics like Rammstein, Soundgarden and NIN?

“I don’t know how we decided we would all do songs from that era! Sean [Delander, guitar] really wanted to do Breathe by The Prodigy – that would’ve been sick – but CJ really wanted to cover Du Hast.”

What can we expect from The Depression Sessions?

“FFOA’s Perfect Drug is out there, I’ll say that much. Acacia’s Black Hole Sun is what you’d expect - true to the song’s arrangement, but so sludgy and heavy. It’s Black Hole Sun, tuned way the fuck down. It’s sick.”

Is it weird for you to hear CJ’s vocals on a new release?

“Not at all. His performance is amazing – it was done as that iteration of the band, and the conversation came up about recording the vocals with someone else, but it would be disingenuous.”

How was performing the largest shows of your career with a new vocalist (Molotov Solution’s Nick Arthur)?

“Supporting Parkway Drive was great. We spoke to Nick within 48 hours of finding out CJ was leaving! He has a huge voice, and we got along from the first day. He hadn’t been onstage for a few years, so that was interesting – ‘Hey, be an entertainer again! In front of 5,000 crazy German people!’”

What’s the long-term plan, then? Is Nick staying?

“We’ve been trying different singers. Some friends, some vocalists that we’re fans of. We’re trying to find the right fit in all aspects – but really, we’re just figuring it out as we go along.”

Various Artists – The Depression Sessions album review

Thy Art Is Murder on bouncing back after CJ quit

Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ quits

Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.