Incubus is a five-piece alternative rock band based out of Calabasas, California. Members include Brandon Boyd (vocals and percussion), Mike Einziger (guitar), Ben Kenney (bass), Jose Pasillas (drums) and DJ Kilmore (turntables). Former members of the band include DJ Lyfe (turntables) and Alex Katunich (also known as Dirk Lance) (bass).

The band's name "Incubus" is said to have been suggested spontaneously by band guitarist Mike Einziger moments before their first performance, and was decided upon because the definition of the demon Incubus contained the word "sex" in it.

However, the more likely explanation for the origin of the band name is that it was taken from the chorus of the song "Mr. Nice Guy" by the band Mr. Bungle, whom Incubus was strongly influenced by in their early years.

Although vocalist Brandon Boyd met drummer Jose Pasillas in the fourth grade, the beginnings of the band were not formed until Jose Pasillas met Mike Einziger while they were attending 8th grade at A.E. Wright Middle School. While attending Calabasas High School, they became friends with bassist Alex Katunich (Dirk Lance), who had recently been kicked out of jazz band because he couldn't read music and he threw gum in all the jazz flutists' hair. In 1990 they formed a music group for fun, mainly playing Metallica and Megadeth covers, not anticipating their future success. However, these covers helped them find a few party gigs, and they soon became the "entertainment for the neighborhood", basically meaning they got drunk and shrieked a lot. Pasillas recalls that their first concert was all covers, including music by Metallica, Megadeth, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana: "It was like 'Fade To Black' and 'Enter Sandman' and a couple of other songs. And we actually came together... It was pretty funny. I mean we were just thrashing. I don't even know if we completed all the songs entirely, you know?" The first song the band ever wrote was titled "Lovesick." "It was horrible" laugh Einzinger and Boyd during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live...

With members Brandon Boyd and Jose Pasillas attending Moorpark Community College, Mike decided to try out for a small time artist Alanis Morissette's band; he did not end up joining the Canadian artist, as he failed the audition. Instead, Mike stuck with Incubus, who would eventually find their own fame. Throughout 1994, Incubus found time in their schedules to write, record, and perform shows. This marked their first demo tape release, titled Closet Cultivation. They had been recording their demos with a tape recorder in the middle of the room, or by using a 4-Track Cassette recorder, when eventually Mark Shoffner, a tour manager and later to become Incubus's manager, approached them with an offer to record in his friends studio, no strings attached, so on January 7, 1995, the band released the demo tape Incubus. Almost ten months later, after recording with Jim Wirt in Santa Monica, CA, Incubus released their first full length album on their own label, titled Stopuglynailfungus Music on Chillum. The album, called Fungus Amongus, was released on November 1, 1995. It featured many of the songs that had been present on the demo tape.

The liner notes for Fungus Amongus states that Incubus tries to mimic their own influences, which is specifically noted to Primus, Mr. Bungle, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Incubus, later in their career in 2004, were able to share the stage with Michael Balzary (also known as Flea), renowned bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as he played trumpet alongside the band. Balzary would also play trumpet on the band's epic piece, "The Odyssey". Ironically, Incubus has also garnered more mainstream attention than Primus and Mr. Bungle.

While the band was touring, they met Gavin Koppell, or as he was known, DJ Lyfe. He had seen the band play live and asked if they would be interested in using some of his hip-hop tracks. The band members were sceptical at first, but Lyfe joined full-time after his first rehearsal. Incubus' unusual amalgamation of styles and high-energy shows, combined with its growing fan base, turned label heads and put the band in the enviable position of a bidding war. Immortal Records emerged as the winner, understanding that Incubus was a touring live band, not an out-of-the-box, hit-single sensation, and that they were intent on building their fan base from the ground up. Touring throughout 1996, Incubus established themselves as a top draw live act, gaining a dedicated following up and down the west coast of the United States. To start off the new year, Immortal Records released Incubus' EP entitled Enjoy Incubus on January 7, 1997. The EP featured re-recordings of four tracks from Fungus Amongus, plus two recently written tracks. These were the first recordings to feature the newly acquired DJ Lyfe.

