Biffy Clyro

By Andy

BEN – Firstly, some introductions please!
SIMON – I’m Simon, I play guitar
JAMES – I’m James, and I play bass
BEN (BC) – And I’m also called Ben, I’m the drummer, we’ve all played together for 7 and a half years.
BEN – How does the band dynamic work when you write songs?
SIMON – It’s roughly the same as on the first record, I’ll mess around on guitar, we’ll all come up with ideas then practice until it sounds good!
BEN – What’s the difference between the new record and Blackened Sky [first album]?
SIMON – Lyrically it’s not quite as specific, and musically it’s a lot more…
BEN (BC) – …a lot more specific! We’ve tried to push the boat out a bit further on this one.
BEN – What have you been listening to which has influenced the new material?
JAMES – Loads of different styles, which just give us loads of different ideas.

BEN – If you had to bracket yourself as being a certain genre, for HMV or something, what would you say?
SIMON – Metal!
JAMES – Rock…
SIMON – We’re not…I mean, it’s melodic rock, I’d say metal but no one else would!
BEN (BC) – It’s a funny one, because at the end of the day it doesn’t really mean much. It’s just HMV as you said.
BEN – Do you find that with post-hardcore or whatever it’s called being all over the place at the moment, it’s opening more doors for you?
SIMON – We’ve been doing this for years…without sounding like a cock the bands we liked nobody had heard of and nobody understood what we were trying to do because nu-metal was the ‘in’ thing at the time and they either wanted us to be a metal band or a straightforward rock band…I’ve forgotten the question!
JAMES – It’s not really opening doors for us because we’ve been around so long and that’s the way it’s happened. I think we can strike out for ourselves in terms of style.
SIMON – We do get associated with that kind of music and that’s good because it’s the ‘in’ thing, but when it’s not anymore we won’t get slated because we’re not intrinsically post-hardcore. We do a lot of things and it’s better that way than being part of a scene because scenes always fucking die.
BEN – Do you think it is just a big fad or scene?
SIMON- That bands that are doing well have been doing it long enough to know what they’re doing. Just being on tour you can see what’s popular by whoever’s the first band on the bill. Not to slate local bands! It’s that kinda Glassjaw, screamy stuff. It’s all healthy, We never were a part of it I don’t think.
BEN (BC) – All of a sudden there are loads of new bands trying to do one thing, some make it for a couple of months and some for a couple of weeks. That’s why we’re wary of being a Kerrang band.
BEN – Having said that there is a massive difference between now and 18 months ago, what’s it been like?
JAMES – More people at our shows. Not to labour a point, but because we have been doing this for so long if we were to play massive shows tomorrow then it wouldn’t feel like a sudden thing. We’ve been waiting for this for a while!
SIMON – The people that come to see us do really like our music and that’s cool, it’s because we haven’t had much exposure. Pretty much everyone who comes to see us has seen us before and we want to carry on doing that.

BEN – Who were your favourite bands when you were growing up?
SIMON – Nirvana…they were fucking amazing. For people of our age they were such an important band…
BEN – Soundgarden?
BEN (BC) – Yeah, all that stuff too…
SIMON – Refused…
BEN – Maybe wishful thinking, but maybe in 15 years will people say Biffy Clyro were a important band – not trying to massage egos!
SIMON – We just do what we do and hope for respect. We just want to be an honest band for doing what we like. There are so many bands that are dishonest about what they do., and our only motive is music.
BEN – Have you come across many bands with sinister motives?
SIMON – You’re aware of it, and we’ve been with nice bands who we don’t like musically but you recognise they are honest. Its not the band’s fault, it’s more the companies who are chucking loads of money in.
BEN – Does the fact that you have been going for so long mean that once the trends die out you’ll still be on the rise?
SIMON – As I said, the fans we have, have been with us for a long time. I mean, people have tattoos of the tattoos we have, and I’m sure that happens for other bands too, but for 3 wee guys from fucking Scotland it’s crazy. They’re not liking us to be cool.
JAMES – Right or wrong, we’re doing it because we want to do it, not for a fashion or whatever.
SIMON – We’d rather make albums for the rest of our lives and not make money than just have one massive album.
BEN (BC) – We’re not going to search for that one hit single, nothing like that…
SIMON – Biffy Clyro is our favourite band otherwise we wouldn’t do it…we’re not desperate for anything to happen.

BEN – What if you did get that one big single?
SIMON – I think we’re almost at that stage now because we’re on the 2nd album. If it had happened on the first album it would have been really hard to deal with. As James said we’ve been doing his for 7 years, touring for the last 2…doesn’t mean you’re any better than anybody else, doesn’t mean you’re any fucking cooler.
BEN – Just a video…
BEN (BC) – Exactly, it’s just there to sell the song. It’s a tool. If that’s going to make you big then that’s pretty weird.
SIMON – People wouldn’t call us sellouts if we had a hit single…I mean we wouldn’t because we’re not that kinda band, but stranger things have happened!
JAMES – A single isn’t just about writing a certain type of song, because Slipknot had a number one album, but big rock bands get put into the position where it doesn’t matter what kind of music you play it’s all just the entertainment industry.
BEN – So what is next for the band?
SIMON – Hit single!
BEN – Yeah, after Wembley Stadium and the NME cover…any plans for festivals?
JAMES – Yeah – we want to do them!
SIMON – We’re doing T In The Park in Scotland.
JAMES – It would be quite cool to get around some of the festivals in Europe, just get our name about a bit.
BEN – Have you been to Europe much?
JAMES – We supported the Cooper Temple Clause which was magic, then went back ourselves in September.
BEN – Well, that’s pretty much it – thanks guys!

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]