The frontman details how being unconventional is what nurtures the creativity at the core of one of rock music’s most enigmatic acts.
Fresh off the release of their eighth studio album, A Celebration of Endings, Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro checked in for a conversation on Mosh Talks.
Known and embraced for their ability to always keep the audience guessing, Simon began the discussion by digging into the creative dynamic that goes into the band. Confiding that while he enjoys challenging the audience and really pushing the limits of what the trio can do, Neil explains that he never wants to the experimentation to cause the band to stray too far from what they are.
Neil would further detail that for those instances where he really wants to experiment, he has other projects to soothe his creative itch. Finding inspiration in bands like Imperial Triumphant and EyeHateGod, Neil has a project called Empire Street Bastards that indulges the “ugly and abrasive” with elements of grindcore, crust, doom, and a some hint of black metal.
Neil also discussed his drone side project that explores more ambient, minimalist sounds that really allows the songwriter the creative freedom to venture well outside the confines of traditional song-based music.
Seen as a bit of an enigma in rock, Biffy Clyro’s brand of music is unorthodox in a bravely heavy way. Too aggressive for pop and inventively weird by traditional rock standards, the band thrives in the fringe by design. Neil would go on to describe the marriage of sound as the mixture of Slipknot and Tina Turner and confided that while he does get frustrated in trying to get people to see the merit such a bizarre meld, he appreciates that the people that do get it, get it.
Tapping into that same competitive, adversarial spirit, Neil discussed how the band was certainly up to the task of sharing their latest record in lieu of being able to tour on it. In true Biffy Clyro fashion, the aim was to exceed the expectations of the conventional livestreaming showcase and really craft a visual representation that complimented the complexity of the album. The result was a production that Neil feels will stand the test of time.
While many other artists have treated the livestream as a substitute, Neil and Biffy Clyro really see the platform as a element to the live transition of their music as a part of the experience that won’t go away once touring is possible again. For Neil, there is an excitement coupled with the ability to create another visual element to complete a sensory experience for each of the records the band puts out.
Lastly, Neil would revisit the band’s most recent appearance on BBC’s Radio One Live Lounge where Biffy tackled a cover version of Cards B and Magen Thee Stallion’s colossal pop hit, “WAP.” Slightly modified to ensure the daytime crowd didn’t clutch their pearls, the band opted to make the acronym, “Wet Ass Biffy,” and while the move was intended to translate as tongue in cheek, the humor seemed lost on a fickle internet audience.
Despite the icy reception, Neil remained adamant in saying that pop songs are always fair game in being open to interpretation. He punctuated the thought by reiterating that he will continue to cover whatever the fuck he wants.
Simon Neil truly is one of the most charismatic, creative voices in music. The following 30-minute session on Mosh Talks will illustrate why. Communicating a sincere enthusiasm when it comes to his craft, it’s clear why thinking outside the box is standard by which the Scotsman operates.
Watch the complete interview with Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro below.