After the release of Enjoy Incubus, the band completed several mini-tours in its support. One of their tours, with Korn and The Urge in Europe, became one of the greatest opportunities for Incubus to increase their already growing fan base. Incubus were playing in front of more people than ever before, winning fans from the stage one by one. After going into the studio and recording their full length major label debut (which would eventually be named S.C.I.E.N.C.E.), Jim Wirt asked the band to write a song with DJ Greyboy. At the time, Wirt had been putting together a soundtrack for the movie Spawn. It featured notable artists like Korn, Metallica and the Chemical Brothers. He thought that Incubus would make a great addition to the collaboration, and so their song ("Familiar") was released with the album under Immortal Records on July 29, 1997. As soon as they finished recording the track, the band went back on the road and continued to tour, supporting acts such as Snot, Far, and Phunk Junkeez.

S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Incubus's second studio album, was released on September 9, 1997. "We like it when our stuff sounds as weird as possible," said Mike. "When we signed our record deal and started working on this album, we were worried that someone would come along and tell us to hold back, and try and make our songs a little more palatable. But that never happened. They kinda just said, 'Do whatever you want'. With that kind of support, we just let everything kind of run wild." Said Brandon Boyd, "S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was done in six weeks, straight through, in a very small, charming studio in Santa Monica. Very different experience, but very important on this band’s existence." True to form, Incubus played a handful of dates with Phunk Junkeez, Shootyz Groove, 311 and Sugar Ray in support of the album. They had only expected to tour within the United States, but things went so well and reception was so great that 311 asked them to stay on for the remainder of the tour and go overseas with them.

However, not everything went well with the band with its new tour. In the February of 1998 the band had to ask DJ Lyfe to leave the band. They had decided that with him in the band, they could not longer be a productive music group. This conflict came to a head when Lyfe turned up his phasers full blast during a concert so nobody could hear the rest of the band. A friend recommended they check out Chris Kilmore of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to fill Lyfe's position. The band loved his style and attitudes on life, and asked him to join the band permanently. Though he only had a few days to learn the songs, most fans accepted the change with open arms once they came to realize how talented he was. After a very productive tour with Sugar Ray and 311 (and a DJ replacement), Incubus began tours with many other bands, including Far, One Minute Silence, Cold, Limp Bizkit, and then jumped on the Warped Tour for three dates in June and July. On July 3, the band began the Ozzfest '98 tour, which included Snot, Tool, Coal Chamber, Ultraspank, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, and others. After Ozzfest, the band headed out with (Həd) P.E., Snot, and Soulfly for a while, then joined up with System of a Down and Dial-7. This took the band up to October 25, 1998, at which time they replaced Ice Cube on the Family Values Tour for the four remaining dates. This proved to be huge for the band. They landed a spot on the Family Values compilation album, and decided to use the track New Skin. The band finished the year by playing dates with Orgy, Korn, (Həd) P.E., 2 Skinnee J's, Frontside, and Papa Roach on various dates.

After constant touring throughout 1998, the band started the new year by heading out on the Black Sabbath tour until mid-March. They then took some time off to record their new album, Make Yourself. After relentless work in the studio, it was released on October 26, 1999. Right after their album's release, the band went on tour with Primus and Buckethead, a tour which lasted for the remainder of the year. The band also put out the single, Pardon Me, which began to play all over radio stations across the country. Soon, MTV picked up the video as "Buzzworthy" and "Spankin' New Music". To start off 2000, the band headed out on the Sno-Core Tour with System of a Down, and Mr. Bungle until March, at which point they hit the road with Ultraspank until April.

