Biffy Clyro: 'Mon the Biffy
This article is from 2008.
Ben from Biffy Clyro takes us round Glasgow and explains the influence the city and his suburban hometown, Kilmarnock, had on the band’s music.
Glasgow is a vibrant, vibrant city. I live in Kilmarnock but I guess Glasgow is the closest city of merit. I’m always thankful that I’m close to it because nothing happens where I'm from whereas Glasgow is only ten minutes up the road and is thriving with music. I love the place, even to the point that if I had all the money in the world, I’d still live close to Glasgow. It has everything that I need and it’s big enough to be anonymous, but small enough to bump into people you know all the time. I think it’s perfect.
It’s an amazing park and a lovely place to be when the sun’s out. I’m sure you know that it doesn’t come out very often, which I love, because if you go to LA, where it’s sunny all the time, whenever it rains, people are really pissed off. In Glasgow everyone’s normal when it rains and really, really happy when it’s sunny. I love that about the city.
Otago Street 0141 287 5108 free entry.
I don’t go out much anymore, because I got bored with spending loads of money on drink. I’m more of a carry out [alcohol bought from a shop] man now. I used to go to the Art School and the Sub Club though. You always find interesting people in those places.
Kilmarnock Football Club
This is the football club I support, but they’re not particularly good. That’s not the point in supporting a team though, is it? They’re my team because I live there. It’s been good watching them go up from the second division all the way to the premier league. So now we’re in the top flight of Scottish football, but we do struggle to compete with everybody else. I love them. When I earn some cash I’m going to give them some. But music’s not earning that much at the moment. Who buys albums anymore?
Kilmarnock FC, 11a Rugby Rd, Kilmarnock, 01563 545300, www.kilmarnockfc.co.uk
Our first gig in Glasgow was at the Strathclyde Student Union, in a place called the Cavern Bar. We were very young but they’d let us on anyway. We played there something like eight times and then moved on to places like Sleazy’s and King Tut’s. I guess we played King Tut’s more than any other band in the world. We did every venue imaginable.
Have your wits about you. There’s some great stuff at some great prices. But watch your back!
It’s a lot smaller than Glasgow. In fact it’s a town and not a city. A few other bands have come from there, like The Trashcan Sinatras, who were big in Japan and Baby Chaos, who were from Stewarton, but I think we’re the only local band that have made it big really.
Johnny Walker Whisky Blending Plant
This is one of the most famous whiskies in the world and it’s made at home in Kilmarnock. So that’s pretty cool. Apparently William Wallace spent time in Kilmarnock and so did Robert Burns, so it’s got a few claims to fame. It had a big influence on us. We got to spend a lot of time on music, because there really is bugger all else happening. Your surroundings affect what songs you write. If you’re in LA, you’re going to write sunny songs. If you’re in Ayrshire you’re going to write rainy songs.
The Blending Plant is not open to visitors.