James Robert Johnston (born April 25, 1980) is a bassist, vocalist, and songwriter, best known for his work with Scottish group Biffy Clyro. He is also known as Jim or Jimbo and sometimes signs his name as such.
Johnston was born and raised in Kilmarnock with his twin brother Ben (who became the drummer for Biffy Clyro), and his younger brother, Adam Johnston (who is now Biffy Clyro’s drum tech). The first gig he ever attended was Rancid at Glasgow Barrowlands in 1995, when he was fifteen.
Having previously played bass with schoolfriend Simon Neil and brother Ben Johnston in a band called Screwfish in 1995, the trio moved to Glasgow, and were soon discovered by manager Dee Bahl, and then signed to Beggars Banquet, in 2001.
Johnston plays bass guitar when the conceptual rock duo Marmaduke Duke plays live.
Johnston is fond of cycling, and can often be found cycling around the hills of Ayrshire. Johnston currently resides with his wife in Glasgow, Scotland.
Musical equipment used
The following is a list of musical equipment used by James Johnston.
Johnston’s basses are usually tuned to Biffy Clyro’s preferred tuning of (DADG), but sometimes (BADG) for “Pause it and Turn It Up” and (CGCF) for “Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies”, as well as “That Golden Rule”, “The Captain” and “Got Wrong”.
- Fender Jazz Bass – Lake Placid Blue USA model with upgraded pickups.
- Fender Jazz Bass – White USA model with tortoise shell plate.
- Fender Precision Bass[
- Fender Jazz Bass – American Standard – Black and Sunburst
- Fender Precision Bass – American Standard – Olympic White
- Fender Jazz Bass – American Deluxe – Natural
- Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray
- Rickenbacker 4003 – Mountains music video
- Squier Jazz Bass – Squier James Johnston Signature Jazz Bass – Lake Placid Blue
- Gibson Grabber – Black, used insome acoustic sessions
- Fender Jazz Bass – American Standard – Frost Metallic (Q-Awards Acoustic Set – Camden Jazz Cafe, London 2013)
- Tech21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI Preamp
- BOSS LS-2 Line Selector
- BOSS ODB-3 Overdriv
- BOSS TU-2 Chromatic Tuner[
- Ashdown CTM-300 Head
- Ashdown ABM 900 Head[
- Ashdown Classic Cabinets
- Eden World Tour WT550 Amplifier Head
- Eden WTDI Preamp Di box
- 1.0mm bass pick
His tech is Dave White