Due to the success of "Pardon Me", and the new acoustic version of the song, "Make Yourself" hit Gold Status (500,000 copies sold) in April of 2000. The whole time, Incubus continued to tour, this time overseas with Queen Adreena. They returned home at the end of May to go back on a tour of the United States with long time friends 311. The second single released from Make Yourself was "Stellar". The video received afternoon airplay on MTV and TRL, becoming a huge success on Modern Rock Chart. In July, Incubus once again went out on the road with Ozzfest. Knowing that the fans loved their acoustic versions of songs from Make Yourself, the band released a six song EP titled When Incubus Attacks (Vol. 1) on August 22, 2000. In its first week, the EP sold nearly 40,000 copies, and scored #41 on the Billboard Album Charts.

The band then took a short break after finishing the Ozzfest 2000 Tour, playing two acoustic shows at Artist Direct Studios. On October 5, 2000, Make Yourself went Platinum (1,000,000 copies sold), and shortly after, the band went on tour with Deftones and Taproot. Due to the growing number of fans searching for the band's impossible-to-find independent album, Fungus Amongus, the band re-released the album with the same artwork and track listing as before on November 7, 2000. Also, the Strait Up record, a tribute to the late Lynn Strait of the band Snot, was released, and Boyd contributed his vocals to the song Divided. Both Boyd and Einziger appeared in the video for another song off of the record, Angel's Son. To finish off the year 2000, Incubus played back-to-back dates at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. They performed with a full orchestra and acoustic instruments. During the second night Boyd said, "I think we took this acoustic Christmas a little too seriously."

To start off 2001 the band released the third single off Make Yourself on January 15. The single, Drive, took off shortly thereafter. It moved quickly up to the top of the Modern Rock Charts, eventually hitting the #1 spot. The single also found a more mainstream audience and received enough rotation to hit the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The band took a break for a while during the first part of 2001 before returning to a studio in Malibu, California to record the follow up album to Make Yourself (which would become known as Morning View). They finally hit the road with Hundred Reasons in Europe from June until the first week of July. At this time, the band was invited to play with the Area Festival which featured Moby, Nelly Furtado, and others. Also, in July Make Yourself went Double Platinum, selling 2 million copies. In August, the band got to play their first shows in Australia and Japan, before returning to the United States to begin their long awaited headlining tour with long-time friends from California, Hoobastank (formerly Hoobustank). Meanwhile, the band's video for Drive was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the category Best Group Video. However, they lost that award to the pop group N'Sync.

Continuing to tour alongside Hoobastank, Incubus released their first single from their upcoming record, Morning View, on August 21, 2001. It was called "Wish You Were Here". The single instantly began to climb up the Modern Rock charts, reaching #2 by early September. The music video was released at the end of that month, after being re-cut to make it more viewable in the wake of the 9/11 disaster. The video earned viewings on MTV's TRL, VH1, and Much Music. On October 23 of the same year, the band released their third full length major label album. The name was taken from the street on which the band's recording studio was situated. Incubus continued to headline dates after its release, and Wish You Were Here continued to sit among the top 10 on Billboards Modern Rock Charts. Morning View debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at the #2 spot (440,000 copies were sold in its first week). This was the highest ever placement for Incubus. At the same time, their single, Wish You Were Here, was at #2 on the Modern Rock Charts, and Drive sat at #48 on the Hot 100 chart. Incubus then performed their new single Wish You Were Here on the David Letterman show on November 1, 2001. The band won an award for Billboard's Modern Rock Single of the Year for Drive, and played Wish You Were Here at the award show. By December, Morning View was certified platinum, the video for Wish You Were Here was at #8 on MTV TRL, #4 on modern rock charts, and Morning View was #38 on top 200. On December 11, Incubus released When Incubus Attacks (Vol. 2), a DVD that featured music videos for Take Me to Your Leader, A Certain Shade of Green, Pardon Me, Stellar, Drive, I Miss You, and Anti-Gravity Love Song, live footage, backstage video, and more.

