Credit: Austin Hargrave Scottish band Biffy Clyro has been tearing up the U.K. charts for the last decade, but lately they’ve been gaining traction in the U.S. with their new single “Howl.” Bass player James Johnston describes the track as “quite a different song for us in style.”
“It’s the same chords all the way through the verse and the chorus…10 years ago we would’ve balked at that idea,” Johnston tells ABC Radio. “Our songs used to contain so many different ideas in one song. But there’s something nice just about settling on that groove and keeping it motoring along.”
“Howl” appears on Biffy Clyro’s new album Ellipsis and is one of a few songs on the record to use imagery of wolves.
“I think [frontman] Simon [Neil‘s] always been fascinated by different animals,” says Johnston. “On a couple of records ago, it was all about horses, this time it’s all about wolves.”
While wolves may be a common motif on Ellipsis, Johnston feels that “Howl” is unique compared to the rest of the record, and from the rest of Biffy Clyro’s discography.
“It’s always hard to just think of any band and pinpoint one song that sums ’em up, and I don’t think ‘Howl’ as a song does sum up this band,” says Johnston. “I think there’s a lot more to us than just one song.”
As for why “Howl” has caught on stateside, Johnston can only guess.
“If I knew the answer to that, then life would be a lot easier than it is,” he laughs. “You’re never sure why music connects with people — all you can really do is judge it on how it connects with you and how it makes you feel. That’s what we’ve always tried to do as a band, is follow your heart.”
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