More ‘lasts’ from Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil


Last time you got into a fight? It’s been a while. It was at a gig years ago. It was a show on one of our early tours with a band called the Lama Farmers. We were in the crowd watching and there was this arsehole being the usual ignorant guy, shouting and shoving elbowing everyone. So James and I thought we need to stop this guy so we stood next to him but then he took a swing at James, so we jumped on him and started giving him a kicking. Then the crew from the band came off stage, took him outside and gave him a proper doing. I did feel a bit bad for him, but he tried to break James’s jaw and ruin everyone’s night, so he deserved it. After that, the next time we played that venue we were so paranoid he’d be coming down with a gang of folk to give us a kicking! That’s the last one I can remember. I’ve thrown a few punches when people have been a bit too tactile at gigs, I don’t like it when people try to grab my balls, but I’m a lover not a fighter.

Last book you read I’m reading the Goldfinch by Donna Tart at the moment. I’m struggling with it a bit. I’m three pages in and I’ve hit that wall where I feel I need another book to read at the same time. Something lighter to go with Donna’s heavier shit. I’ll probably go with some scandal thriller to go with it.

Last time you cooked a meal for someone Err, I guess I cooked for my wife probably three months ago, which makes me sound awful. I make a good smoked salmon pasta, it’s my only disc. I’m terrible at cooking. For my birthday I got a cook school class, so I’m going to go and master the art of cooking meat! When I do that I’ll be cooking all the time, but until then my wife will have to putting up with my shit kitchen skills at the moment. Maybe after album Number nine…

Last time you came up with an alter ego That would have been Marmaduke Duke! He’s still the only one I’m afraid. I feel one split personality is enough for me. To be honest it’s not a split personality I just have moments of madness all the time. I’m quite calm and then I’ll do something really stupid, wearing dresses, climbing anything I can, trying to kiss men at gigs. That’s my Liberace side, I’d say. However The Duke has unfortunately passed away and the final album is being written as we speak. We have the centrepiece which is an eight minute classical compilation, his theme tune, then three or four dirty R&B songs and a guitarmagendon to close it. The Duke is gone, but we’re going to send him out in a fitting manner.

Last time you wrote a song and thought "that’s a b-side" [laughs] I tell you that happens quite often. I don’t have too much of an ego to say that happens quite a lot. Sometimes you’ll have a good idea that just doesn’t come together. I treat all my songs the same, so even though I know it will be the black sheep of the family, I will still raise it the right way, treat it with the same respect but knowing full well I’m going to shove it off to boarding school! It was probably four weeks ago I wrote something and thought That’s cool, but not that cool: B-Side! [laughs] I like to think in the last few years I’ve hit such a purple patch everything’s an A-side but normally it’s two B-sides to every one that’s amazing. One in every three is a real keeper, but having said that I’m sure some people will say I’m full of shit.