To begin 2002, Incubus was #9 with Drive, #12 with Stellar, #20 with Wish You Were Here, #75 with Nice To Know You and #31 with the album Morning View. On January 24, 2002, MTV's TRL premiered the Nice to Know You video, and Boyd called in from Europe where the band was on tour with 311 and Hoobastank. The band was then featured on MTV's Becoming, TRL, Jay Leno, and played the Letterman show on February 14, 2002, all before heading off to play dates in Japan and Australia for the remainder of February and March. While in Sydney, the band shot the video for their next single, Warning, from March 7 until March 11. The band then released the DVD Morning View Sessions on May 28, shortly before playing the Dysfunctional Family Picnic on June 8 for Los Angeles and Orange County based radio station 106.7 KROQ. The tour also featured bands such as with Staind, P.O.D, and others. To start off the autumn months, Incubus released a single for Circles in early September (though this was a radio only single), and there were no plans for a video. Shortly after in September and October, the band went out for a long United States tour that began on August 31 in Reno, Nevada.

Incubus issued a limited edition version of Morning View on October 1 to coincide with their fall headlining tour. The new version of the album contained a DVD dubbed the "Morning After View Session". It featured the U.K. video for the group's track Are You In?, tour footage, new artwork, behind the scenes material, and more. Incubus' last performance in 2002 (on November 1) brought several eras for the band to a close. Their last show of the tour would be their last show touring behind 2001's Morning View, as the band looked on to playing new music. The show would also prove to be their last with bass player Alex Katunich, who left the band due to personal differences. Katunich was quietly replaced by former The Roots guitarist Ben Kenney, who began working with Einziger on new songs for a "Psychedelic Jazz Funk" side project called "Time-Lapse Consortium". Incubus ended the year on the charts, having Wish You Were Here (#10), Warning (#16), and Nice To Know You (#26) on the Alternative Rock Format Chart, joining Wish You Were Here (#25) and Nice To Know You (#36). Morning View was the 40th best selling album of 2002.

On January 6, 2003, the band began writing for their next record. They were featured on Much Music's "Celebrity Taste Maker" on January 24, though one would have to assume that this was pre-taped since it featured Katunich and not Kenney. Einziger, Kenney and Pasillas appeared at the Roxy Theatre on January 24 with Suzi Katayama and Time Lapse Consortium. The act, which featured an 11 piece orchestra, also included Neal Evans of Soulive. Suzi Katayama had worked with Incubus in the past on orchestral arrangements like the one in Aqueous Transmission and 2000s Almost Acoustic X-Mas performance. The show was the first performance of the group, which described its music as "an instrumental voyage into the world of psychedelic funk." On February 7, in the midst of this change and renewal, the band made a decision to force their record label into renegotiations on their record contract. The band, which has been signed to Epic/Immortal for seven years, cites the fact that state law limits the amount of time that an artist can be bound to a company. The band had been signed to the label for 7 years, and used California's "Seven Years Law" as a negotiating tool with Epic/Immortal. After releasing 3 highly successful albums, the band had been compensated poorly compared to the revenue that they had generated for Sony. The band entered a lawsuit against their label in order to break from their contract, to which Sony responded with a lawsuit of their own.

On March 1, Einziger, along with Scott Litt, Dave Holdredge, and Rick Will, lost the Grammy in the "Best Engineered Album (Non Classical)" category, for their work on Morning View to the Norah Jones camp. On April 3, after weeks of circulating rumors about Alex Katunich's departure from the band, an official announcement was made by the band. A decision had been reached amongst members of Incubus in a face-to-face meeting at the end of the Morning View tour to discuss his involvement in the band. The band said that the split had become necessary due to "irreconcilable creative differences". However, Katunich has openly admitted in the past that some relationships have been difficult, saying "Brandon and I used to fight almost every day because I was not a morning person. First thing in the morning, don't greet me with a smile and a 'Hi! How are ya?' For, like, two years non-stop, he would do that. I was like, 'Oh my God, you've got to be deliberately doing this to drive me crazy!'" Evidence of this tension can be seen during the video of the band performing Circles live during the Morning View Sessions. Right before the song, Brandon sprays Alex with a breath freshener, and appears to miss his mouth. Alex looks visibly upset. With this and other evidence of friction (Glass was supposedly inspired by Katunich), it would seem that personality differences between band members eventually became difficult enough that no amount of "band therapy" could mend them. On April 3, 2003, the band announced that Alex Katunich would be replaced on the bass by Ben Kenney. Almost immediately after the announcement of a new bass player, the 2003 Incubus v. Sony case had been settled. The two sides settled on a new contract that delivers three albums to Epic/Immortal with an option on a fourth. The first album would be worth $8 million in advances to the band, with another $2.5 million for each one thereafter.

