The Irvinites

Simon Neil

Simon Neil
13-06-07 RaR Biffy Clyro Simon Neil 02.jpg
Background information
Birth name Simon Alexander Neil
Born (1979-08-31) 31 August 1979 (age 37)
Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Origin Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Genres Alternative rock, post-hardcore
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, banjo, mandolin, sitar, piano, saxophone, harmonica, melodica, mellotron, synthesizer, violin
Years active 1995–present
Labels Beggars Banquet
14th Floor
Associated acts Biffy Clyro
Marmaduke Duke

Simon Alexander Neil (born 31 August 1979) is a Scottish vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter.

He is known for his work in the bands Biffy Clyro and Marmaduke Duke.


Biffy Clyro

14-08-08 Taubertal Biffy Clyro Simon Neil 2
Main article: Biffy Clyro

Born in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, Simon Neil formed Biffy Clyro in 1995 at 15 years old recruiting Kilmarnock-born James Johnston and someone known only as Barry on bass and drums respectively, calling themselves Screwfish.[1] Barry was soon replaced by Ben Johnston, James's twin brother, and Biffy Clyro was effectively formed. In 1997, the trio moved to Glasgow, where Neil studied Electronics with Music at the University of Glasgow. He also Studied Film and TV for a year before leaving to pursue music full-time. By then, Simon's musical tastes had expanded; In 2000, the band were spotted at the Unsigned Bands stage at T in the Park by a Beggars Banquet representative. Soon after, the band was signed to the independent Beggar's Banquet.

Biffy Clyro have since released seven albums, signed to a major record label, and toured relentlessly. Neil has stated that Biffy Clyro lyrics often come from phrases he writes down in a notebook he keeps by his bed.

Marmaduke Duke

Main article: Marmaduke Duke

Neil plays with JP Reid of fellow Ayrshire group Sucioperro in Marmaduke Duke, under the pseudonym "The Atmosphere", which released their first album, The Magnificent Duke, in 2005.

It was announced in late 2008 that the Duke was to make a return in 2009 with the follow-up album and second in the trilogy, Duke Pandemonium. The first single from the second album, "Kid Gloves" was released on 9 February 2009.

Solo career

Neil performs under the name ZZC. His debut single, "To The Bone", was used in the BBC’s ‘Radio 1 Rescores: Drive (curated by Zane Lowe)’ project. His debut solo album will be released in 2017. [2]

Personal life

Simon Neil

Neil lives in Ayr with his wife Francesca, whom he married at St Columba Church in Ayr on 5 January 2008. The song "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys was used for their first dance, and Neil has the song's chorus, "God only knows what I'd be without you", tattooed on his chest.[3] He is a supporter of Scottish Premiership side Rangers.[4]

Musical equipment used

The following is a list of musical equipment used by Simon Neil:



Effects pedals

Previous effects pedals



Biffy Clyro

Marmaduke Duke

Other appearances

Year Song Artist Album
2001 "Zionist Timing" Aereogramme A Story in White
2002 "Hangover" Sucioperro Why Bliss Destroy
"Love In The Guise Of Friendship"
"Capable Of More"
2009 "Graves" Gallows Grey Britain
2010 "It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To" Oceansize Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up
2014 "Sun Riders" Krokodil Nachash
2016 "Reason to Stay" Good Charlotte Youth Authority


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