Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil teases the first music from his side band Empire State Bastard

Empire State Bastard
(Image credit: Empire State Bastard)

Empire State Bastard, a new band featuring Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil and former Oceansize frontman Mike Vennart, now Biffy's touring guitarist, have offered a tiny hint of what to expect from their forthcoming, much-anticipated debut album with the release of a short snippet of one song.

The first post from the band's Twitter and Instagram accounts features just three words - 'More coming soon...' - and 16 seconds of intense riffage. We await 'more' with high hopes. Neil has previously described the project to NME as "grindcore extreme metal".

Neil said: "I like putting myself in these positions where I’m like, ‘I should never be doing this, so this is what I’m going to do’. I don’t just want to do the same shit. Every time between records, I want to do something that’s fucked up and off the wall. It brings me back to Biffy and I’m more in love with it now than I’ve ever been."

While their music, for now, is largely still under wraps, Empire State Bastard have already confirmed three UK festival performances for this summer - at Download, ArcTanGent and 2000Trees - plus an appearance at Hellfest in France on June 18.

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Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.