Biffy Clyro destroy stage in New York

Simon Neil goes into 'meltdown' as band's set is cut

Biffy Clyro wow the crowd at Download Festival 2007 Pic Andrew Kendall
Biffy Clyro’s gig at New York’s CMJ festival (October 18) descended into violence when the band destroyed the stage and equipment in protest at having their set cut.

After two songs the group were told they had to stop their performance as headliners Datarock were due to come onstage, leading Neil to kick around equipment and hurl microphones at the back wall of the venue – narrowly missing the crowd – before being assaulted by an audience member.

Speaking to NME.COM, the singer said: “All the other bands played for about half an hour and we got pulled off after about one song basically. So we kept playing and there were people coming onstage trying to unplug our gear, so I had a bit of a meltdown and I grabbed everything I could get my hands on – I took all the microphones and threw them as hard as I could against the back wall."

He added that, while he was violently removed from the stage, things did not get too nasty.

“I ended up getting manhandled out of the venue by this huge bouncer," he recalled. "This fucking guy came up and sucker-punched me in the face with the microphone ’cause I’d nearly hit him with it, so I wanted to fucking kill him. Luckily, it didn’t turn into a huge fight or a brawl on the streets of New York.”

The singer put the timing problems down to the organiser’s incompetence, explaining: “They [the organisers] should have cut every band’s set by one song, including ours, then everyone would have played twenty minutes which would have been cool. But the fact that they tried to punish us and tried to switch the music on when we were playing and tried to unplug our gear, we found that completely unacceptable.”

Neil expressed regrets about his actions, explaining: “I would never intend to throw a mic and hurt someone who was at a gig, that wasn’t my intention, I was just really pissed off that we were being told that we couldn’t play our music. I feel terrible about it because I wouldn’t have wanted to hurt anyone.

“You know, we weren’t being dicks, we just wanted to do what we were out there to do and we certainly weren’t going to New York to play two songs. We haven’t devoted our entire lives to this to be told that.”

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