by Brandon Boyd
As I was being lifted from the heap of twisted steel that was my car, I asked myself, "Am I dead?"
Then, realizing that I was still very much alive, I looked up at my heroes--the rest of my band, Incubus--as they lifted me to the curb, and asked, "What song are you guys mixing?"
"Drive," they replied, after individual pauses for irony. And the record continued to be mixed an hour later.
Now, no one likes having a one-ton Mercedes smash into them, and I am no exception. But thankfully I am not gonna be needing that car anymore! For we, Incubus--a five-piece musical outfit from Calabasas, California--will be on tour in support of our new Immortal/Epic album, Make Yourself, for the remainder of our twenties! And any vehicles that try to collide will feel the wrath of a 40-foot tour bus, as opposed to a mere Honda Civic.
When we come home, we will have sold 10 million copies; will have played 500 live shows; will never want to see each other again; will have changed the musical tastes and philosophical perspectives (for better or worse) of an entire generation of youngsters; and will have bulging, curvacious abdomens from years of truckstop dining and beer-guzzling escapades!
Why Make Yourself, you ask? Well, even though we finally succumbed to the forbidden urge to name your album after one of the songs, we did so because we felt the song (and phrase) "Make Yourself" summed up the vibe of the album and direction of its lyrical content. "Make Yourself," meaning don't let yourself be made. Not the "Make Yourself'" that your dad may have taught you, but more along the lines of "F**k-the-man-get-out-from-under-the-iron-fist-of-oppresion- make-yourself!"
Know what I mean?
This new record also attests to the fact that as musicians, Incubus has found happiness and contentment in being a hard rock band that didn't feel the need to be the hardest, with the most strings tuned down, with the riffs that made the crowds bounce the highest.
All of that is good and fun but I believe that, upon finishing this record, Incubus has come to terms with where and what we always wanted to be as a band: heavy, melodic, diverse, plugged-in yet detached, thought-provoking, thought-out but spontaneous, observational, silly, and slightly intelligent.
Yes, I realize that this is about as nebulous a description as a band could give itself--but I believe that interpretations of things artistic are best left up to those interpreting from the outside in.
A Brief History
Formed Incubus in a garage in Calabasas in January, 1991. Began playing small clubs and parties, then graduated to Hollywood gigs opening for ego/hair bands. Released independent record entitled Fungus-Amongus and began making waves. Got signed about two years out of high school. Put out a six-song EP of demos, Enjoy Incubus (Immortal/Epic), and went on tour with Korn in Europe.
First full-length album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., released September 1997 (Immortal/Epic). Toured behind S.C.I.E.N.C.E. for two years with Sugar Ray, Limp Bizkit, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Korn, 311 and others. Sold 200,000 units of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Enjoy Incubus combined. Came home and wrote new album for eight weeks. Had collective nervous breakdown.
Make Yourself recorded every day for nine weeks in Summer, 1999 at NRG studios. Album co-produced with Scott Litt (R.E.M., Nirvana, Days Of The New), mixed by Rick Will and Scott Litt. Going on tour with Primus until 2000 AD (sheesh), beginning November 6, '99 in Cleveland, Ohio.
About (Some Of) The Songs
(Comments by Brandon)
Pardon Me - I was in a bookstore, browsing through an old Life magazine, when I saw a picture of what the article called spontaneous human combustion. There were an old guy's legs and shoes, perfectly intact...then, right around his knee area, was just a pile of charred ashes. I was going through some turmoil in my life, both good and bad, and the image struck a chord, so...I wrote a song about it. You never know when the inspiration for a song is gonna hit you, so you've gotta be ready.
Drive - Scott [Litt] had a big hand in arranging and producing this track with us. The lyric is basically about fear, about being driven all your life by it and making decisions from fear. It's about imagining what life would be like if you didn't live it that way.
Stellar - The lyrics were inspired by my lover, Jo English girl I met in France. It's about love as a transcendental feeling, like free-floating in outer space. It's kind of a traditional song in that way.
Nowhere Fast - We've been exploring drum-'n'-bass here and there on stage, playing little improvisational ditties in between real songs from the records. Jos- would start playing a drum-'n'-bass he'd made up, I'd play my didgeridoo to it, and songs started forming out of live things like that. That's how "Nowhere Fast" was written, through improvisational live jams.
Battlestar Scralatchtica - We have two guest turntablists on this one, DJ Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark. They're from Jurassic 5, a West Coast hiphop group, very good--amazing, in fact. They're friends of DJ Kilmore and this track is a three-way DJ battle. I don't know who wins, but we'd love to recreate it on stage if we ever get the opportunity.
DJ Kilmore is a turntablist, Jos- Pasillas is a drummer, Dirk Lance plays the bass and golfs with passion, Mike Einziger fondles six guitar strings like he's in love, my name is Brandon and I sing. For information on who is on drugs, who's in love, who spit on who, who'll be running for president in 2012, and or any other inquiries related herein, please don't hesitate to contact us.
"Thank you, drive through..."
[from incubus' official site]
--- from the official Incubus website