Being out on tour and away from friends and family can be tough – just ask Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon: “I’m very close with Ben [Weinman, lead guitar] from The Dillinger Escape Plan. When we play shows together, I call him my ‘tour husband’. I can’t wait to see them play and hang out at Soundwave. I saw their first-ever Australian show in Sydney at the Gaelic Club thirteen years ago, and now I’m best friends with the whole band.
“I think Ben is one of the most amazing people in the music industry and possibly the world. He’s just a nice, funny, cool guy and an amazingly crafted producer and musician. During the Soundwave shows people will see us holding hands and possibly sharing a joint – they could call us gay, but I couldn’t care less.”
Currently on tour in the UK, Thy Art Is Murder will play Belarus and three shows in Russia before unleashing their wrath on the crowds at Soundwave 2014. “We don’t have to worry about practising in the lead up to Soundwave to get into tip-top shape; we can just come back from Europe, relax a little bit and bam! Soundwave starts. Then just days later we’ll be on a plane to begin another tour of the US.”
Since the release of their ARIA-nominated second LP (Hate, 2012), downtime has become a rarity, so I wondered what CJ got up to over Christmas and the New Year.
“A lot of fuck-all really!” he laughed. “I live with my father-in-law and my soon-to-be fiancée. When I’m home I lock myself away. I love to clean, do the washing and cooking. I’m like a housewife when I’m not on tour.
“I love being at home because I’m away so much. I like to go on fishing trips in Sydney Harbour – I just like to keep it relaxed and cruisy. I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions in terms of the band, because I’ve made them in the past and I always fail. I guess, personally, if I could get a little thinner, trim down a little bit and get some abs happening, that’d be cool,” CJ joked.
“But in terms of the band, for 2014 we’ve pretty much the same goals as before – just to be the world’s biggest metal band!
“The last few years have been a dream come true. The success of Hate and our first album, The Adversary, is mind blowing. We’re fortunate that people have backed us since those releases. But as far as becoming commercial in our sense of dress, style of music or lyrical content, that will never happen; we’ll never sell out. If we continue to be successful it’ll be because we resonate with people, and I hope that happens.
“We’re actually bigger overseas than we are in our own country! Though it’s not surprising, because other countries have 20 to100 times the population we have – there are so many more metal-heads out there. All we want to do is tour, so we’ll be back in Europe for the summer festival circuit in June/July and after that, in the last half of the year, we’ll hopefully be releasing a new album. So we’re planning to record and release an album as well as tour every continent in 2014.”
When&Where: Soundwave, Melbourne – February 28
Written by Natalie Rogers