Collectively curious with Incubus

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Collectively curious with Incubus

“It was for us to just get back in a room and see what happened. The results were a lot of fun, and the energy felt new again – which, for any creative collective, is tantamount to success. We felt so much good energy with it that when we came home from tour to write Side B, we felt that the next thing we put out needed to be really special – and longer than four songs.” It’s here that the imaginatively-titled 8 first began to take shape; although, Boyd stresses, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve abandoned their original concept entirely. “Trust Fall (Side B) could happen at any time,” he says. “That’s what’s so fun about where we are in music today. Traditional frameworks for presentation just aren’t as important or relevant anymore.”


For Boyd and his bandmates, the LP format is one that they were raised on, and one they’ll remain devoted to for as long as they’re able to. Even with other avenues open, they continually find themselves returning to the tradition of album making. “I suppose we are of an age in this band wherein we were truly weaned on LPs – the storyline that is 10 to 12 songs,” he says. “It’s a different experience in music, as a very enthusiastic and vocal minority of music lovers will attest to. It’s interesting that the more we collectively accept the death of the LP, and our culture wades further and further into the shallows of pop music, that same group of music zealots are hungrily collecting vinyl. It’s such a strange but beautiful paradox.”


8 was overseen by Sonny Moore on production – who, depending on how old you are, is best known for either fronting From First to Last or for being Skrillex. Although arriving late into the piece, Boyd perceives Moore to be a big part of the record cohesively coming together. “Working with him was such a treat,” he says. “He’s such a talented guy, and his enthusiasm is infectious. I would collaborate with him again in a heartbeat.” Working with someone so far removed from the band’s usual ilk is indicative that, even after more than a quarter-century together, Incubus are still seeking out new ways to expand and adapt their sound.


“Our creative approach over the 26 years we’ve been in this band has always been one of elasticity,” Boyd says. “That’s evidenced by the vast cornucopia of sounds we’ve stumbled into and onto. I guess one thing that hasn’t changed in our approach is our curiosity. We are all individually and collectively curious about life. Music and art just happen to be the ways in which we express that. I believe curiosity is a veritable fountain of youth, and it should be held in the highest regard.”


As well as marking their musical return, 2017 is a milestone year for Incubus for other reasons. It marks 20 years since the release of their album S.C.I.E.N.C.E. which is home to some of the band’s best-loved songs, among them the thrashy funk of ‘A Certain Shade of Green’ and the explosive ‘Vitamin’. Although two-fifths of the line-up have shifted since that record, it’s still an inextricable part of Incubus’ DNA, and Boyd has had to come to terms with that in the following two decades. “It’s so wild to think that that was 20 years ago,” he laughs. “It feels like 50 years ago – it’s taken about that long for us to fall back in love with that material. We were teenagers when we wrote that album and, as most people who’ve survived their teenage years will tell you, they usually have a handful of haircuts and pants choices they regret just a little. Catch my drift? Honestly, though, those songs have become fun and new again to us. We’ve been sprinkling them back into the sets each night.”


Australian fans will get their chance to hear songs from both S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and 8 – and everything in-between – when the band returns for a headlining east coast tour in March. It will be their first time in Australia since the final Soundwave Festival back in 2015 – and it’s a very happy return for Boyd and all of his bandmates, having toured many times over the last 15 years. “I adore Australia,” Boyd gushes. “There must be something special in the water over there that gives you guys kind of an interesting glimmer in your eyes. I recognise that glimmer, and I want to make friends with it. Plus, your culture surfs. And skates. And loves music. Y’all are my people.”



8 is out now via Island Records. Incubus will tour Australia from Friday March 9 – Monday March 12, 2018.