Neil at Rock am Ring 2013
|Birth name||Simon Alexander Neil|
|Born||31 August 1979|
Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
|Origin||Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland|
|Genres||Alternative rock, post-hardcore|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Associated acts||Biffy Clyro|
Empire State Bastard
Simon Alexander Neil (born 31 August 1979) is a Scottish vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter.
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 Skrewfish. 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 eight 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.
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.
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. In 2017, Neil released a 7 minute instrumental track entitled "The Myth" under the ZZC moniker. Two tracks from an unreleased ZZC solo album, "Plead" and "Fever Dream" were released on the 2019 Biffy Clyro soundtrack album Balance, Not Symmetry.
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. Neil is a lifelong fan of the football team Rangers FC.
Musical equipment used
The following is a list of musical equipment used by Simon Neil:
- Fender Standard Stratocasters – Various different Mexican models, including White, Red, Sunburst (with neck pickup & controls removed), Black, and Metallic Blue.
- Fender 1960 Custom Shop Stratocasters – Fiesta Red, Frost Metallic, Lake Placid Blue, and White.
- Fender 50s Stratocaster Relic
- Fender Telecaster Standard – USA model, owned by James Johnston, three tone sunburst, can be seen in the music video for "Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies".
- Fender Telecaster '62 Custom – Japanese model, three tone sunburst, can be seen in the music video for "Only One Word Comes to Mind".
- Fender Telecaster Custom 1972 reissue, black. Can be seen in the music video for "Mountains".
- Squier Simon Neil Signature Stratocaster
- Patrick Eggle New York – Red.
- Gretsch White Falcon Used live for the song "Diary of Always" and is seen in the music video for "Folding Stars"
- Gibson ES-335 – used live for "God & Satan"
- – used for music video of "Howl".
- BOSS TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
- BOSS MD-2 Distortion
- BOSS MT-2 Metal Zone
- BOSS DD-6 Digital Delay x2
- BOSS LS-2 Line Selector
Previous effects pedals
- BOSS DS-1 Distortion
- BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal
- Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah
- Electro Harmonix Micro POG
- Peavey Delta Blues Combo
- Fender Hot Rod Deville 4x10 Combo
- Marshall 1959SLP Head
- Peavey Classic Head and Peavey Classic 412 Cabinet
- Hayden MoFo 30W tube head with Hayden 4x12
- Blackened Sky (2002)
- The Vertigo of Bliss (2003)
- Infinity Land (2004)
- Puzzle (2007)
- Only Revolutions (2009)
- Opposites (2013)
- Ellipsis (2016)
- MTV Unplugged: Live at Roundhouse, London (2018)
- Balance, Not Symmetry (2019)
- A Celebration of Endings (2020)
|2001||"Zionist Timing"||Aereogramme||A Story in White|
|2002||"Hangover"||Sucioperro||Why Bliss Destroy|
|"Love in the Guise of Friendship"|
|"Capable of More"|
|2010||"It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To"||Oceansize||Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up|
|2016||"Reason to Stay"||Good Charlotte||Youth Authority|
|2020||"Halogen Eye"||O'Brother||You and I|
- Biffy Clyro Biography Archived 8 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine on Beggar's Banquet USA
- Ayshire Post, 9 January 2008, Sweet music
- BBC Sport, 5 May 2014
- BiffyTabs Equipment – Simon Archived 7 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Biffy Clyro – Simon Neil Guitar Rig Gear and Equipment". uberproaudio.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009.