Biffy Clyro: ‘Nothing Was Forced Or Contrived’

The boys from Biffy tell DIY about their double album opus, ‘Opposites’.

Those that have attempted it will tell you that the double album is a dangerous offering; it’s easy to find yourself falling down the trapdoor marked ‘over indulgence’. Add in the notion of that record being a concept album, and well, you really need to be at the peak of your creative powers.

But there’s no real worry when it comes to Biffy Clyro, as they ready the release of ‘Opposites’, due on 28th January. The Scottish boys have never been afraid to be a little over the top, and with the band at their artistic height, they tell us that the writing process was both sudden, and fruitful. “He [frontman Simon Neil] went ‘boom’ and then before you know it, we had 45 songs,” drummer Ben Johnston tells us, over coffee. “Throughout that time, me and Simon went through some negative and positive emotions. And that’s what you hear on the record. So I guess, after we had our songs, we narrowed it down to 20 songs, the songs just fell into these categories, kind of, a little bit naturally. Nothing was forced or contrived.”

Those contrasting emotions that Ben refers to are the driving force behind the album’s concept, with the first disc dealing with past regrets, and the near disintegration of the band, with the second taking a more positive tone. “The second disc, after that first one which is kind of reflecting back, was really about trying to grab a hold of life again and kind of take control,” Simon confides, “Take the reins and not allow things that you’ve spent your entire life working for to fall apart.”

With so much to play with, it’s unsurprising that the band found themselves experimenting sonically over the course of the album. “Since ‘Puzzle’,” Ben divulges, “we’ve been kind of quite filmic, if you will. It’s been so we can create broad scores, and things like that, expansive.” “We tried to get better and better and, like any other band, we want our latest record to be the best,” bassist James Johnston interjects. “At this moment in time, we feel like, with ‘Opposites’, we couldn’t go any further.

“We’re obviously really proud of what we’ve done,” James continues. “We’re not real big-headed guys, so we’re not going to see this as the best record that anyone’s going to hear, and we can’t repeat it.” Ben interrupts, readily agreeing. “We feel it’s the best record we’ve made.”

For our full interview with Biffy Clyro, pick up the February issue of DIY.

Taken from the December 2012 / January 2013 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.