News broke this morning that Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon had left the band.
The Sydney deathcore act announced the news via Facebook, indicating that the singer’s priorities had changed and that he would “[move] onward to start a family and new life with his loving fiancée.”
But in his own post, CJ has shed more light on his decision to leave, and revealed some of the heartbreaking realities of what it means to be an Australian artist who dedicates themselves to a life of touring and playing music.
Detailing his motivations for quitting the band, CJ states: “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.”
He continues: “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.”
The grim revelations about Thy Art Is Murder’s finances may come as a surprise to some.
Easily one of the biggest heavy acts in Australia right now, Thy Art have graced some of the hugest heavy music bills in both the country and the world, and their 2015 album, Holy War, tore up the ARIA charts, peaking at #7 in its first week of sales.
But despite the Australian Liberal Government’s belief that local musicians rake in an annual salary of over $300K, McMahon’s claim that he – as one of the country’s most successful local artists – was raking in a MAXIMUM of $3,000 a year, should be a grim wake-up call.
A study released earlier this year also found that the majority of Australian performers are not only underpaid, but also experience higher rates of mental illness and suicide than their counterparts in other industries.
And when you leverage the amount of time, money and hard work that most artists invest in writing and recording music, designing artwork, printing & duplicating CDs, marketing their music across digital platforms, booking tours, working on PR campaigns to promote said tours, constantly reaching out to labels and concert promoters for opportunities, managing their social media accounts, selling merch and then lodging all of it with APRA at the end of each financial year in an attempt to scrounge back a few dollars, it’s little wonder.
Thy Art Is Murder have announced Nick Arthur from Molotov Solution as their replacement vocalist for their upcoming tour across Europe and UK with Parkway Drive and Architects and (presumably) their upcoming gig at Unify Gathering 2016.
Read the full statements from Thy Art and CJ McMahon below.