Simon Alexander Neil (born 31 August 1979 in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland) is a Scottish vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work in the band Biffy Clyro. Early life Simon Neil was born in Irvine, Scotland and raised in Ayr. He began playing violin in 1984 at age five. He spent much of his early teens listening to bands such as Nirvana, Weezer and Guns N' Roses. In in his early teens, he attended his first rock concert, Status Quo. Personal life The Biffy Clyro album Infinity Land is dedicated to his mother Eleanor, who died shortly after its completion. The follow-up Puzzle was lyrically very heavily based around his loss and the difficulties he faced coming to terms with it. The song 'Folding Stars' is about, and was written exclusively for her. While the song 'Machines' deals with the process of mourning, overcoming tragedy, and learning that life goes on. Simon Neil formed Biffy Clyro in 1995 at sixteen years old recruiting Kilmarnock-born Ben Johnston and someone known only as Barry on drums and bass respectively, calling themselves Screwfish. Barry was soon replaced by James Johnston, Ben's twin brother, and Biffy Clyro was effectively formed. In 1996, 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 greatly;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 four 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. The band's erratic and sometimes strange song title's are said to come from skewed conversations and are sometimes very tenuously linked to the lyrical content. Marmaduke Duke Main article: Marmaduke Duke Neil plays with JP Reid of fellow Ayrshire group Sucioperro in Marmaduke Duke, under the pseudonym "The Atmosphere", which has so far only released one album, The Magnificent Duke, in 2005.