James Johnston (Scottish musician)

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James Johnston
Biffy Clyro 006.jpg
Background information
Birth name James Robert Johnston
Born (1980-04-25) 25 April 1980 (age 36)
Origin Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland
Genres Rock, alternative rock, progressive rock, nu prog, art rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, synth
Years active 1995–present
Labels Beggars Banquet, 14th Floor
Associated acts Biffy Clyro, Marmaduke Duke
Notable instruments
Fender Jazz Bass

James Robert Johnston (born 25 April 1980) is a bassist, vocalist, and songwriter, best known for his work with Scottish group Biffy Clyro. He is also known as Jim or Jimbo and sometimes signs his name as such.

Early life[edit]

Johnston was born and raised in Kilmarnock with his twin brother Ben (who became the drummer for Biffy Clyro), and his younger brother, Adam Johnston (who is now Biffy Clyro's drum tech[1]). The first gig he ever attended was Rancid at Glasgow Barrowlands in 1995, when he was fifteen.


Biffy Clyro[edit]

Main article: Biffy Clyro

Having previously played bass with schoolfriend Simon Neil and brother Ben Johnston in a band called Screwfish in 1995,[2] the trio moved to Glasgow, and were soon discovered by manager Dee Bahl, and then signed to Beggars Banquet, in 2001.

Marmaduke Duke[edit]

Main article: Marmaduke Duke

Johnston plays bass guitar when the conceptual rock duo Marmaduke Duke plays live.

Personal life[edit]

Johnston is fond of cycling, and can often be found cycling around the hills of Ayrshire.[3] Johnston currently resides with his wife in Glasgow, Scotland.

Musical equipment used[edit]

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

Bass guitars[edit]

Johnston's basses are usually tuned to Biffy Clyro's preferred tuning of (DADG), but sometimes (BADG) for "Pause it and Turn It Up" and (CGCF) for "Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies", as well as "That Golden Rule", "The Captain" and "Got Wrong".

  • Gibson Grabber - Black, used in some acoustic sessions
  • Fender Jazz Bass - American Standard - Frost Metallic (Q-Awards Acoustic Set - Camden Jazz Cafe, London 2013)

Effects pedals[edit]



His tech is Dave White