Ben Johnston (Scottish musician)

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Ben Johnston
Ben Johnston.JPG
Background information
Birth name Ben Hamilton Johnston
Born (1980-04-25) 25 April 1980 (age 36)
Origin Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland
Genres Rock, New prog
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Years active 1995 – present
Labels Beggars Banquet
14th Floor
Associated acts Biffy Clyro
Marmaduke Duke

Ben Hamilton Johnston (born 25 April 1980) is a drummer, vocalist, and songwriter, best known for his work with Scottish group Biffy Clyro.

Early life[edit]

Johnston was born and raised in Kilmarnock with his twin brother James Johnston (who would go on to be the bassist for Biffy Clyro), and his younger brother, Adam (who went on to be Biffy Clyro's drum tech[1]).


Biffy Clyro[edit]

Main article: Biffy Clyro

Having previously played drums with schoolfriend Simon Neil and brother James Johnston in a band called Screwfish in 1995, Simon moved to Glasgow whilst Ben and James stayed in Ayrshire. They were soon discovered by manager Dee Bahl and then signed to Beggars Banquet in 2001.

Marmaduke Duke[edit]

Main article: Marmaduke Duke

Johnston plays drums when the conceptual rock duo Marmaduke Duke plays live.


When Ben was in College he fronted a Rage Against The Machine tribute band Raj Against The Shereen as revealed in an interview with Biffy Clyro at Reading Festival where they (Biffy Clyro) performed a cover version of the song "Killing In The Name".

Personal life[edit]

Ben is an avid fan of Scottish football team Kilmarnock FC. He regularly takes his son to matches when not on tour and in January 2011 was asked by the club to take part in the half time 'Cross Bar Challenge'. He scored on soccer AM whilst sporting a killie strip.[2]

Musical equipment used[edit]

The following is a list of musical equipment used by Ben Johnston.


  • Ben Johnston is endorsed by Sabian (According to [1]).
    • 6" AAX Splash
    • 8" AA China Splash
    • 13" Paragon Hi-Hats
    • 17" AAX X-Plosion Crash
    • 18" AAX X-Plosion Crash
    • 18" AAX X-Plosion China
    • 19" AAX X-Plosion Crash
    • 19" Paragon Chinese
    • 21" HHX Raw Bell Dry Ride


Johnston is also endorsed by Pearl.

  • Pearl Reference Kit colour:Rootbear Fade
    • Pearl Chad Smith Signature 14x5.5 Snare
    • 22x18" Bass drum, 12x9" Rack tom, 14x14" and 16x16" floor toms
    • Pearl Eliminator Double Bass Pedal[3]

Biffy's Tour Manager Neil told fans on the BC forum that Ben is now using a 'Pearl Eric Singer Signature Snare Drum' and is waiting for a new totally custom Pearl Masters Kit

New Kit

Pearl Masters Colour :Black

22x18" Bass drum, 12x8" Rack tom, 14x14" and 16x16" floor toms

    • Pearl Eliminator Double Bass Pedal

Drum Heads: Bass Drum: BATTER: Aquarian coated superkick 2 RESONANT: Coated Pearl Masters Pro Tone Snare: BATTER: Aquarian coated Hi-Energy RESONANT: Hi-Performance Snare Bottom Rack tom, first floor and second floor: BATTER: Remo Pinstripes RESONANT: Remo Ambassador


  • The Neil Peart signature series drumstick
  • Angel AX25K Glockenspiel
  • Fender CD-140SCE Can Be Seen Hanging On His Wall In The Live Lounge Videos
  • Johnston also plays a customised Cajon when Biffy Clyro are playing acoustically.


  1. ^ Puzzle Album Booklet, p.2
  2. ^ Smith, Lizzie. "Kilmarnock FC: Biffy are best bar none". Kilmarnock Standard. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  3. ^ BiffyTabs Equipment – Ben Archived 7 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.