Bad Wolves guitarist Doc Coyle has spoken out in defense of Thy Art Is Murder after the band recently replaced singer CJ McMahon in the group after the singer’s anti-trans social media posting caused some negative backlash against the group.
Not long after McMahon was let go, Falling in Reverse‘s Ronnie Radke called for a boycott against the group while sending money to help out the newly released singer. Coyle, who has dealt with cancel culture in the aftermath of singer Tommy Vext‘s exit from his band, had some thoughts on the Thy Art Is Murder situation he shared in a lengthy rant on his Ex-Man podcast.
What Happened With Thy Art Is Murder?
Back in August, Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon deactivated his social media accounts after he purportedly shared anti-trans content and his support of it, leading to some backlash for his stance. The singer left a goodbye message in a post to his followers, explaining that he may soon start an OnlyFans page for non-nude content, before he scuttled his Instagram.
McMahon had posted a video shared by right-wing political commentator Matt Walsh in a which a mother asks her young child if they are a boy or a girl and accepts the child’s answer regardless, with the exchange portrayed in a negative light. McMahon reportedly re-shared it, adding his own comment stating that the mother in the video “should be burned to death.”
Soon after, Thy Art Is Murder made their own statement displaying the transgender flag on social media, noting, “Setting the record straight, we stand with you.”
McMahon, meanwhile, posted an apology video with a caption noting, “Addressing my recent post: I recognize the hurtful impact my words had on the community and I am deeply sorry. I am learning from my mistakes and committed to better understanding, respecting, and supporting every individual. My intentions weren’t to be transphobic in any way, shape or form, and now it’s gotten to the point that it really doesn’t matter what my intentions were. I apologize to the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, and to the people that support them. I thought I did support them, but obviously my video that I shared and commented horribly on has proved otherwise.”
Things remained quiet over the next month until Thy Art Is Murder released their new album Godlike on Sept. 22, but opted to replace McMahon on the record with singer Tyler Miller. In the process, they also announced that they were parting ways with McMahon. The singer then noted that he found out of his ousting and replacement on the record on social media. He also claimed that he was forced to make the apology video.
Falling in Reverse’s Ronnie Radke then got involved, sharing on social media, “It’s time to stand the fuck up and boycott this shit boycott Thy Art Is Murder. I will send $20,000 to CJ right now tired of these spineless cowards bending to this shit ruining peoples lives. Fuck you,” he wrote. “Why is everyone in this music scene so scared to stand up for each other? Grow some balls, or is that transphobic, too?”
What Happened With Bad Wolves?
In 2021, Bad Wolves and singer Tommy Vext went their separate ways. Bad Wolves revealed in their statement, “It is true that Bad Wolves and vocalist Tommy Vext have parted ways, The four of us plan to continue making music and a new album is planned for later this year. Tommy has been a big part of Bad Wolves and we are grateful for his contributions. There is not much else to report at this moment but to send love and gratitude to the fans who have supported Bad Wolves from day one. We would not be here without you.”
Leading up to the split, Vext had grown increasingly vocal about his political beliefs throughout 2020, especially closer to the election when he publicly endorsed Donald Trump for president. Soon after, allegations of abuse came out against the singer, which were made by an ex-girlfriend, Whitney Johns. Vext denied the accusations, but Johns was granted a restraining order against him.
Soon after the initial announcement, band members Doc Coyle and John Boecklin revealed that the split was “not about cancel culture.” Vext later filed suit against the band’s former manager, claiming that there was a conspiracy to have him kicked out of the group. He remained active on social media in making claims about the group, something that the band eventually addressed in a September 2021 statement. Further clashes came, but eventually all lawsuits between the two sides were settled.
What Doc Coyle Has to Say About Thy Art Is Murder Controversy
As stated, guitarist Doc Coyle felt compelled to weigh in on on the ongoing controversy with Thy Art Is Murder, feeling the current members of the band are in a similar situation to what he went through when Bad Wolves split with Tommy Vext and fans taking sides as egged on by social media.
In his own social media post teasing his commentary, Coyle notes, “I recorded a monologue on my podcast giving my 2 cents about the controversy going on with Thy Art Is Murder. I feel like there is a giant pile on of hate directed towards them and I truly empathize with their position and I would feel remiss not use my platform to speak my mind. I feel fearful releasing stuff like this because there are friends of mine with whom I disagree with on this subject. I don’t want a war of words online. I hate this drama stuff. But I would like an open dialogue where we can disagree & talk to try our best to find common ground.”
First, Coyle sets the stage by noting the comparison and clarifying something fans often get wrong about Vext’s exit from his group. “I feel like I have a very vested interest in this because it’s very similar to what happened with Bad Wolves and our former singer. We never fired him. We didn’t even have that power, so there are narratives that get out there that aren’t correct. But we were accused of the same thing, of canceling, and there are just a few things I want to put out there,” he explains.
“First of all, you know that piece of the puzzle,” he explains. “It’s like the iceberg and seeing the tip of it and thinking you know everything about it. But I want to reiterate, I don’t, you don’t, no one knows what’s going on behind the scenes with these bands. So maybe you saw that one post and you go, ‘Well he shouldn’t be kicked out for that.’ And I’m like, ‘Maybe he’s a fucking asshole.’ I don’t know the guy. He might be a very nice guy. But sometimes, you know what, people in bands are assholes, they’re drug addicts, they’re alcoholics, they’re inconsiderate, they physically abuse people, they verbally abuse people, they’re unreliable, they don’t show up on time, they don’t do their job. There’s 50 fucking reasons you can be kicked out of a band.”
