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On 9 November, 2009 drummer Ben Johnston’s life changed dramatically. Along with guitarist/frontman Simon Neil and Ben’s bassist brother James Johnston, their band Biffy Clyro released fifth album Only Revolutions, and within seven months it was a platinum smash (more than 300,000 sales in the UK alone).
The album was a finely-crafted masterpiece, showcasing the band’s ability to pen anthemic tunes whilst staying true to their roots in heavy rock, angular riffs and tricky time signatures courtesy of Ben’s twisted beats.
Live, the power trio are an even mightier force, recalling the likes of Nirvana or Rush, a skill they honed by tirelessly ploughing the toilet circuit since their 1995 inception.
With never-ending tours, including a December 2010 stop-off at Wembley Arena - documented for a recent live album and DVD - and Foo Fighters supports under their belts, the band wound up the album cycle with a headline slot at the Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth - hallowed ground that has played host to the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Oasis and, er… Chas & Dave.
Mere hours before the show, Rhythm Magazine was ushered into the bands’ ‘village’ backstage for some alone-time with Scotland’s newest drum sensation and heir to Grohl’s ‘Nicest Guy In rock™’ throne, Ben Johnston.
Here we bring you shots of Ben’s tour kit, along with snippets from that interview, which you can read in full in Rhythm 194. Or you can subscribe to Rhythm Magazine to read interviews with the world’s top drummers each month.