Artist Of The Month – Incubus (February 2018)

Without a doubt, 2017 turned out to be a landmark year for India’s live music scene! With the likes of Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran spearheading the movement, music fans around the country witnessed the live debut of some of today’s biggest stars. Moreover, not only did we see bigger shows taking place, but also saw music festivals in the country take the next big step by dishing out diverse lineups to treat their attendees to. And besides the highly successful debut of TIMEOUT 72 this past December, Pune’s very own Vh1 Supersonic also stepped up their game by bringing Swedish heavyweight Eric Prydz to the sub-continent for his India debut. And as we move from one superstar to another, let us introduce you to our Artist of the Month for February 2018, Incubus. One of the finest rock bands to have graced the music scene, the famed American outfit boasts of thousands of fans owing to their incredible works and even more mesmerising live performances. And as they gear up to take over the fifth edition of Vh1 Supersonic this February, it’s time to get up, close and personal with the ‘Drive‘ hitmakers.

Having been started in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, bassist Alex Katunich and drummer Jose Pasillas when the members were in high school, Incubus’ initial shows were at some of the most legendary venues at the LA Sunset Strip, including Whisky A Go Go, The Roxy, and The Troubadour. The band’s debut EP, Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout Root Beer, was released in 1995, after they had added Gavin Kopell as a turntablist to their lineup. The EP was followed by their debut album Fungus Amongus later in 1995, which released to generally negative review from critics, but later got them signed on to Sony Music’s Immortal Records, along side Korn. Incubus released the follow up EP, ‘Enjoy Incubus‘ to Fungus Amongus in 1997, which also allowed them to tour with Korn in Europe. Not the ones to rest on previously released music, Incubus released their sophomore album S.C.I.E.N.C.E in 1997, which incorporated more nu-metal elements into their sound, marking a departure from their more funk influenced early material.

After extensive touring throughout 1998, the band took a two year break to work on their third studio album, Make Yourself. Released in 1999, the album received critical acclaim due to its more pop rock and alternative rock sound, and received considerable air play from some of the most prominent radio stations in the US. The album was certified double platinum by the RIAA, with the singles ‘Pardon Me, ‘Stellar’, and ‘Drive‘ reaching the top three of the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

After another break in early 2001, the band started working on their next studio album, ‘Morning View‘, which saw a release in October in the same year. Released to positive reviews, the album once again received a double platinum certification, while the band appeared on shows such as MTV’s Becoming, TRL, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and played the Late Show with David Letterman to promote the LP, as well as continuing their tour with appearances at festivals and arena shows.

2003 saw Incubus enter a lawsuit against their record label on grounds of poor compensation, compared to the revenue they had generated for Sony, the parent record label. After reaching a settlement, the band went on to release their fourth studio album, A Crow Left of the Murder…, in 2004, with the record hinging more towards political themes, especially the lead single ‘Megalomaniac‘, which was interpreted as an attack on the Bush administration. Incubus then embarked on a world tour in support of the album, while a 27-minute-long instrumental entitled ‘The Odyssey‘, which was left off the album, was featured on the soundtrack of Halo 2.

After a wait of 3 years, Incubus released Light Grenades in 2006, album number 6 in the band’s already expansive discography. The album saw them explore newer directions sonically, while also introducing the theme of redefining of weaponry as a writing concept. The band hit the road in 2008, touring Australia, Asia, Europe and South America in support of the album, and then took a break from touring and making new music, focusing on other activities, while also releasing a greatest hits album, Monuments and Melodies, in 2009.

5 years after the release of their last album, Incubus released their follow up studio album, ‘If Not Now, When?‘ in July 2011, which was a departure from their more aggressive, guitar led sound to a more soft rock sound. The band then embarked on a co-headlining tour with Linkin Park for the annual Honda Civic Tour in 2012, spanning 17 dates in the USA. Returning with new music for the first time since the release of ‘If Not Now, When?’, Incubus released Trust Fall (Side A), a four track EP in 2015.

2016 saw them hit the studio once again, this time for their 8th studio album, aptly titled ‘8‘. Boasting of co-production work from none other than Skrillex, the album drew praise from fans due to the band’s return to rock, while also drawing appreciation for its overall production quality. Incubus announced a summer 2017 tour featuring Jimmy Eat World and Judah The Lion as the supporting acts, while also doing a separate tour of South America featuring Mexico, Peru, Chile and Brazil.

Incubus have drawn influences from a wide range of genres, including alternative metal, funk, heavy metal, hip hop, post grunge and many more, and as the band gets ready to make its highly awaited India debut at Vh1 Supersonic, make sure you don’t give them a miss. Get your tickets here.