Coyle notes that as the singer, McMahon is essentially a mouthpiece for the group, therefore his statement comes off as representing the full band. “If you are the singer in a deathcore band, I’m sorry, but your opinion, your negative opinion against trans people. I’m sorry, they’re not against trans people, they’re just trying to save the children. Where in the fuck in your job description is ‘saver of children’? You’re in a deathcore band. Don’t you sing about death and destruction, darkness and murder? But now you’re also saving the children, ok. I must have missed those songs,” notes Coyle.
He then makes a point, stating, “The truth is, once you enter a conversation like that, and it’s some of what we dealt with, but now you are basically putting everyone you’re in a band with in the path of that backlash. So when we were going through what we were going through with Tommy and the markers and anti-Black Lives Matter and all that stuff, I’m getting messages and emails from Black fans and old friends, from family members. Every single dude in Bad Wolves, our parents were reaching out like what the hell is going on? So who gives someone in a band the right to say things that affect everyone else in a band? And if you don’t care about that and you’re the mouthpiece of the band and you’re saying crazy shit, and hey listen, maybe you don’t think it’s crazy, that’s fine. But saying things that are getting a lot of negative attention, if nothing else, it says to me that you don’t care how your actions affect other people around you, and how is that being in a band? Being in a band is being considerate of everyone else.”
Speaking to the backlash against the group after their firing of McMahon, he adds, “It’s an overcorrection. I hate cancel culture. So then, what it does because there are so many boy who cried wolf’s out there, people who are actually guilty of shit are going to get away with it now because people are so anti against cancel culture. So Russell Brand just got caught doing some things. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But guess what? If it’s true, there’s a bunch of people who like Russell Brand now just for the sole fact of he was quote-unquote trying to be canceled. And that’s an overcorrection. I get it. To me, the cancel culture thing, wokeness, it’s just PC shit. And guess what? Even people on the left don’t really like it. People think that being against it is like, ‘I’m a rebel.’ You’re not a rebel. On Rock Feed, they did a poll. Who’s with Ronnie? It was 92 percent to 8. You’re not a rebel. You’re just in another mob, where everyone thinks the same thing and thinks you’re against the mainstream. You’re not. You are the mainstream in this scene.”
Sharing his empathy for the group, he comments, “I can’t imagine the guys in the band, what their in-boxes look like right now, what the comments on their posts are. And it’s probably shit like, ‘You guys are pieces of shit,’ ‘I hope you die,’ ‘you’re nothing without the singer,’ blah blah blah, right, cause I went through that,” reminding the audience of some of what Bad Wolves went through after their split with Tommy Vext.
He continues, “So you’re saying if I’m in a band, or there’s five people in a band and we don’t want to be in a band with X certain member we’re not allowed to make that decision? You get to make that decision for us. We have to be around someone we don’t like because the anti-woke mob is going to come cancel us.”
“People are not thinking,” continues Coyle. “They’re just reacting. And there’s so little empathy for the other people. These are people that have to live. So it’s like, ‘Oh, let’s destroy their career, let’s make it so they can’t eat. And I say this right now, if you’re gonna tell people we’re gonna make it so you don’t make money, so you can’t eat, so you can’t pay your bills, I’ll, to quote an anti-cancel culture warrior Dave Chappelle, is as to say akin to killing him, killing a man when you take away his right to earn a living or a woman for that matter.”
“There’s hypocrisy built into it. It’s group think, and you don’t know all the details. It’s none of your business,” points out Coyle.
He adds, “We have to have an environment where bands can make decisions about what they want to do. But you go, ‘No, we’re going to make it so you’re homeless. We’re going to make it so you’re starving. Or we’re going to make it so you don’t have clothes,’ because we’re mad that our favorite singer’s not there. It’s fucking baby …. there’s something vicious about it, where you think it’s your band. It ain’t your band. Just because you bought the record and you got the T-shirt, it’s not your band.”
As for Ronnie Radke and his call to boycott Thy Art Is Murder, Coyle states, “Ronnie’s a nice guy to me. I’ve had nothing but good interactions with him. But I disagree with you brother. I think you’re on the wrong side of this. CJ’s gonna be fine. All these people love him. You go on the comments on Rock Feed and it’s like 90 percent are one side, so they’ll buy the CJ solo album or his next band. He’ll be huge. It’s like Joe Rogan when he was ‘canceled,’ he gained two million subscribers. Being canceled is like the best marketing plan you can get. Tommy [Vext] raised $200,000 in the pocket, free money, you know what I’m saying? I ain’t got no $200,000 so y’all need to cancel me (laughs). But it’s not like being canceled. Where can’t he go? He can go to other places, he can get another job.”
Wrapping up his thoughts, Coyle says, “I’m just going to say this. The guys in that band, I feel for you cause I know what you’re going through right now and I hope you guys, your resolve is strong. I think they will probably have a better hand at things than we did cause they don’t have one person with way more power going at them viciously for some months and months and months and months on end … if someone doesn’t want to be in a band with someone, it’s not your fucking business. If you like him, you go start a band with him. Why not? Go do it.”
“This entitlement. We’ve all been fired at some point, I’m sure. Or we’ve been in a situation where we’ve been dumped. No one is entitled to be in a particular situation,” says Coyle. “Again, I don’t know CJ. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. I’m not saying he can’t speak his mind. But what you do affects the people around you. And do you care about that? Do you care how their lives are affected by your actions? If you don’t, then that says a lot more about you than I think everyone else.”
See Doc Coyle’s full commentary in the video below. And you can check out Loudwire Nights recent interview with Doc Coyle below that.