Instant History

Album: A Celebration Of Endings (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Throughout their time together, Biffy Clyro have always forged their own path. The three band members are unapologetic about doing things their own way and have no regrets about the mistakes they have made.

    Dear God, address my dreams for me
    All I learned is instant history


    Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil sees the lyrics as summing up the group's "entire M.O. right now." He explained to NME: "I don't think you're always cursed to make the same mistakes again. I'm sure that this generation will find new ways to make mistakes, but to me this feels like the start of a new century."

    He added that "Instant History" is him looking back on his life and the stuff he's learned over the years. "There are things that I saw when I was growing up that I wish I hadn't. Even going to football matches in Scotland as a kid and being exposed to a lot of bigotry - that's part of the lexicon that you just take for granted," Neil said. "But why? Why do we need to just accept this s--t?"
  • Rich Costey crafted the track. The American producer also worked with Biffy Clyro on their 2016 Ellipsis album. Other bands he has worked with include My Chemical Romance ("Desolation Row"), Muse (he produced their breakthrough LP Absolution and much of their other material) and Death Cab For Cutie (Kintsugi and Thank You For Today).
  • The clattering industrial funk of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" served as inspiration for the song's production. "Obviously, our song doesn't sound like Janet Jackson, but it's about getting yourself out of that zone of sticking lots of guitars on things," Neil told the BBC. "Let's move forward, let's break new ground."
  • The song is an unusual one for the Scottish trio – a keyboard-driven arms-in-the-air anthem. Bassist James Johnston admitted to The Sun they were nervous about releasing such an un-Biffy song as A Celebration of Endings' lead single. "It's quite a departure for the band and the sound of the record," he said. "But we have a simple taste test which is, if the hairs on your neck stand up, that's it. All three of us thought it was an absolute banger. This album is about trying new ground and pushing yourself forward."

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