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Biffy Clyro came together in 1995 in a school in Kilmarnock, just outside of Glasgow, when childhood friends Simon Neil (vocals/guitar) and twins James (bass/vocals) and Ben Johnston (drums/vocals) started playing music together. United by a love of underground, experimental rock and post-hardcore bands such as Braid and Karate, along with the starrier likes of Guns N’Roses and Metallica, they quickly honed their own unique sound, a mind boggling mix of off-kilter tempos, itchy, unpredictable guitars, soulful choruses and feral screams, sewn together into a strange tapestry of sound that sat resolutely apart anything else being made at the time, both in spirit and - thanks to their admirable refusal to uproot from their hometown for the dog eat dog music community of London - geographically too.
Their first three albums – ‘Blackened Sky’, ‘The Vertigo Of Bliss’ and ‘Infinity Land’ – arrived in a barrage of creativity, a record released every year and relentless touring building up a small but devoted army of followers. Team Biffy’s ranks grew exponentially when ‘Puzzle’ came along and stunned listeners with its achingly personal, rich and complex take on rock anthems, and Simon, James and Ben found themselves playing Wembley Stadium with Muse, headlining the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury and gigging with The Rolling Stones. U2 even supported them at a special Little Noise session at London’s Union Chapel, although the highlight for the band came when they headlined in front of a hometown crowd at Glasgow’s SECC.
“That’s where I saw Metallica in 1991,” says Simon. “We played there last December, in that same room. It’s amazing how things work out.”
Amazing, but perhaps not surprising when you hear their new album ‘Only Revolutions’. It is, quite simply, a monster of rock. After the overwhelming sadness of ‘Puzzle’, which was written in the aftermath of Simon’s mother passing away, ‘Only Revolutions’ has a sense of joy and determination, from the military thump of feet that heralds in opener ‘The Captain’ before it slips into an explosion of mammoth riffage, fizzing pop vocals and euphoric horns, through the agony and ecstasy questioning of the acoustic ‘God And Satan’, the sexy, sleazy ‘Born On A Horse’, the hauntingly romantic yet roaringly, soaringly powerful ‘Many Of Horror’ to the dark and visceral nastiness of ‘Shock Shock’. And, of course, the already familiar skewed cinematic rock of the massive top 10 singles ‘Mountains’ and ‘That Golden Rule’, which fans have already clutched firmly to their collective bosom like old friends.
2013 will see the release of their eagerly anticipated new double-album ‘Opposites’ which will be supported by their biggest arena tour to date. They will play the following shows:
Again produced by GGGarth Richardson in Los Angeles, ‘Opposites’ signals the band’s growing ambition with twenty-two tracks spread across two discs: ‘The Sand at the Core of Our Bones’ and ‘The Land at the End of Our Toes’. A deluxe version of ‘Opposites’ adds a DVD which contains a feature-length documentary which examines the making of the album. Fans who pre-order the album will receive the instant gratification track ‘Stingin’ Belle’, the accompanying video for which is now online.
Biffy Clyro’s touring in support of ‘Only Revolutions’ – which earned a Mercury Prize nomination and sold on excess of 600,000 copies – saw them elevated to arena headlining status as they played three sold-out UK tours which included a landmark show at Wembley Arena which was captured in their ‘Revolutions // Live At Wembley’ CD/DVD set.