Fresh from their No.1 album last year, Biffy Clyro have responded to the pandemic blues by making another.
The Myth Of The Happily Ever After (Warner Records) is out today (October 22). It follows the chart-topping success of A Celebration Of Endings, which has sales of 62,937, according to the Official Charts Company.
Frontman Simon Neil explains how The Myth Of The Happily Ever After acted as an emotional anchor during lockdown...
You might think that a self-produced record you’ve made in a barn by yourselves would be a lo-fi effort, but The Myth Of The Happily Ever After is huge…
“Yeah, the challenge was trying to make a proper record at home, which is quite intense. We’d never done a proper recording session in Ayrshire – the album, the video, everything’s been done within an hour of our home. It was a challenge to see if we could make a big fancy-sounding record.”
So how did the process actually start?
“We’d geared up so much to touring A Celebration Of Endings that I had all this energy and nowhere to put it. I wasn’t intending on writing a bunch of new songs but I sat down at the piano and a few songs kind of fell out and you’ve got to follow the muse when it’s there. I’m not always inspired so when it is there, I go for it. Before we knew it, we’d written another eight songs and it just became this record that felt like one piece of music rather than a selection of different ideas. It was kind of a happy accident.
“I realised that the only way I could process what was going on was to write music. It gave us something to anchor everything around. Even being able to get together with Ben and James [Johnston, drums and bass, respectively] and talk through everything that was happening in real life, it took the pressure off the music, because it didn’t seem like the most important thing. Ironically, that’s when you come up with something magic. There was no time to overthink things – we didn’t tell anyone from the record company or anything that we were making a record.”
What did they say when you casually mentioned you had another new album to put out?
“I think they thought it was gonna be half a dozen off-cuts from the last album recorded really badly, so when we gave them something with full orchestras and shit, I think their minds were blown a little. If anything, it’s made me feel really good about our relationship with our label because they respect and appreciate that we’re the type of band that needs to do this, that not every record we make will be a big shiny pop record, some of them will be darker and angrier and more intense.
“It gave me a lot of confidence when they gave us the thumbs up and said, ‘We’ll get it out as soon as we can, do whatever you want with the artwork’. It was life-affirming, to be honest. It felt like this secret, it felt naughty, going in there three months after we’d made this big album Warners had spent loads of money on. But shit happens. Everything has changed for everyone. We can’t go back to the way things were.”
By Niall Doherty