Metalshop TV recently conducted an interview with vocalist CJ McMahon of Australian deathcore masters THY ART IS MURDER. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether it was easier or more difficult to write their latest studio album, "Human Target", in comparison to their previous releases:
CJ: "I think this record, like every record that comes, always is more difficult, just because you want to do better each record. We're trying to figure out what has worked for us previously and to do something different, something we always try to do. With this record, we kind of steer away from the anti-religious, anti-Semitic kind of stuff, and we tried to write a whole record about real things that we have been affected in our lives or people close to our lives. Or, in the world that we live in, like political or environmental, or something like that. This record was hard to do like every record is hard. It was a little bit more difficult lyrically because we were trying new subject matters. The writing process is usually Sean [Delander, guitar] and Andy [Marsh, guitar] will go into the studio with a few riffs, maybe some full songs, then we break down with our producer, and will write a whole bunch of songs, like 20 songs, then we pick 12 from that, and we write lyrics for those as we go. Then it's just recording guitars, bass, drums, vocals, all day, every day, for six weeks. This record was really quick. I recorded all the vocals to the whole record in eight days or nine days. My voice was really strong. I tried different things with my vocals for this record, different accents, different projecting styles of screaming, and I was just on fire. I could kill it. This was the easiest vocally for me to record, but the most difficult to write lyrics for."
On his relationship with social media:
CJ: "I think it's good for a lot of things. For bands, for businesses, for artists, it's an amazing platform to get your art or your music or your business out there. To share it with your friends, but I feel that the tool that social media is has been used in the wrong way. People are idolizing these fake people because they're rich or they're wealthy or they're popular…whatever it is. Back in the day of our parents' era, the idols were people that were making a difference in the world. Even in the movies that we used to watch, 'Die Hard', all these sorts of movies, the cop was the hero, or the good guy was the hero. Now, everything is flipped around where the drug dealers and the fucking murderers and the gangs are what people are aspiring to. They're looking at the Kardashians and all of these 'fake' Instagram influencers because they're beautiful and they're telling you to drink this fucking tummy tea or use this fucking teeth-whitening gel. People are idolizing these fake idols, these false gods, and I think for the younger generation of people, it's disturbing, especially now. My wife had a baby a few months ago. Understanding we're bringing our child into this world, it's important that me and my wife and our family understand that evils that are in certain everyday uses like this. Even for me, people will look up to me because I have a lot of followers on social media. They think that I'm rich and that my life is easy and they think I'm loved and I'm famous. It's all bullshit. I'm just a normal guy that plays in a fucking band that is successful. I have a lot of followers because we have a lot of fans that love us and we love them. I'm just as significant and just as normal as all the people that are watching or are following me on my social media. People shouldn't think that I'm more important than others. People that have normal lives, this is what we're trying to portray in 'New Gods'. 'New Gods' was a song that I really, really wanted to write. I was writing short stories and Andy and our producer Will Putney would help me put that into context and into lyrics better from what I was trying to say. 'New Gods' and 'Chemical Christ' are the two songs that are the closest to me that I felt strongly about on this record."
On the new song "Chemical Christ":
CJ: "'Chemical Christ' is the last track on the record and it was written in a very strange way because I've had a massive problem with drugs most of my life. And some of my best friends back home in Australia are still struggling with this. The song was written from two different points of view: It's my point of view, then Andy, our guitarist, his point of view of me when I was in a bad way for a number of years with drugs. That song is really powerful for me because I feel that drugs have a place in society. I'm not saying, 'Don't do drugs.' Just don't do what I did, and just abuse them every day. I think it's really important that people digest that song, especially if themselves or somebody close to them has a problem with drugs. The song is very similar to 'New Gods' in idolizing something that's fake, like drugs. You're not blaming yourself for your drug problem. You're blaming everything else around you, and that is the reason why you're doing drugs. 'Chemical Christ' is something that is very close and personal to me, and is something I struggled with for a large part of my life."
"Human Target" was released on July 26 via Nuclear Blast and Human Warfare (Australia and New Zealand). The disc was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Will Putney at Graphic Nature Audio in Belleville, New Jersey. The artwork was once again painted by Eliran Kantor (HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM).