Biffy Clyro's Ben Johnston: 'My drinking nearly split the band up'

Drummer is now sober after attending Alcoholics Anonymous to curb drink problem

Biffy Clyro's Ben Johnston: 'My drinking nearly split the band up'

Photo: Press

Biffy Clyro's Ben Johnston has revealed that his addiction to alcohol nearly destroyed the band.

The drummer has said that he was forced to tackle his problem otherwise he believes the band would not have completed their forthcoming album 'Opposites' and would have split up.

He told Q: "I had no stop button. I would just keep going and black out. Me and Simon massively drifted apart. It was me that was going to fuck it all up."

Lead singer Simon Neil said the tension was worsened by tragedy in his own life, as his wife suffered three miscarriages. "Life had been going great," he said. "Suddenly the band was falling apart and my wife had the roughest time. Devastating."

Johnston said that his alcohol tolerance began to weaken and he was suffering blackouts after downing just five pints of beer, so he changed to drinking glasses of white wine spritzers. However, this quickly escalated to pints of wine.

He soon began missing flights and turned up late for rehearsals. This put strain on the band, which includes his twin brother James Johnston, and album recording sessions began to suffer. "I was half-thinking, 'We might go home with no record here. And no band,'" he said.

The final straw came when he suffered a blackout during their recording session in Santa Monica. Bassist James Johnston found his brother on the floor having fallen and slashed his ear.

The incident proved to be the wake-up call for Ben Johnston who then attended Alcoholic Anonymous meetings in Los Angeles and has been sober ever since – he even refused a sip of champagne on his wedding day.

Biffy Clyro release their forthcoming album 'Opposites' on January 28, which features two discs, subtitled 'The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones' and 'The Land At The End Of Our Toes'. The album will be available on CD/DVD and digital download, as well as a limited-edition boxset.

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