Biffy Clyro: A Time To Kill

Earlier this week, Biffy Clyro bassist James Johnston revealed that the Scottish trio are to take a year off following their three-night stand at Glasgow’s Barrowland, which kicks off on December 5. After working their collective arse off for years, the three might have difficulty finding stuff to do in the meantime. So, we at TeamRock have come up with six sure-fire ways to kill some time before they record their next album.


While most men choose their holidays to experiment with the idea of a beard, the members of Biffy Clyro have no idea what the skin below their eyes looks like. Big question: is it even still there? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s with a proper shave in a barbers. You know, the kind of place where they pat a hot towel on your raw face before you have a clue as to what’s going on. It’s probably best to go to a brick-walled salon with coffee facilities, so you know it’s fancy.

Photo: Anthony Mandler


If you see Biffy Clyro backstage, chances are they’ll be kicking a ball around and showing the sort of flair you’d see on Copacabana beach. Maybe drummer Ben could get a game for his beloved Kilmarnock FC in the next 12 months. And with the sure-footed skills he displayed on Soccer AM years ago (witness the glory around the two minute mark), he’d surely be a firm favourite at Rugby Park.


Cycling is not just the preserve of village nurses, threatening men or Olympic athletes with mod haircuts. Some people even do it for fun [note: can we check this statement is true?]. When bassist James Johnston isn’t plucking out some low-end rumble to complement Simon Neil’s spiralling guitar lines, he can often be found on his bike pedalling uphill without pausing to cry or gasp like a freshly-caught fish. With his time off, he might like to try a cycling holiday around the Highlands with like-minded individuals. But he’s probably best leaving his bass at home as that will make him less aerodynamic or, worse still, a target for souvenir hunters.


Hollywood fooled us all by filming some of the Brad Pitt film in the streets of Glasgow while pretending it was Philadelphia. If they’re really bored, they could run through the streets while yelling ‘Mon the zombie’. And, if they do it on the same day as they go to the barbers, it’ll save them a trip into town and leave them ample time to lie around and watch Homes Under The Hammer in their undercrackers. Because that’s what having time off is all about.


It’s all well and good suggesting Simon Neil could waste a year away watching programmes about building redevelopment, but he could always think about working on new Marmaduke Duke material. There’s the small matter of going round to Sucioperro/Medals frontman JP ‘Dragon’ Reid’s place and completing The Death Of The Duke, the final part of the trilogy. You have 12 months, lads.


So Si’s had a shave, not cycled, watched telly and worked on some Marmaduke Duke riffs. What’s left to do? Write and record more songs for his solo project, ZZC. The chances are though, Biffy will do all of the above and write enough material for five new albums because they’ve got more ideas than most bands know what to do with.

Photo: Frank Maddocks

_Biffy Clyro play Glasgow Barrowland on 5-7 December. All dates are sold out. _

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.