Halfway through 2003, after overcoming difficulties earlier in the year, the band was looking forward to playing the newly resurrected Lollapalooza circuit alongside Jane's Addiction, Audioslave, Jurassic 5, and a band that Einziger had praised while earning a reputation at Ozzfest, Queens of the Stone Age. The band looked forward to performing some of their new material, and possibly recording somewhere down the road. During the concert, they debuted two new songs, Megalomaniac and Pistola, which caused quite a stir in the online community. On September 4, Incubus (as well as Tommy Lee, Rob Zombie, Fieldy, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, Jerry Cantrell, Iann Robinson, and Jacoby Shaddix) were featured on the new DVD released by MTV's Popular Show "MTV Cribs". In October, the band released Live at Lollapalooza, whose proceeds went to their Make Yourself Foundation. The album featured the song Pistola, which hadn't been released at the time. After its release the band set out to play the 17th annual Bridge School Benefit on October 25 and 26th at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Neil Young organized the annual concert, which aides the Bridge School in its outreach to children with severe speech and physical impairments. Incubus performed the acoustic show along with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Willie Nelson, Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, Wilco, Dashboard Confessional, and others. A Crow Left of the Murder and Talk Shows on Mute were debuted during the acoustic event.

By December the new album, produced by Brendan O'Brien (who was also involved with Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Papa Roach, and Train), was completed and scheduled for release. The new album, titled A Crow Left of the Murder, was to be an enhanced CD with behind-the-scenes video. In the videos, Einziger and Boyd discussed their new songs. Einziger described them as "like the old shit, but older. It's very different. It's very energetic and fast, and a lot of it is more technical. I guess maybe in the vein of more of our older songs; they don't sound like our older songs. They are more exploratory." On December 15, the first single, Megalomaniac, was released. The song began receiving radio play, though its video was more controversial. It raised controversy when it was said to be an attack on the Bush administration, and was banned from daytime view on MTV (despite the band saying that it was not an attack on a particular person, rather a comment on some people's negative attitudes). However, the band was actually pleased with this nighttime viewing restriction. Says Boyd, "When we heard our video had been relegated to late night rotation, I think that all of us were secretly like, 'Yes!'". Pasillas reflected Boyd's sentiments, saying, "I think it's okay if people think that we're trying to make a political statement. Whatever anyone conjures up or takes from our music is good; I mean, our point is to get people thinking."

A Crow Left of the Murder was released in 2004, showcasing a new turn for the band. It combined the more experimental leanings of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Fungus Amongus with the more mainstream rock of Make Yourself and Morning View. The second single released was Talk Shows on Mute, featuring a video that was inspired by George Orwell's 1984. After this release, Incubus hit the road again. As both Talk Shows on Mute and the earlier single, Megalomaniac, reflect, Incubus' new album was a very politically oriented album. It reflected many of the band's political views, stressing critical thought, independence from the media, and nonviolence. Said Boyd during an interview in Lisboa, "I think that the concept of war is archaic to a fault; it's completely outdated, and we need a new way of resolving dilemmas in the world." Incubus toured worldwide in 2004 with bands including Ben Kweller, The Vines, The Music, Hundred Reasons, Brand New and Sparta amongst others to promote their new album. One song left off the album, the 27-minute long instrumental entitled "The Odyssey", was later featured on the Halo 2 soundtrack.

