"I think we should kick Brandon (lead singer) out of the band and get some really big, fat, ugly guy. Then the critics will like us." - Mike Einziger – Lead Guitar
Incubus – The Genre Benders
Incubuses is one of the most original and successful bands of the post-grunge era. It is in fact sometimes difficult to slot them into a genre. The bands music is a combination of alternative metal riffs fused with funk rap and thrash elements. The band mellowed ballads have been massive hits on the Modern Rock Charts. The band has 4 no.1 Modern Rock singles making them one of the most successful of the post grunge genre.
But it is mostly the vision of the singer songwriter Brandon Boyd which makes the biggest impact in terms of the musical direction of the band. The core soul in the music of Incubus lies in poignant lyrics, the slow chord progression and a strong rhythm section kicking into gear. The band has sold 15 million albums world wide. Their stage performance is not the spectacular light or laser show synonymous with rock bands now days but the strong focus on playing ensemble music as a band and taking the audience with them on the ride.
The bands history can be traced back to 1991 when high school mates - guitar player Mike Einzinger, Brandon Boyd and Jose Posillas on drums started a band. Dirk Lance joined on bass and DJ Lyfe. It was a teacher who was famous to working with school age bands that was able to book them on clubs like the Whisky A Go Go and even securing free studio time for the band to record an album – “Fungus Amongus” which did chart on the US charts. By 1997 they recorded a 7-track EP just before securing an opening act slot for Korn’s Europe tour.
Their first album “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” was released in 1997 fusing various styles including jazz, funk, rock and metal. DJ Lyfe was fired after tensions with other band members and was replaced with DJ Kilmore. The band toured extensively playing various rock festivals such as Ozzfest and the Family Values Tour of Korn. Building a sizeable audience through their constant touring, the bands record has been certified Gold.
The band took a break and after an extensive recording session released “Make Yourself” in 1999. It debut just inside the Top 50 and the band acoustic set for the song “Pardon Me” on radio stations spread the word. The song was a hit and the album was certified gold. The songs quick-fire vocals made it unique and it was the starting of Brandon Boyd as a bona fide rock leader. After a year on from the time of release the album had gone platinum. But it was in 2001’s release of the single “Drive” which quickly moved to no.1 on the modern rock tracks and was the turning point of the career.
After a short break the band forged ahead with the recording session for the follow-up to Make Yourself. And in Oct of ‘01 they released “Morning View”. The band toured as a promotion for the album and even appearing on the Area Festival. Appearing in shows in Japan and Australia they returned to the US for their very first headlining tour. Morning View was a hit and it peaked at No2 on the US charts. The album showcases the amazing vocal range and the charismatic presence of the very unassuming Brandon Boyd.
The band quietly replaced long time bassist and cofounder Dirk Lance with Ben Kenney citing creative differences. During the same time they were locked in a legal battle with Sony for a better contract agreement which was eventually settled. The band started recording with Brendan O’ Brien and released the vaguely titled “A Crow Left of the Murder...” released in 2004. The music was well produced and it seemed the band had decided to grow up. The video imagery from “Megalomaniac” of a winged Hitler along with what many people thought was an anti-Bush song was banned from day-time viewing on MTV. The darker lyrics and prog-rock sound made it one of their best albums to date. The album also showcases the talent of their lead guitarist Mike Einzinger.
Turn the Page
In 2004, the band toured the world which culminated into the DVD Alive at Red Rocks. In 2006 they released their first US No.1 album Live Grenades produced by Brendan O’ Brien again. The album produced two no.1 singles “Anna Molly” and “Love Hurts”
Did you know that...
- ...as part of the group camaraderie and ritual the band does a “claw” handshake before every show
- ...the Guitar player Mike Einziger auditioned to be the guitarist in Alanis Morissette's Band
- ...the band is named after an imaginary demon or evil spirit that descends upon a woman to have sex with her