Biffy Clyro have opened up about the diverse range of songs they’re working on at the moment, as they look to make two new albums and a movie this year. Watch our video interview with the band above.
To celebrate the release of their new ‘MTV Unplugged’ album and the announcement of their new acoustic UK tour, Biffy dropped by the NME studio to talk us through their past, present and future.
“We’ve been working on a lot of new music,” frontman Simon Neil told NME of their year so far. “We’re working on two records concurrently at the moment.
“We’re doing one record for a movie which will be filmed once we’ve finished it. It’s this really cool kind of collaboration with this Welsh director called Jamie Adams. He’s a fantastic director. He makes some really hilarious movies, but this one will not be funny!”
Neil continued: “We’re writing the soundtrack and some of the script will come from some of the lyrics in the songs. It’s this constantly changing thing at the moment, but we’ve got the songs picked. Then at the same time we’re working on ‘Opus 8’, which is our working title for the next Biffy album.
“That’s going great and we’re just doing what we do. ”
The movie sets out to be a “a ‘Romeo And Juliet’ story from Juliet’s point of view”. Now, the band are looking forward to ‘workshopping’ the film with their songs taking the lead.
“He doesn’t work strictly from a script, it’s an outline – that’s why it’s doable,” said Neil. “We’ll have all of our music done, then they’ll go and workshop it with the music playing along and things so the ideas can spark off it. It’s really unusual, and it’s tough to explain. Even our label were like ‘only you would be the band to do everything backwards’. That’s what really appealed to us.”
As for the sound of the soundtrack, Neil added: “I see it as six pairs of songs. There are a couple of songs that are acoustic and but Nick Cave-y, there are a couple that are full-on electronic, a couple of songs that are weird hardcore songs, a couple of big epic rock songs, and we’re just trying to approach it in a different way.”
And what can we expect from ‘Opus 8’?
“People always say that describing the new music before you’ve finished making it is the hardest thing to do, and I think we’ve fallen into that trap,” said bassist James Johnston. “They’re always like ‘oh the heavier bits will be heavier’, so we were kind of joking that the heavier bits should be less heavy, the quiet bits less quiet and the melodic bits are less melodic.
“It’s so early to say at the moment, and we’ve never been a band that paints ourselves into a corner too much but you’ve got to have some kind of parameters. It’s going to be a rock record, there’s no doubt about that.”
It wouldn’t be a Biffy record if it wasn’t a little insane. As it stands, the sound of the songs for their next album proper are ‘all over the place’, one with a ‘Beatles-y’ ’60s sound and another with a ‘reggae vibe’ – all in all ’embracing the absurd’.
“There are always a couple of songs that are like the ‘spark’ of the record,” said Simon. “It the moment for ‘Opus 8’, we’re just splurging songs. We have 15 for that at the moment.
“A record has to have purpose for us at the moment. There’s no time in making an eighth record just because there’s time to make another record. It needs to feel like something that we’re offering to the world.”
Biffy Clyro release ‘MTV Unplugged’ on May 25.
Biffy Clyro tour dates and tickets
The band will also be heading out on a stripped back and acoustic tour in September, culminating in a huge show at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. Tickets are on sale from 9am on May 11 and will be available here.
15 – Dublin, The Helix
16 – Belfast, Waterfront
18 – Cardiff, St. David’s Hall
19 – Birmingham, Symphony Hall
21 – Edinburgh, Usher Hall
22 – Manchester, Manchester Opera House
24 – London, Royal Albert Hall