If you asked me to name some of the top up-and-coming bands in the metal scene right now, Thy Art Is Murder would most definitely be on that list, if not near the top. The band have exploded over the last three years here in the United States and have been actively on the road with big tours, like this summer's Mayhem Fest.
But it turns out the band was barely scraping by financially, and vocalist CJ McMahon is over it. McMahon, who announced last night that he was leaving the band, said he was doing so because the amount of time he spends away from his family and friends is not worth the minimal returns. And, man are they minimal.
In his statement, McMahon revealed each member of the band has only earned $16k-$18k each over 6-7 years. It's not clear if he means per year or total. If he means total, that's a whopping $2,500 a year. Not good. Here's his statement in full (emphasis ours):
With a mix of both negative and positive emotions, I inform you all that I have parted ways with my band Thy Art Is Murder. It has been a wild ride I have travelled to over 40 countries around the world and played alongside some of the worlds biggest and best bands, it brings me great sadness knowing I will never perform again for my amazing and supportive fans, this will be the hardest thing for me to deal with. My reasons for leaving: I spend too much time away from my fiancé , family and friends, touring has taken a massive mental, emotional and physical toll on me. One of the biggest reasons is money, I / we have been broke for years and being 32 years old I can't live like this anymore. I am getting married next year and plan on having a family, these things cost money, to put the finances into perspective for you I /we have earned between $16k-$18k each over 6-7 years, I feel there is something massively wrong with this, I will not live like this anymore. I'm sorry to my fans that I have to go, I have loved you all and I thank you for believing in me supporting me. The money made from my closing down sale of my clothing label will be going to my wedding, I will also be selling my Northface stage jacket I have worn the last two years on stage via eBay soon to try to pay for my wedding for the people interested, again thank you for the love and support, Your Prince Of Darkness Cj
McMahon's jacket is currently going for over 800 Aussie dollars at the time of this writing. Looking back on the interview I conducted with McMahon at Mayhem Fest this past summer, you can almost sense the defeat setting in. Mayhem Fest did horrible numbers this year and it must've been rough, being a band massively in debt, playing to tiny crowds on what is being billed as the biggest metal fest of the summer:
The rest of the band have also released a statement and vowed to continue on. In a joint statement on their Facebook page, the band wrote:
After much conjecture and ambiguity on his behalf, it is with a heavy heart that we must announce today that CJ is no longer a part of Thy Art Is Murder. We have worked so hard from day one to make this band what it is now, and develop the reputation that we have and he had been there with us every step of the way. We like to think that even if someone doesn't like our music that they can at least respect our work ethic. This band has taken us to places we never thought we would see and to share stages with many bands we never thought we would get to play with or meet, let alone call friends. It is unfortunate that with our best year to date and our biggest paved out before us that he has decided to leave.
All this being said, touring as hard as we do does take its toll on you physically, but more importantly mentally and emotionally. We are an underground metal band, and have been so fortunate over the last two years to carve out a small income thanks to so many dedicated and generous fans around the world. For some people, it comes to a turning point in their life where that income is no longer enough for their personal goals, and that point has come for CJ. We would like to wish him all our best as he leaves the band and moves onward to start a family and new life with his loving fiancée.
The four of us are continuing forward into 2016 for some of the biggest and best tours of our lives. We won't be slowing down or missing any shows. We head back out next month with Parkway Drive and Architects throughout Europe and the UK and will be taking one of our favourite vocalists with us, Nick Arthur from Molotov Solution. Thy Art is what we have done with all of our adult lives and we have put absolutely everything we have into the band and the friendship between the four of us. That friendship and drive to create extreme music is what has kept us together through thick and thin. Unfortunately not everyone can share this fire.
Andy, Kevin, Lee and Sean – Thy Art Is Murder
Who could possibly fill the role of CJ McMahon? Leave your thoughts in the comments.