Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil Reveals All About New Single ‘Wolves Of Winter’

Biffy Clyro have just unveiled the details of their forthcoming album, ‘Elipsis’, due July 8, and a brand new single, ‘Wolves Of Winter’, which will be played in full on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show tonight from 7pm. Frontman Simon Neil tells us about the track.

The title, ‘Wolves Of Winter’, is a David Attenborough reference

Simon Neil: “It comes from a documentary of his about these wolves who live on a patch of land, and whoever comes onto it, they’re basically fair game. It’s an attack song: it’s me saying, ‘Don’t fuck with what we do’ and sticking the fingers up to the people who said our band wouldn’t last very long. I’m quite a negative person generally, although it’s not normally a motivator for me, but there’s definitely a few songs on this record directed towards people who’ve let us down, ripped us off, or fucked us over.”


They can’t wait to play it live

Simon Neil: “‘It was one of the first songs we played in the room together, and right away it felt fucking brilliant. You can have a song that you’re sure is perfect, like a golden egg in your mind, then when you go into the studio, it falls flat. But as soon as we recorded ‘Wolves of Winter’ with Rich [Costey, producer] and got it where we wanted it, we were like, ‘This song has to open the record.’ And it’s probably going to open our sets for the next two and a half years! For me, it’s a song that sounds like the start of a Biffy show: you can imagine everyone screaming along, going absolutely fucking mental. And that’s how all Biffy shows should be.”

Recording it was a challenge

Simon Neil: “We recorded the last three albums in a very traditional way, but Rich’s thing is to challenge you, and that’s 99% of the reason why we wanted to work with him. On the first day of recording Ben sat down to play ‘Wolves of Winter’ when Rich came in and took his bass drum, hi-hat and snare away, then went, ‘Right, now play the song!’ With other tracks, I’d lay down the final vocal before we’d even finished recording it. It was disconcerting, and we were freaked out at first: we sounded like some weird, cultish, hippy band who were sleeping next door to Mastodon! It made us unsure of ourselves, but that’s important – I want to feel nervous, I want to feel excited, I want to be unsure if what we’re doing is absolutely brilliant or complete shit.”

There’s a story behind the chatter at the start

Simon Neil: “Because we sort of wanted to devolve with this album, we started recording everything. We were recording crickets outside our window every night. We recorded couples having arguments in the street, which is especially hilarious in LA – we’ve got one that almost made it onto the album, where some guy was shouting about how ‘I could’ve fucked those Brazilian girls!’ It was an influence that came from listening to hip-hop – the textures, the atmospherics, the weird sounds.”

The video will be quite something…

Simon Neil: “We’re doing this awesome animated video, the concept of which is basically the full evolution of man. I’ve only read the storyboards so far, but it’s going to be fucking brilliant. We’ve done so many videos in the past, so it’s a relief to have one that we’re not in. It’s certainly much better than looking at our hideous faces for three and a half minutes…”