SI­MON NEIL

The Biffy Clyro front­man found a way to ex­press him­self when he started play­ing gui­tar, mak­ing him the per­fect choice as win­ner of the in­au­gu­ral Q Fender Play Award.

Q (UK) - - Awards 2018 - Pre­sen­ter: Duane Eddy DANNY EC­CLE­STON

Hi, Si­mon. You’re the re­cip­i­ent of the Fender Play Award for be­ing a gui­tar icon. How does that feel? Un­real! It feels amaz­ing. When I grew up, my gui­tar was such an im­por­tant part of my life. I was a bit shy, not great at com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but as soon as I learned gui­tar I felt I had a way to ex­press my­self. It gave me a level of con­fi­dence I needed. I wasn’t great with words. Hope­fully I’m bet­ter now be­cause I’m meant to be a fuck­ing lyri­cist! And re­ceiv­ing it from Duane Eddy? Oh my God! How to make a guy get­ting an award feel that small. Here’s a guy that’s cre­ated the gui­tar world as we know it – a guy who changed the land­scape. So the twang’s the thang? Ab­so­lutely. When you’re a teenager you think that dis­tor­tion is the thang. But you lis­ten to some­thing like Duane Eddy’s Rebel-’Rouser or Peter Gunn and you re­alise, “You know what heavy gui­tars are? They’re clean gui­tars.” It’s not dis­tor­tion that gives you in­ten­sity, it’s the way you at­tack it. Duane Eddy teaches you that. Who have you been ex­cited to see here to­day? Duane Eddy, of course – none of us would even be in this room with­out some­one like him. I just saw Shaun Ry­der – looks like he’s had a skin­ful; you wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m a fan of IDLES, as I think most peo­ple are. For me, at this mo­ment in time, that’s what gui­tar mu­sic’s about – not about be­ing pretty, but ex­press­ing how you feel. That’s ex­cit­ing. I just met Nov­el­ist, too – he’s an ab­so­lute ta­lent. I thought he was go­ing to hug the life out of you. I know! That’s what I like about mu­sic in Bri­tain. You get all the fuck­ing gen­res mixed up to­gether. Even the new acts, you see gui­tars, hip-hop, pop, a bit of ev­ery­thing. I think Bri­tain’s al­ways had that won­der­ful bal­ance. Good mu­sic is good mu­sic. But fuck­ing care about it. Apart from tonight, what was your high­light of 2018? It was prob­a­bly play­ing the Bat­a­clan [ on 25 Septem­ber]. We hadn’t been back since the hor­rific at­tack. We played an acous­tic show and there was a real heavy vibe in the room – you could tell a lot of peo­ple hadn’t been back there since 2015. It’s hard to put your fin­ger on it, but it’s like only some­thing so out­ra­geous could have cre­ated such a spir­i­tual vibe in the room. It felt like a vic­to­ri­ous evening for hu­man­ity. A real emo­tional mo­ment, some­thing I won’t for­get for a long time. And what’s com­ing next year – an­other Biffy al­bum pre­sum­ably? We should have two al­bums out next year. A di­rec­tor ap­proached me to make a record and he’s mak­ing a movie in re­sponse to it. So we’ve been col­lab­o­rat­ing most of the year and he fin­ished the film last week. The al­bum should hope­fully be out in Jan­uary and the film in March or April. Then we’ll be in the stu­dio mak­ing the eighth al­bum with Rich Costey in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary and the sooner we can get it done the bet­ter. This is what we do! If you’re in a band you should be mak­ing mu­sic. It’s go­ing to be a full-on year.

Nice coat! (main pic) Biffy Clyro’s Si­mon Neil; (right) with Duane Eddy and his Q Fender Play Award.

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