In November 2004, the band released a live DVD entitled Alive at Red Rocks, filmed Colorado during their world tour for A Crow Left of the Murder. Along with the DVD came a bonus CD featuring five tracks, including a studio version of live favorite Pantomime, a movement from The Odyssey called Follow, and the U.K. B-Side Monuments and Melodies. Two live tracks were also included.

In December 2004, at a gig in Los Angeles the band played The Police hits De Do Do Do De Da Da Da, Message in a Bottle & Roxanne with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers from the former band.

In the spring of 2005, the band went back into the studio. Three new songs were released in late July 2005 as part of the soundtrack album to the Sony film Stealth (the soundtrack also features the previously released Aqueous Transmission). The track Make a Move, was released to radio in late May, and song reached #17 on the alternative charts. Fan reaction towards Make a Move was lukewarm, but the other two new songs, Admiration and Neither of Us Can See (a duet with Chrissie Hynde), seemed to be much more well-liked. A fourth song is said to have been recorded, but there has been no word on the details of the song.

Brandon Boyd was also the subject of controversy for a time, thanks to a deal as a poster child for GAP. Many fans felt this contradicted lyrics Brandon has written in the past about not conforming to the norms of society. However, once more details about the ad campaign were released, fans cooled down. Boyd sang a cover of Elvis Costello's "Alison" in this ad. His cover of Alison was released on a GAP in-store CD (the rest of Incubus did not contribute to the song). The ad is no longer aired.

In January 2006, the first of a series of Incubus podcasts was released by the band via internet. Among other things, the podcast featured the band's thoughts about their 2005 South American tour, some information on their new album, a mash-up of Drive and Tupac's Better Dayz, a cover of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun, and a few live interludes.

On April 29, 2006, at the "Make Some Noise" show, Incubus played 2 new songs live: "Earth to Bella" and "Love Hurts".

In May 2006, the second Incubus podcast was released via internet. It contained many live covers of other bands, the favorite among many fans being the cover of Alice in Chains' Would?. It also stated that many titles for the new album were being considered. Jose Pasillas, Incubus' drummer, jokingly said it could be titled "Jose and the Silhouettes".

On June 16, 2006, Mike Eizinger, the lead guitarist of Incubus stated in a bulletin that a new record would be released in the fall around Oct./Nov. time.

On July 22, 2006, the official Incubus web site was updated, possibly to resemble an art theme used for the new album.

On August 1, 2006, their latest album was confirmed to be titled "Light Grenades". There were numerous rumored song titles including "Dig", "Oil and Water", "Pendulous Threads", "Punch Drunk", "Quicksand", "Earth To Bella", "Anna-Molly", "Light Grenades", "Love Hurts" and "A Kiss To Send Us Off". The album is confirmed to be produced by past producer, Brendan O'Brien. A couple of weeks after, the release date was confirmed to be Tuesday, November 28.

On September 20, 2006, the new single "Anna-Molly" was released as a digital download through the Sony Music Store, nearly a month before the previously projected release date. The song is available on their website,

On September 26 Oil Factory Inc. produced and filmed the music video "Anna-Molly" in Wilmington, CA.

On September 30, Incubus performed "Anna-Molly" and "A Kiss To Send Us Off" at EdgeFest 2006 in Tempe, Arizona to a live crowd.

The first single from 'Light Grenades'; "Anna-Molly" is currently availible for preview on the bands Myspace page.

Current Members:

Brandon Boyd - Vocals / Percussion (1991 - Present)
Mike Einziger - Guitar (1991 - Present)
Jose Pasillas - Drums (1991 - Present)
Chris Kilmore - Turntables / Keyboards / Sound Effects (1998 - Present)
Ben Kenney - Bass (2003 - Present)

Past Members:

Dirk Lance - Bass (1991-2002)
DJ Lyfe - Turntables (1996-1998)Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home