Interview with Biffy Clyro: Follow Their Noses

Biffy ClyroScottish trio Biffy Clyro have already lived out a longer career than most of the bands they’ve been touring with lately. The rock group has just released their fourth record, the epic, compelling Puzzle, and suddenly they are faced with new territory to conquer—America. After a US tour with Editors, Biffy are about to set out on the road with Queens Of The Stone Age. Singer/guitarist Simon Neil discusses the band’s history and the background of their new album.

Why has it taken people in the States so long to find out your band exists?

I think very simply we’ve never really played there before. Our last record label helped us develop as a band and we got to make records we wanted to make, but unfortunately we never really got to take it anywhere except Europe. It’s been annoying and frustrating that it’s taken until the fourth album to get across. That’s the main reason. We’re willing to spend the time touring over there. You have to in the States. We just want to play as many shows as possible. It’s also good to actually have a record in the shops when you’re playing. That makes a big difference.

Are you glad it’s this record that has become the entry point to your band for so many people?

I would have preferred it if we would have had the chance to tour on the last record. If you hear a band’s fourth record and that’s the first thing you hear from them, I think it’s harder for people. It’s less of a fright if you’ve heard the previous record or seen us live.

Sadly it didn’t happen like that. We’re very proud of this record, and we were going to build that one up and then release this one, but it didn’t happen like that. People have been reacting kindly to the record and that’s the most important thing.

How long have you actually been a band?

We all got guitars and stuff when we were 15 and we basically started playing together at that age. We became a proper band in 1999 or something. We just started touring, got our first EP out and then we got signed in 2000. We’ve just toured and made records since.

When you started, did you know what sort of music you wanted to make?

Not intently. We just made music we enjoyed. Even from our first show when we were 16 years old. It’s really the creation of music that’s the most exciting thing to me. We’ve always just followed our noses. If we wanted to play really heavy songs we’ve done that, if we wanted to play acoustic songs we’ve done that, and anywhere in between. We like to have a lot of fun when we’re playing and do weird, quirky things. I think our previous record has a lot more youthful enthusiasm, and there’s a lot of things that work really well and a lot of things that don’t, but it helped make us the band we are today.