Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil: ‘When we started work on ‘Opposites’ we’d drifted apart as mates’

Band also say they know 'how lucky we are'

Biffy Clyro singer Simon Neil has admitted that he and his bandmates had “drifted apart as mates” before starting work on their latest studio album ‘Opposites’.

Speaking to the Independent, the frontman spoke about the turbulent gestation of the LP and, referencing the album’s artwork depicting a tree bent over in the wind, he said: “The idea is that, if you’ve got strong roots with family and friends, you can weather any storm. But when we started on ‘Opposites’ we’d kind of drifted apart as mates, which was very strange for us.”

He added: “Before that, we’d always been able to rely on each other no matter what life was throwing at us. Ben [Johnston, drummer] had to stop drinking, both for himself, and for the band to survive.”

Neil also spoke out about the album’s lyrics and the difference between its two parts ‘The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones’ and ‘The Land At The End Of Our Toes’. “‘The Sand…’ has a very lonely and solitary outlook, and it’s: ‘How did this happen? How did I end up here?'” he said. “‘The Land…’ is much more: ‘How can I change my life and make it more enjoyable? How can I galvanise people around me?’ It’s a projection into the future.”

Bassist James Johnston, meanwhile, said of the band’s recent experiences: “It’s definitely been quite a reflective time for us but we’re not dwarfed by the emotion of that. We’re aware of how lucky we are and we’ve started grasping life by the balls again.”

Earlier this week, Biffy Clyro were announced as one of the headliners of Reading and Leeds Festivals 2013. Speaking to NME in this week’s magazine, which is on newsstands now and available digitally, Neil said: “Reading always felt like such an exotic festival. Even though it’s been around since the ’70s, it just really seemed to come alive in the ’90s. I think that’s when it became the cultural moment that it is now, and the fixture that it is in the calendar…It’s just fucking bizarre. I still can’t get my head round it.”

To check the availability of Reading and Leeds Festivals tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.