James Johnston from Biffy Clyro speaks about Marmaduke Duke in an interview for the first time to Glasswerk.co.uk.
We caught up with the Biffy bassist at this year's RockNess festival to chat about the Scottish weather, recording in LA and the phenomenon-becoming Marmaduke Duke.
What are you expecting from RockNess crowd?
“Hopefully people are going to really enjoy it. We're looking forward to it. We’ve heard this crowd is even more lairy than at T in the Park. The Scots are a very proud people so we expect a big reaction today.”
Fat Boy Slim, Basement Jaxx, The Prodigy have been known to arrive at the remote Loch via helicopter. There can be no more rock and roll way of entering the festival so I asked James who looks a bit gutted.
“No, we drove up today. It look's like we missed out on that one.”
Have you had a chance to catch up with friends and family on your trip?
“Yes, it’s important to, even more so now with this, to book the time to see people.”
Working with Puzzle producer Garth GGGarth Richardson in LA must be a double delight after recording the last album in Canada. How’s it going so far?
“It’s going really well. The new album is lot less tense than the last album. I think a lot of that is to do with recording in LA. The sunshine helps. Recording the last album in Canada during rainy season, getting up each day I felt like going back to bed. But its all going really well. We’ve recorded nine out of fifteen tracks and we’re going back after this to finish them off.”
Biffy played a warm up show in Dumfermline last night which by all accounts was electric. The band had the opportunity to throw fifteen songs together and then trim it to about ten for the Rock Ness performance. James reveals they will play one of the new tracks That Golden Rule today. Are there be any other festival appearances for Biffy TBA?
“Apart from V fest, we’re playing Leeds, Reding with our other band Marmaduke Duke.”
Glasswerk.co.uk wonders with the pseudonyms and mystique that surrounds Marmaduke Duke maybe James isn’t allowed to talk about it?
“This is the first time I’ve talked about Marmaduke in an interview so I don’t know, maybe I’m not!”
Are you surprised how successful it has been?
“It started out as a bedroom project. We're completely surprised how successful it has been. We didn't expect it at all. A lot of it has come from support for Biffy obviously and Biffy will always take priority but Marmaduke is a release enabling us to keep doing what we love doing when there’s nothing going on. I’m not as involved as Simon and The Dragon but it still a great release for us all. There’s a lot less pressure and tension.”
Marmaduke Duke headline the Festival Republic stage at this years Reading and Leeds festival. While it’s V fest for Biffy along with newly announced Edinburgh fringe show but the lads will play to few larger crowds this year than at RockNess.