"_It's cool that people dig our music enough to be really kind of obsessed by it,_" says Biffy Clyro's vocalist Simon Neil, in a soft-spoken Scottish drawl. He and drummer Ben Johnston are humbly trying to assess the near-insane frenzy that his band are known to cook up among their fans.
"We were doing this thing on our website," says Ben, "_and [our bassist] James had written for a laugh, 'If you wanna send us any free gifts, feel free.' I mean, we had people turning up at the studio bringing cakes for us and things. It got a little bit scary at one point?_"
Biffy Clyro's story thus-far encapsulates three years; three studio albums; much, much touring and hedonism; a near-Protestant work ethic (they once recorded a whole album in 24 hours) and a following among fans so intense that their shows often resemble political rallies rather than mere gigs.
What is it about Biffy Clyro that instils so much obsession in their fans?
Simon explains, "_I think everybody who is into our band has normally seen us play live a handful of times and they appreciate that every time we play, we try and give as much as we possibly can, and I think they reciprocate that by? y'know? being insanely into our band." He grins. "It's fucking great, y'know_?"
The affable young men of Biffy Clyro are, it seems, genuinely moved by their fans' loyalty - a loyalty that many larger bands would kill for. However, it hasn't come easy. Apparently, the band are so addicted to touring that they no longer have homes to go to, and their non-stop touring schedule would send most other bands rushing to their Jacuzzis.
"_Some bands, they're like, 'Aw, gotta tour, that sucks.' Whereas with us it's just something we have to do,_" says Ben, emphatically. However, despite the work ethic -and a fan base that would make the Pope jealous - Biffy have until now been cruelly neglected by the press.
All that is set to change however. Their new album, 'Infinity Land'
- a sprawling epic of angular post-rock, discordance and tunes which rival Nirvana's best efforts - is receiving rave reviews across the board. Meanwhile, even the most cynical hacks are finding themselves hard-pressed not to praise the frenzy of their live shows.
Rather predictably, some of the more hysterical journos have been labelling Biffy as 'the future of rock'?
"_Well, obviously we wouldn't be in our band if we didn't think we could be the future of rock?_" muses Simon, sincerely.
"_It's funny when you see it written down, you're kind of like, 'Well, it's not quite as simple as that?'" says Ben._
"But it's just bizarre," laughs Simon, "_because we're used to reading these things about other bands and going, 'What a crock of shit,' y'know?_"
When asked if any of these 'other bands' in particular make the nice men of Biffy want to sharpen their claws and unleash their dark sides, the temperature of the room suddenly drops?
Both: "Fuckin' Libertines."
Ben: "_And Razorlight, aye. I mean, Razorlight are better than the Libertines, but still? absolutely shite. Both of them."_
Clutch on to your Converse for dear life, meek indie fans? What exactly is it about the Libertines and Razorlight that you don't like?
Ben puffs on his cigarette, intensely?
"It's the whole style-over-content thing," he spits. "_The music's the last thing they care about, or at least it seems that way. I don't know, it might just be the NME's fault, but I just don't like the music, period. _
_"But the way that their fuckin' drug habits get talked about more than their actual music, and their music's so fucking? so slobby and so bad, I can't believe anybody likes it! It's really, really bad._"
"_At least be able to play, and make your songs sound good, for fuck's sake_," agrees Simon.
Is this disgust at the reported drug habits of the Libertines a sign that Biffy Clyro are healthy, clean-living young men?
Ben: "_Nah, drugs are great [both laugh]. It's good to experience different things, and they can be bad in, erm, large doses and at the wrong time, but they can also be pretty good_."
At the end of the day, you're a bunch of stoners aren't you?
Simon: "_We like to party as well, but we're not the fucking Libertines. We just don't like any bands where the music takes a back seat to other shit. Every aspect, in all our favourite bands, all that's ever really mattered to them is the music and that's the most important thing. Any band whose major fuckin' drug habit is held in higher regard than their music is band news._"
It's perhaps unsurprising that Biffy are unimpressed by the none-more-English, late '70s stylings of the Libertines and Razorlight. Despite the fact that they come from Kilmarnock, Biffy's music seems to draw more on U.S. grunge influences than the Jam or the Clash. The tag 'the British Nirvana' is one that constantly follows them around.
"_It's funny, 'cause obviously we were mad into Nirvana when they came out," says Simon, "but we don't see a link anymore. It's just this subconscious influence that permeates what we do. I mean, I think we're better than Nirvana, and we do more interesting stuff than Nirvana did. Although Nirvana are fuckin' amazing, but I think we're from a whole different, fuckin'?_"
"_?different time, different scene, different everything from what they were doing,_" Ben chips in.
"It_'s like Nirvana, the Pixies; they did the whole quiet/loud thing, and you won't hear a rock band anymore that doesn't have that dynamic," continues Simon. "But I don't think we sound a lot like them_."
Regardless of who Biffy Clyro do or don't sound like, the most important and unique thing about them remains the dedication of their fan base. Frequently during gigs, the band will let the audience sing half of their songs, unprompted. It's a sight to behold, and the most tuneful crowd singing you've ever heard.
Considered local heroes in their home town of Kilmarnock, the band insist on staying true to their roots.
"_You don't have to be this ridiculously underground band that only 100 people know about in order have roots," insists Simon, "and I think, hopefully, we're kind of proving that. We've toured everywhere, played everybody's hometown and people kind of connect with that, and the fans have given us the confidence to believe in ourselves and all that? and we always have. I just think we're a cool fuckin' band._"
So there you have it: Biffy Clyro. Authentic; true to their fans; beardy; better than Nirvana (in their own words); stoners; sworn enemies of the Libertines and Razorlight; and on the cusp of far greater things, commercially speaking. And, if their tour schedule's anything to go by, they'll be coming to a town near you - just see if they don't.
The 'Infinity Land' LP is out now on Beggars Banquet records