Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil: ”I like my Strat to sound like someone losing their mind and clawing at the door”

(Image credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

When Total Guitar tells Simon Neil that his lyrics for latest single Instant History – specifically the line ‘This is the sound that we make, I love the sound when it breaks’ – feel like a reference to his stadium-conquering crunch tones, the Biffy Clyro singer/guitarist grins with excitement.  

“That’s absolutely what I mean!” he explains. “I managed to get an [EarthQuaker Devices] Sunn O))) drone pedal; that’s what you’re hearing through the chorus and it’s honestly one of the best bits of kit I’ve ever bought – just really twisted and an absolute life-changer. It was a limited-edition one, which cost a small fortune, but I think they make another version now. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).