Simon Neil

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Simon Neil
Neil at Rock am Ring 2013
Neil at Rock am Ring 2013
Background information
Birth nameSimon Alexander Neil
Born (1979-08-31) 31 August 1979 (age 42)
Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
OriginIrvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
GenresAlternative rock, post-hardcore
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano
Years active1995–present
LabelsBeggars Banquet
14th Floor
Associated actsBiffy Clyro
Marmaduke Duke
Empire State Bastard

Simon Alexander Neil (born 31 August 1979) is a Scottish vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter.

He is known for his work in the bands Biffy Clyro and Marmaduke Duke.


Biffy Clyro[edit]

14-08-08 Taubertal Biffy Clyro Simon Neil 2

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.[1] 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.

Marmaduke Duke[edit]

Neil plays with JP Reid of fellow Ayrshire group Sucioperro in Marmaduke Duke, under the pseudonym "The Atmosphere", which released their first album, The Magnificent Duke, in 2005.

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.

Solo career[edit]

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.

Personal life[edit]

Simon Neil

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.[2] Neil is a lifelong fan of the football team Rangers.

Musical equipment used[edit]

The following is a list of musical equipment used by Simon Neil:



Effects pedals[edit]

Previous effects pedals[edit]



Biffy Clyro[edit]

Marmaduke Duke[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Artist Album
2001 "Zionist Timing" Aereogramme A Story in White
2002 "Hangover" Sucioperro Why Bliss Destroy
"Love in the Guise of Friendship"
"Capable of More"
2009 "Graves" Gallows Grey Britain
2010 "It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To" Oceansize Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up
2014 "Sun Riders" Krokodil Nachash
2016 "Reason to Stay" Good Charlotte Youth Authority
2020 "Halogen Eye" O'Brother You and I
2021 "Goliath" Architects For Those That Wish to Exist
"Nervous" While She Sleeps Sleeps Society
"What Matters" Laura Mvula Pink Noise


  1. ^ Biffy Clyro Biography Archived 8 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine on Beggar's Banquet USA
  2. ^ Ayshire Post, 9 January 2008, Sweet music
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u BiffyTabs Equipment – Simon Archived 7 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c "Biffy Clyro – Simon Neil Guitar Rig Gear and Equipment". Archived from the original on 7 October 2009.