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Interview:
Incubus at the Fox Theatre, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

Incubus had a burgeoning reputation across the rock spectrum 20 years ago.



Then it watched its third album, "Make Yourself," drive things even further.



The album was the first platinum release for the California quintet, which has the distinction of being on OZZFest, Lollapalooza and the Vans Warped Tour during the 90s. "Make Yourself" launched the singles "Pardon Me," "Stellar" and the No. 1 Alternative Rock Songs hit "Drive," and it success took the band into headliner realm in its own right.



This year Incubus is celebrating "Move Yourself's" 20th anniversary by playing the album in its entirety, but bassist Ben Kenney says that while it's celebrating its past the group is also eyeballing the future...



Kenney, 42, was not in Incubus when "Make Yourself" was released (he was working with the Roots at the time) but he remembers well when the album came out. "It was just a band from California. I started hear the name more and more and I saw some song and thought it was really cool and really impressive. Then 'Drive' was on the radio and you couldn't escape that song for about two years; Every time you were in the mall or in a restaurant or anywhere there was a radio playing you heard that song. So it was really cool to see the band arrive like that."



Kenney says his own appreciation for the album has increased by immersing himself in it each night. "I think it was the moment just before everything came together or the moment where everything came together -- or a combination of the two. In bands' careers you sometimes get to see the period of success, and something that's as important of that period of success is the moments leading up to it. It's kind of all encapsulated in that record, the songwriting and the human side of it and the band's trajectory after it. It's really cool and really beautiful."



Incubus' performance of "Move Yourself" is, not surprisingly, going over well at each show, Kenney reports. "I tell ya, every night the audience has been singing from the first song to the last song, singing at the top of their lungs, and every song is getting a 10 out of 10 from the crowd. Even if we make mistakes and mess up the song, the audience is just so into it, they don't care. Right now everything is just on fire."



Incubus has also released a new song this year, "The Summer," that Kenney says has roots that date back a few years. "The initial parts of that song were written, I think, in 2015, or 2014. We've been digging up old stuff and reworking it and rewriting it, and one of the songs from back then popped up and just started shooting sparks and getting the fire going and we ended up rewriting it and reworking it and made it into this very 1980s sounding, very retro and fun track. At least form the perspective of playing bass it's my ode to John Taylor of Duran Duran on every note."



Kenney says there's more new Incubus music coming, too, with "at least four songs that are completely done and a bunch of other ideas that are floating around that we might try to chip away at when we get back. We're just gonna figure out the way to get our music into people's hands over the next couple months and hopefully just keep grooving and touring. We have our own studio now, and we love to record and explore and experiment. It's just a great situation."



Incubus and Elise Trouw perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. . $39.50 and up. 313-471-6611 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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