Last December, drummer Ben Johnston told NME that Biffy Clyro would “almost call 2015 a year off,” and 11 months later, it’s fair to say the trio seem to have been true to their word. But with this week’s announcement that the three-piece will be back on the road in 2016, and evidence that they’ve been working in the studio, we’ve rounded up all the information that’s out there about the follow-up to 2013’s ‘Opposites’ and what 2016 might have in store.
John Feldmann might be involved
The lead singer of ska-punk outfit Goldfinger has a pretty profitable day job – he co-writes and produces mega hits for the likes of 5 Seconds Of Summer, All Time Low and Avicii. One figure quotes the sales of the songs that he’s had a hand in as approaching 34 million worldwide. So why have we brought him up? Well, he posted two pictures on his Instagram in July and August of Biffy frontman Simon Neil, the former bearing the caption ‘5 songs 3 days’. Now, you can speculate on this titbit of information: was this work for the new Biffy album, or does it refer to a collaboration on Simon’s solo project, ZZC? Naturally, these posts sent Biffy’s online fandom into a tizz, albeit not in the most enthusiastic manner – one Tumblr user posted, “He’s by some distance one of the blandest producers in the business, and him being linked in any way to Biffy or ZZC is bad news in my book.” Still, it might not all be bad news. Maybe.
It was written in sewage-strewn Ayrshire and appears to be being recorded in glamorous LA
The band returned to their Scottish home in 2014 to add meat to the bones of initial song ideas, by taking up residence in their Ayrshire farmhouse, a location that they have used for the past decade. But it’s not all been plain sailing: Ben told Kerrang! in 2014 that there’d been “a plumbing problem” that had caused raw sewage to leak through the walls, which, as you can imagine, can’t have aided their creative flow. The literal shitstorm may have spurred the band to decamp to LA, where ‘Opposites’ was recorded, and from where the band recently posted an uncaptioned photo on Twitter of them standing on a sunny Californian street – linking up with Feldmann again, perhaps?
— Biffy Clyro (@BiffyClyro) October 24, 2015
That LA theory is backed up in another sunny shot they’ve recently shared (and three studio ones):
The new record’s going to be short and sweet
Well, relatively speaking, anyway: ‘Opposites’ was a 20-track double album, a result of indulging in what Simon said amounted to “anything we wanted to try, we’ve been able to try”. That approach, however, has been scrapped this time around – speaking to Q at the beginning of the year, the frontman said, “I think it’s important to put some more rules and limitations on what we do because on the last few records we ran with whatever ideas we had. Coming off the back of a double album, it’s important to be really concise, so we might only have 10 songs.” He also clarified that “it’s sounding really rocking at the moment”, which doesn’t give much away, to be honest.
I love you guys so much – thank you for the bday wishes. Day off today and then back to making the ALBUM OF THE FUCKING DECADE!!xx
— Biffy Clyro (@BiffyClyro) August 31, 2015
They’re playing festivals next summer
Biffy’s place on the Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park line-ups in Germany next June more or less confirms that the three-piece will be back on the festival circuit come the summer months. And with the publisher picturing the band rehearsing back in September, it’s clear that Biffy are slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things.
— Alex H.N.Gilbert (@AlexHNGilbert) September 17, 2015
They’re set to go into 2016 with a bang
Booked to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations on New Year’s Eve, it looks like Biffy’s 2015 sabbatical from the public eye will come to an end on the very last day of the year – they just couldn’t resist showing their faces, could they? It’s likely that this gig will be the first chance for the band to showcase any new material, but whether an album or even a single will have been announced by then is anyone’s guess. Still, Biffy fans: the wait is nearly over – surely?