Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil side project Empire State Bastard share their new single “The Looming”.

Empire State Bastard have shared a new single called ‘The Looming’ – listen to it below.

The song will close the group’s debut album, “Rivers Of Heresy”, due out on September 1st (pre-order/pre-save here).

After cuts “Harvest” and “Stutter”, ESB’s latest offering – the side project of Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil and his touring guitarist Mike Vennart (Oceansize) – takes on an apocalyptic tone, building in intensity throughout its nearly seven-minute runtime.

“They can’t control you / They can’t control you,” Neil sings in the middle of the song as brutal guitars crunch. “Fuck what they told you / Fuck what they told you / Let’s take it over / Something to live for / Something to live for”.

At the end of the fuzz-inspired rock single, Neil repeats the dire warning from the opening verse of impending doom: “I’ll never grow old in a graveyard / Do nothing that’s too hard / Banish destruction like Jesus, just like Jesus / What does it take for us to believe?”

In a short statement, Empire State Bastard said, “The end is coming! The end is coming! Fuck what they told you!”

Check out the official lyric video for “The Looming” below.

Speaking to NME earlier this year, Neil said that ESB were “pursuing the extreme at all costs” as they embarked on what he described as a “horrendous musical journey”.

“Since we play together in Biffy, there’s no need for us to do another project that’s not a mile away,” he explains, “I hate that, when people leave their band full-time to do something else and it’s just a slightly different version of what they’re doing anyway. What’s the fucking point?”

Regarding the forthcoming “Rivers Of Heresy” in its entirety, Neil told NME: “I put all my nihilism and misanthropy into this record. The anger must be real.

“When the pandemic came in, there was a lot to be upset about. Even since then, I have this optimistic view that there will be a sharp turn of good and growth and that everyone will see the light.”

He said: “I needed to release something. This is not a political band, but there is so much to be mad about. You see people running the country who don’t give a shit, you see local neighborhoods falling apart, and maybe I have a connection to my hometown since I stopped touring so hard after the pandemic. Maybe I feel more responsibility to my community.”

The metal duo also talked about hiring Slayer’s Dave Lombardo on drums: “Mike said, ‘We need someone to play like Dave Lombardo,'” Neil recalls. “We talked for two weeks and one day, during the pandemic, we said, ‘Did we get Dave Lombardo’s address and did we email him?

“Within 24 hours he was back, ‘This is fucking amazing, what were you thinking? We didn’t even know him, but we ended up having a phone relationship for a year or so.’

You can watch the full In Conversation video interview above.

Empire State Bastard recently performed at Glastonbury 2023 before playing 2000 Trees earlier this month. Check out the band’s upcoming live dates below.


05 – Wacken Open Air, Germany

17 – ArcTanGent, United Kingdom


17 – Riot Fest, USA

20 – Le Poisson Rouge (guests at Chat Pile), New York, USA.

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