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Interview:
Incubus at DTE, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

Four years ago, frontman Brandon Boyd felt like Incubus may be finished, its five members at odds, and exhausted.

What a difference a little time makes.

Incubus has not only survived, but thrived. It’s new album, “8,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts, as well as No. 4 on the Billboard 200. It also finds the California modern rock group, whose sound is diverse enough to fit OZZFest, Lollapalooza and the Vans Warped Tour, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first full-length album, “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.”

Now, not surprisingly, Boyd and company are singing a different, and more optimistic, tune as they tour in support of the effort...

• Boyd, 41, says by phone from his car in Los Angeles that the end of the group’s tour in 2013 “really marked a sort of dark night of the soul moment in our career. We barely came out alive at the end of it. We somehow got through the first 20 years of our career without falling into the sort of predictable traps and minefields and stuff that most bands are pop artists do, and it all kind of came crashing down around us at the end of 2010 into 2011. It was such a difficult time period for us as a band, but also personally and familialy. I really did think we were through.”

• Guitarist Mike Einziger agrees that “the group was definitely in a transition period” but did not share Boyd’s pessimism. “I think the older all of us get the more difficult it becomes to get five different people on the same page and everybody to get excited about everyone else’s ideas,” Einziger, 41, says. “I think that gets more and more challenging the further into the career you get. But went our own ways and explored things we each wanted to do and were able to come back together.”

• Boyd adds that coming through that dark period and celebrating a 20th anniversary has fueled Incubus for the year. “We’re all kind of like celebrating at the moment, among other things our survival as a band,” he says. “There are so many things over the years that could have forced this to stop and we have kind of persevered. That by itself is amazing. You survive ad you get through those moments and wonderful, wonderful things happen. So the takeaway for me so far, and I think everybody in the band, is we’re just so thrilled that we still get to do this and we still have so much life in this band’s family.”

• To Einziger, “8” cuts across Incubus’ history, bringing in new elements thanks to Skrillex’s involvement in shaping the sound after the album was already recorded. “This album is very much an Incubus album in 2017,” Einziger explains. “To me it sounds really exciting and modern, but at the same time it really sounds like us. It doesn’t exactly sound like we’re trying to sound like one specific thing; It’s just us being us in this sort of, just in this current period of time, which is really vague I know but I think that people who have been following our music, I think that when they hear the album they’ll understand what I’m talking about.”

• So how DID Skrillex wind up as a major collaborator on “8?” “I’ve gotten to collaborate with Skrillex and became friends,” Einziger says. “He came in to the process very late but very importantly and helped shape the overall sound and tone of the album in a way that’s very tangible. He just came into the studio with us and we started messing around. We thought we’d mess around for a day or two just trying things and then we just didn’t stop for, like, two weeks and we ended up going through the entire album and making a lot of changes to pretty much all the songs for the most part. Skrillex just really brought his own sensibilities into what we were doing; It doesn’t at all sound like Skrillex-Incubus collaboration or a remix of anything. It’s almost like he joined the band for a couple of weeks and we had no idea where it was going to go, and where it ended up is what this album is and it just happened really organically, through our friendship -- which is how all Incubus music has ever happened in the past, just with our friendships with each other.”



If You Go

• Incubus, Jimmy Eat World and Judah and the Lion

• 6:45 p.m Sunday, July 23.

• DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.

• Tickets are $29.50-$115 pavilion, $29.50 lawn.

• Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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