Members of Biffy Clyro have yet to father the offspring of Hollywood scions. But just because it hasn’t happened yet for any Biffy member doesn’t mean they won’t soon join the ranks of Matthew Bellamy, the partner of Kate Hudson and the singer of Muse, for whom the Scottish rock trio is opening this spring. Because in Great Britain, Biffy Clyro are huge. So much so, that upon release, despite being a double album, their sixth record, “Opposites,” shot to No. 1 on the British album chart.
“Part of it is a response to how throwaway music is these days,” singer and guitarist Simon Neil explains of the decision to go double. “You have someone like Rihanna who brings out an album every three months, it seems. We don’t want this record to be a song or two that people listen to now and forget in a week. We want these songs to become companions to people’s lives. And I really felt these songs needed to be together.”
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Cleverly, “Opposites,” which was issued in the U.S. last month, also comes as a handy-sized single album.
“A double album is for your fans,” admits Neil. “Sometimes a double album can seem overwhelming. Our fans will get the double album, but it’s nice to know other people won’t be terrified to buy it.”
There’s no need to fear that “Opposites” is a sprawling magnum opus. It’s tight and comprises wiry, anxious modern rock.
“What we didn’t want to do was make it an endurance test like a lot of those ‘70s prog rock records. We wanted every song to be a moment and no part where it’s wandering. We didn’t feel the need to do a jazz odyssey on the second,” he jokes.
So, no grandiose Yes-like epic for Biffy then?
“Never say never,” he laughs. “Whenever I say I won’t do that, then on the next record that’s exactly what I’ll do. But feel free to strangle me if you see me wearing a frilly shirt.”
A different sort of muse: The Sunset Strip sex aliens
Did a certain early 1990s epic rock venture inspire “Opposites”?
“It’s not strictly a double album, but ‘Use Your Illusion 1’ and ‘Use Your Illusion 2’ was it for me. I had Guns N’ Roses posters all over my wall. My 11-year-old self, that was how I fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll, seeing these weird Sunset Strip sex aliens. That’s when I decided to devote my life to rock ‘n’ roll.”