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Thy Art Is Murder

Thy Art Is Murder: The Full Tilt drums are calling

Full Tilt marks the return of the alternative festival, and with the dates creeping towards us, it’s time to get planning. What to wear? Who to see? Remember this feeling, dear readers? The feeling of excitement before a festival? Yeah, You remember.

“I walked past a venue a couple of weeks ago and there was a gig inside,” recalls Thy Art Is Murder guitarist Andy Marsh to Blunt Magazine of a recent night out. “It was the first time I’ve even heard a gig in over a year…It’s like Jumanji, the drums calling. I was like, ‘Whoa. What is that sound? I know this sound…It’s a gig.'”

I was like, ‘I think I used to do that in another lifetime…'”

It’s been a long, hard twelve months for all of us. But for bands such as Thy Art Is Murder, and others of their kin who truly exist for the authentic live experience, it’s been particularly hard – they’ve been denied their primary function. Now, as our frozen society begins to thaw and things pick up where they left off in early March last year, these such bands can breathe a sigh of relief – albeit it a cautious one – that live music is returning in as close to an authentic fashion as government regulations will allow. At the crescent of this new wave of events sits Full Tilt, the first full-scale alternative festival in an age. It’s also one in which Thy Art will enthusiastically partake.

“CJ’s over with the moon,” Marsh says of his frontman’s vibe before their return to their stage, “He loves playing shows. He lives for it. He can’t wait, and hopefully, we’ll be able to piece together a couple more regional things to keep the caps lower on the venues.”

While a year off the road might have an impact on things like muscle memory, Marsh takes pride in the fact that Thy Art isn’t a band that cancels shows. In normal times, they steam-roll right through any issues they may face: “I haven’t played a guitar since July, and our music’s pretty difficult, I think it’s going to really fuck me up,” Marsh laughs.

“I picked up a guitar yesterday, I was looking at my hands and my calluses are starting to wear away on my left hand. I’m like, ‘I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to do this,’ and if these shows are in seven or eight weeks, I better fucking start playing guitar…I’m interested to see how CJ goes. I’m working on a couple of songs in the background, and I was like, “Maybe I should get him to demo some vocals just to get his voice going again.”

Throughout the pandemic, Thy Art Is Murder was noticeably absent during the creative overflow that dominated our feeds for months, from live-streamed bedroom performances to ‘isolation projects’ to poorly thought out attempts to boost engagement. When asked why Thy Art didn’t jump on the bandwagon with their peers, he doesn’t hesitate: “We don’t have conversations like that at all, really. I obviously manage the band, I do the band’s label, all those sorts of things. I’m always thinking in [terms of] the future.

“A lot of bands were just like, ‘We’re doing this. We’re doing that.’ I’m like, ‘We don’t do that. We are a live band. We’re not a streaming band. We don’t live near each other. We don’t hang out on the weekends.’ There was nothing to be done. I was like, ‘Keep it consistent, push the music, advertise the t-shirts, just do the normal things. Don’t reinvent the wheel.'”

Marsh’s razor-sharp business acumen is impressive, and his ability to crystal-ball last year’s situation proved to be intimidatingly accurate. Never taking his eye off the ball either creatively or corporately, he clocked a concerning reality laid bare to us from the pandemic – “that the music royalty income for artists alone is not sustainable. If you remove the touring opportunity for most bands, their whole operation is sunk.”

But it’s no time to panic. Instead, it’s time to get scheming. Marsh tips his hat to the Patreon model, which has been adopted successfully by bands like Alpha Wolf as a way to curtail financial losses while also treating fans to exclusive content. Spotify also has a new donation system, which Marsh says will aid in chipping away at some of the damage. But for bands that don’t suit the Patreon model – indeed, in his own words his band included – Marsh has other insights.

“A lot of people go wherever it’s cheapest all the time, right?” He notes, pertaining to merchandise and other physical products including vinyl and CDs. “I’m all about lowering costs and increasing revenue, but at the same time, it’s like, you have to have good business ethics and one thing that we’ve always done is where we do sell the t-shirts, let’s make the t-shirts in the place that we sell them.”

“We’re dealing with local supply chain issues. They’re a lot more manageable than international stuff, trying to ship vinyl from Estonia or something to sell here. It might bring your margins down, but also like in the past year, it’s kind of really freaked [out] a lot of people.”

Of course, we weren’t going to let that little aforementioned ‘new demos’ comment go without further scrutiny. It’s been a minute since the release of 2019’s Human Target, placing Thy Art in prime position for new wares. “We don’t have a lot,” Marsh offers.

“We’re not a band that stockpile songs. That being said, we do have a collection of, let’s say, B-sides from going back to Holy War. We’re trying to dig up the original Hate tapes because there might have been an extra song on Hate. So, I’ve been finishing these songs in the last, probably couple of months, and hopefully, we can do something with them in the future.”

Thy Art Is Murder will be performing at Full Tilt Festival 2021.

Full Tilt Festival 2021

Tickets on sale now.

Saturday, 21st June
Eaton Hills Outdoors, Brisbane
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Coburg Velodrome, Melbourne
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Saturday, 17th July
Adelaide Showground, Adelaide
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Saturday, 31st July
Bella Vista Farm, Sydney
Tickets: Destroy All Lines