Behind the scenes

Biffy Clyro and the Xcerts talk music, life and being a teenager...

THE SET LIST

THE CAPTAIN
BOOOOOM, BLAST & RUIN
WHO’S GOT A MATCH
SATURDAY SUPERHOUSE
HERO MANAGEMENT
GOD & SATAN
THAT GOLDEN RULE
LIVING IS A PROBLEM
BORN ON A HORSE
FOLDING STARS
MACHINES
SHOCK SHOCK
BUBBLES
GET F*CKED STUD
KNOW YOUR QUARRY
TOYS, TOYS, TOYS
MANY OF HORROR
CLOUD OF STINK
HOPE FOR AN ANGEL
MOUNTAINS

Photography

All images by Yui Mok, Press Association

Biffy Clyro

Fresh from a February tour of the US and Canada, Scottish rock trio and Brit Award nominees Biffy Clyro played their first UK date and their second appearance for Teenage Cancer Trust, having first performed in 2006. This was their only available UK date before July when they headline Sonisphere Knebworth and play as special guests to long time Teenage Cancer Trust supporters Foo Fighters at this year’s sold out Milton Keynes gigs.

Biffy Clyro came together in 1995 in a school in Kilmarnock, just outside of Glasgow, when childhood friends Simon Neil (vocals/guitar) and twins James (bass/vocals) and Ben Johnston (drums/vocals) started playing music together. United by a love of underground, experimental rock and post-hardcore bands such as Braid and Karate, along with the likes of Guns N’Roses and Metallica, they quickly honed their own unique sound.

My soundtrack

Simon Neil


What was the first single/album you bought?

Now 11 with Belinda Carlisle on it. Sweet.

Who was the first band you saw live?

The very first gig i went to with a friend was Metallica at the SECC in Glasgow.

What music/musician had the biggest influence on you as a teenager?

It would have to be Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. They made us realise we could play music too; we didn't have to be virtuosos.

In a film about your life – what would be your theme tune?

Radiohead, Idioteque.

What music do you find inspiring?

Red House Painters are always an inspiration.

Is there any song or piece of music that gives you comfort?

Oceansize Ornament/The Last Wrongs. One of the most satisfying pieces of music ever written.

What song never fails to cheer you up?

My Morning Jacket, Highly Suspicious.

When you were a teenager, what band did you want to be in and why?

I was never good enough but i would have loved to be in Guns'n'Roses.

Do you have a favourite album cover/artwork?

Tomahawk Mit Gas. Beautiful.

Is there a song or album that for you, represents ‘teenage angst’?

Nirvana's In Utero is dripping in angst.


James Johnston


What was the first single/album you bought?

The first single I bought was Kylie and Jason - 'Especially for You.' Not really a cool choice by any means, but I was eight at the time. The first album was 'use Your Illusion 1' by Guns 'N' Roses. What a great introduction to rock music!


Who was the first band you saw live?

The first band that I wanted to see was Rancid. I remember just being amazed at how intimidating it was being surrounded by so many angry people, at least that's what I thought then. Really everyone was having a great time, and I got such a rush from the energy in the room.

What music/musician had the biggest influence on you as a teenager?

Like most rock fans of my age Kurt Cobain was the biggest influence on us as teenagers. Musically he was a great antidote to some of the horrible music that was around at the time. He showed us that you didn't have to look a certain way or play a certain way, and he made people like us feel we could start a band. He, along with Nirvana almost singlehandedly managed to change the whole musical landscape.

In a film about your life – what would be your theme tune?

I'd go for 'Good Times Roll' by the Cars. It's a song that reminds me of growing up; it's just an absolute classic.


What music do you find inspiring?

I really get a lot out of great lyricists and beautiful song writers. I love Elliot Smith and Bright Eyes and people like Fleetwood Mac and the Beach Boys are hugely inspiring and will be for generations to come.

Is there any song or piece of music that gives you comfort?

There are probably many that give great comfort, the first that comes to mind is 'My Baby Just Cares For Me' by Nina Simone. The sound of the drums and piano is just so suggestive and the way her voice wraps round them is like velvet. I can always listen to that song again and again.

What song never fails to cheer you up?

'We built this city' by Starship. As soon it starts you're in a good mood. It's just so unashamed you've got to enjoy it.

When you were a teenager, what band did you want to be in and why?

I always thought it would have been pretty cool to be in Soundgarden. They were definitely one of my favourite bands and musically they were ahead of the game. They always had the best riffs and had a great knack of making really complex music sound seemingly simple.


Do you have a favourite album cover/artwork?

The body of work Storm Thorgerson has contributed to album artwork over the years is just staggering. Some of his most recognisable work was done with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, but I would recommend anyone to have a look further. He really does have an ability to make the real appear unreal.

Is there a song or album that for you, represents ‘teenage angst’?

Rage Against The Machine, Killing In The Name. It may be an obvious choice, but it is one that has stuck around in our lives for many years. Everytime it was on in a club, the whole place would erupt with shouting in harmony. It’s a song that really get's you going, and has been passed from generation to generation as a rallying call against the masses.