Incubus

  • Alt rock metal band formed in 1991 from Calabasas California. The founding members were Brandon Boyd (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), Mike Einziger (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dirk Lance (born Alex Katunich, bass guitar) and José Pasillas II (drums). Lance was replaced by Ben Kenney in 2003, and turntablist Gavin Koppell was added to the group in 1995, and was replaced by Chris Kilmore in 1998. All members contributed to songwriting.
  • The 4 founding members were all high school classmates. They started to play together when they were in 10th grade, making music with a metal funk sound influenced by the sound of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Initially, they performed without a name, but when they needed to have a name for a gig, they chose Incubus. By the time they graduated from high school, they had already played shows at clubs throughout Los Angeles, including Whisky a Go Go and the Troubadour.
  • They recorded their original songs between classes in high school, and a local independent label agreed to support them. In 1995 they released an EP titled Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout Root Beer, and late that year, their debut album was released – Fungus Amongus. The critics panned it, calling it a “tired rehash” of Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • Koppell was added to the group in 1995 – using his stage name of DJ Lyfe, he provided his hip hop turntable skills along with keyboards, giving the band a new versatility. A major label discovered them, and they were signed to a record deal in 1996. In early 1997, the Enjoy Incubus EP was released, which included re-recordings from their earlier work, with DJ Lyfe adding scratches to the songs. Later that year, the S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album was released. The acronym stands for “Sailing Catamarans Is Every Nautical Captain’s Ecstasy.” It showed the band’s evolution to genres such as jazz, techno and hip hop complementing their funk metal sound, and the critics began to write favorably of the band.
  • Their breakthrough album was their third – 1999’s Make Yourself. The album was more commercially acceptable, with pop and alt rock songs. It included 3 singles that were in the top 5 of the Alternative Airplay chart – Pardon Me, Stellar, and Drive. Drive topped the chart, and it also was their highest charting song on the Hot 100 chart, peaking at #9. The song was Billboard’s Modern Rock Single of the Year. Make Yourself eventually was certified 2x platinum.
  • Incubus’ best selling album was released in 2001 – Morning View. Three singles were in the top 10 of the Modern Rock Tracks chart – Wish You Were Here, Nice To Know You and Warning. The album was certified 2x platinum, and it debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
  • Unhappy with their record contract, Incubus sued their record company in early 2003, and the record company counter-sued. After the case was settled with better financial terms for the band, they completed the recording of their next album. Late in 2003, the lead single was released – Megalomaniac – and in early 2004, the album A Crow Left of the Murder was released. Megalomaniac became their second #1 song, topping the Modern Rock Tracks chart for 6 weeks. The song was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Hard Rock Performance category.
  • Their final album of the 00s was released in 2006. Light Grenades debuted at #1, though in one week, it dropped to #37 – at that time, it was the biggest drop from #1 in the history of the Billboard album chart. Two more songs topped a Billboard chart – Love Hurts reached #1 on the Alternative Airplay chart and Anna-Molly topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
  • Incubus went on hiatus in 2008, after 17 years of near constant touring. A greatest hits album was released, which included a new track, Black Heart Inertia, which reached #7 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. By 2011, the group reformed, and their seventh studio album was released, If Not Now, When? The song Adolescents continued their run of popular songs on the Alternative chart, reaching #3. Their final studio album of the 10s was 8, released in 2017. An EP was released in 2015 – Trust Fall (Side A) – and its sequel Trust Fall (Side B) in 2020.
  • Alternative music is my favorite genre, and Incubus is a great contributor in the new millennium to that sound. Check out this cool video for their hit song, Drive.

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