Biffy Clyro slam government for treating the music industry "like a leisure activity"

25 July 2020, 18:53 | Updated: 25 July 2020, 18:56

Biffy Clyro 2020
Biffy Clyro 2020. Picture: Press/Warner Records

Simon Neil and co have reflected on the importance of grassroots venues and how their closure could affect "generations of kids".

Biffy Clyro have shared their fears over small music venues during the coronavirus pandemic and suggest the UK government did not take the music industry seriously enough.

The Scottish trio - who are comprised of Simon Neil and Ben and James Johnston - spoke about grassroots venues and how they should be protected to enable the next generation of talent.

“If venues disappear, we’re losing a generation, if not more, of talent," Simon Neil told Music Week. "Be it a hip-hop star or a rock band or an electronic act, that’s how the next generation blossom. If the government doesn’t get it right, we’re losing one of the UK’s most valuable assets. The music that comes from this small island is, across the board, astounding. There’s generations of kids that are going to lose opportunities from study to job opportunities, we cannot fucking rip the culture away from them as well. All they have is this expression. Yes, airlines are important, but should they get bailed out before the fucking culture of the country? No, I don’t think so."

READ MORE: QUIZ: Can you remember all these Biffy Clyro lyrics?

The Instant History rocker continued: "The government [have been] treating it like a leisure activity, like it’s a fucking hobby or something. This is a defining characteristic of our country. One of the few things to admire about our country is the culture and most of these fuckers in the government won’t have been to a gig or a show ever. Maybe Gary Barlow doing an acoustic performance for a charity and that’ll be the closest… They did not see Eyehategod at the Limelight in Belfast! But they need to. That’s the fucking problem. The government are saying, ‘We can have the crowd six metres away’ and ‘band members three metres away’ – are you fucking joking? Have you ever been in a venue? If everyone’s playing an arena, maybe!”

VIDEO: Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil speaks out on Black Lives Matter protests

Meanwhile, this week saw Biffy Clyro announce a special livestream to celebrate the release of their new album, A Celebration of Endings, on 15 August 2020. 

A statement on the event site explains: "Biffy Clyro perform an ambitious, one-off live show at an iconic Glasgow venue to mark the release of their new album ‘A Celebration of Endings’. This worldwide livestream performance will see the band play the new album in full for the very first time, across different spaces within the venue to create a unique and truly special experience.”

It adds: "The band will also play a selection of songs from other albums during their soundcheck, which will be screened before the performance of ‘A Celebration of Endings’. The performance will be livestreamed to fans around the world, time-zoned to specific regions. The show will not be available on-demand after it has taken place, and with no audience in attendance, the only way to watch it will be to purchase tickets to the livestream broadcast."

Tickets went on sale from Friday 24 July at 9am.

Watch Simon Neil talk about the inspiration for the band's Tiny Indoor Fireworks single: