Incubus’ Newest Album ‘Monuments and Melodies’ Melds Hits with Rarities

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:: Incubus ::
:: Mile High Music Festival ::
:: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park ::
:: July 18 ::
incubus2

By Joe Kovack

Incubus has been on a journey for nearly 20 years, finding themselves and musically evolving along the way.

With the release of Monuments and Melodies last month, Incubus has put out six albums and toured for roughly 12 out of the last 15 years, only stopping to rest and record for brief periods before setting out on the long road, yet again.

With the exception of new bass player Ben Kenney, formerly of The Roots, the guys of Incubus have been friends and bandmates since 1991, when they met in high school in southern California. In a recent interview with The Marquee, frontman Brandon Boyd discussed the band’s beginnings and how that led to the dynamic connection they have today.

“The foundation of our friendship was that we all liked surfing. We liked skating and going to shows when touring bands would come through the Hollywood valley, and it was really just a logical step for us to start a band of our own,” said Boyd. “When we first started the band it was just a high school garage band, and we just turned it up as loud as possible and tried to sound as bashy as we could. Mike [Einziger] was a good guitar player from square one and Jose [Pasillas] was a good drummer from square one, but I didn’t know how to sing. I just … I guess, had the balls to go up and bark into the P.A. and just yell over the top of the music.”

The band’s chemistry has grown exponentially throughout the years, giving the guys a connection that enables them to communicate more effectively and write their music with little to no disruption. “We’ve definitely got better at what we do; we’ve gotten better at communicating with each other on multiple levels, not only creatively but emotionally, which ends up being important as you grow up in a creative group,” said Boyd. “And after our bass player left and we met Ben [Kenney], we just started jamming and there was this indescribable chemistry that reignited Mike and Jose, and I — this new emergence of creativity. It felt like we started from scratch, went back to square one, but now we knew how to play our instruments (laughs). Before, it was getting to the point where we were almost over-thinking things, and when Ben came into the band it got to the place where we stopped thinking again, which is really what you want to do when you’re in a creative process.”

The difference can be heard on the band’s fourth release A Crow Left of the Murder, as the band seems re-energized in their songs, applying new techniques to their old tricks.

The dynamics of growing as a band, creatively and emotionally, has led to the point where Incubus is today. Their previous release, Light Grenades, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and epitomized what the band had been searching for in terms of interconnectedness through music and life. Yet after the success of Light Grenades, the band was able to take a break from their strenuous touring schedule and focus their energies on their own personal pursuits, enriching their lives through other avenues and taking a step back from writing with each other to gain a sense of normalcy after so many miles.

And here we are three years later in 2009, with summer just over the horizon and a new Incubus release that can be described as a greatest hits record on steroids.

Monuments and Melodies is a two-disc set that chronicles the band’s previous successes, along with a few new songs and some old rarities that fans should eat up. “Contractually, we had to turn in an album with all the old singles and two new songs, but I chimed in and was, like, ‘How about we put in another disc, where it’s material that is just as important and viable and listenable but are songs that really never had a home on our albums before,’” Boyd recalled.

The excitement that Boyd and the band have is building to what he calls the most exciting tour ever for the group. “What I’m anticipating is that this will be the most exciting Incubus tour we’ve ever brought through, and I really hope that’s able to transcend,” Boyd said.

Sharing the stage with Tool and Widespread Panic, Incubus will bring forth all their collective energy to show their fans that they are a band that has only begun the next step of their creative journey.

:: Incubus ::
:: Mile High Music Festival ::
:: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park ::
:: July 18 ::

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