Q&A with BRANDON BOYD of INCUBUS
Posted On 23 Feb 2016
Tag: Absolution Calling, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, America, Anna Calvi, Artist, Artist Interview, asia, Austin, Beatles, Ben Kenney, Big Black Delta, Bosnian Rainbows, Brandon Boyd, Calabasas High School, Cure, DJ Kilmore, Drive, Egon Shiele, Eno & Hyde, If Not Now, Incubus, INGrooves, Interview, Japan, Jeff Buckley, Jonathon Wilson, Jose Pasillas, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Light Grenades, Lucy in the Sky, Make Yourself, Mexico, Mike Einziger, Monuments and Melodies, Morning View, Music, music interview, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Republic, Sons Of The Sea, Spanish, SXSW, The Beatles, The Cure, Trust Fall, Trust Fall EP, Trust Fall Side B, Warpaint, When?
INCUBUS is an American rock band from Calabasas, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas while enrolled in Calabasas High School and later expanded to include bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore.
Incubus has received commercial success, reaching multi-platinum sales, as well as releasing several successful singles. The band earned mainstream recognition with the release of their 1999 album Make Yourself . In 2001, Incubus became even more successful with the single “Drive” and their follow-up album Morning View. Their sixth studio album, Light Grenades , debuted at No. 1 in 2006 and has received Gold certification in the U.S. Incubus released their first greatest hits album Monuments and Melodies in June 2009, accompanied by a tour of the United States, Japan and Canada. The band released the album, If Not Now, When? on July 12, 2011.
Singer, Brandon Boyd and the rest of the band took some time out between albums. Boyd released an album and toured with his solo band Sons of the Sea and Mike Einziger continued producing and making music with artists such as Hans Zimmer, Avicci and many others during that time. Enziger played acoustic guitar on Aviccii’s 2013 worldwide hit “Wake Me Up“. Alongside this, Einziger also recently co-wrote and played guitar on David Guetta‘s “Lovers on the Sun“. Enziger also recently played at the 2016 Grammy Awards alongside Diplo, Skrillex and Justin Beiber for their Jack U music collaboration.
Incubus released two EP’s in 2015: Trust Fall (Side A) and Trust Fall (Side B). The first single, “Absolution Calling“, was released February 5th, followed by the second single, “Trust Fall“, on March 10th. Incubus’ first show of 2016 will be at snowboarder and musician, Shaun White’s AIR + STYLE music festival on Sunday, February 21st. For more information about AIR + STYLE visit the site here .
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with lead singer, Brandon Boyd during some down time at home. Read more in Nicole’s chat with Brandon below.
Hi Brandon! Where does this interview find you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey Nicole! I am at home after being on tour through Australia, Japan, Asia, SXSW and Mexico. I have a steaming cup of joe in front of me and a little old bulldog slowly scratching himself in the corner. Today, I will go for a surf then continue writing songs.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you?
My interest in music coincided with my interests in art and creativity as forms of expression. My parents held creative expression in very high regard and encouraged my brothers and I to draw our feelings, our aches, our pains, our wins and our loses.
My Mom played the piano often and sang to us, as did her Dad (our Grandfather). He would play my brothers and I to sleep with quiet Spanish songs on his acoustic guitar. I feel like being surrounded by music and art greased the gears for me to express myself similarly.
Incubus was the first band I ever started with Michael and Jose. As far as I know, it was their first band too. We’d been messing around a little here and there with other peoples songs until Mike and I had an English class project wherein we had to compose an original poem or song. That’s when we started and named the band.
Incubus received commercial success and mainstream recognition since coming onto the music scene in 1995. Earlier this year, you guys debuted a new song called, “Trust Fall” and the new single, “Absolution Calling,” and will be releasing two EPs this year. What did you learn between albums and solo projects that you felt you wanted to infuse into the Trust Fall EPs?
I’ve learned so much it would bore your readers to tears for me to elaborate too much here. I will say that creating something away from Incubus for the first time in my life was sort of an amazing experience for me though. It was terrifying and liberating all at once.
I am actually really thrilled with the way that the Sons of the Sea album turned out and the small tour we did for it kind of helped reinvigorate me creatively. The album only reached a small audience but a passionate one and that occasion reminded me as to why I love making music again. Then, when the dust cleared from all of that, for the first time in what felt like so long, I could see what Incubus meant to me and how blessed I am to make music with these guys I love so much!
We started jamming a few months back and everything started to click again like it had when we had no responsibilities and everyone truly wanted to be present. I am certain that everyone’s experiences aside from our band in that time period helped to reinvigorate them, but when all is said and done, I find that it doesn’t really matter how one finds their way back home. As long as one finds their way back home.
Can you share with me what your inspiration was for the single, “Absolution Calling”?
There is a broad spectrum of potential experience in what could be termed ‘Spirituality’ or ‘Connectedness’. Prevailing gospel would tell you, no demand of you, that there is but one route or pathway to that connectedness and potential experience.
“I’ve always been more an ‘off the beaten path’ kind of guy and in some of those spiritual footsloggings I’ve learned a few things about our latent potential and the curiously omnipresent keys to that potential that are readily available to any would be explorers.”
So, to answer your question, I guess you could say that “Absolution Calling” is a song about a beautifully revealing experience. And an experience that I find is not some secret to be guarded over by a middleman or institution of some kind, but one that is accessible to any and everyone, should they so choose.
Who are your musical influences?
There are two trucks backing up outside of my window at the moment, both with their reverse ‘beeps’…beeping. They are not quite in sync and not exactly in the same key but close enough that it’s creating a funny dissonance and strange rhythm. It’s stolen my attention so thoroughly that I am imagining other musical accompaniments to it. So, I guess you could say that right now, a trash truck and a moving truck are my biggest musical influences.
Do you remember the first album you bought for yourself?
Yes! The Cure. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss me.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
“It was either Neil Diamond’s ‘America’ or the Beatles’ ‘Lucy in the Sky…’ Both songs I was exposed to in the snuggly safety of my car seat and both made me think of magical things as I stared out the window into the muddled melange that was the San Fernando Valley in the late 70’s and early 80’s.”
Who would your dream collaboration be with, living or dead?
I wish to be painted by Egon Shiele. My smile in said painting would reflect my quiet knowing that I had time traveled to be there and that smile would be my contribution to the project, therefore making it a “collaboration”. Haha
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
Maybe not so surprised, no. Warpaint, Big Black Delta, Eno & Hyde, Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, Jonathon Wilson, Anna Calvi, Bosnian Rainbows. I’m sort of all over the map with my musical intake.
What’s on tap next for you guys? What are you most excited about for this year?
Touring the world!
To stay connected with INCUBUS , including upcoming tour dates, visit them HERE .