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But since the bands classic 1999 release, Make Yourself, Incubus have come up with four more LPs, all the while maintaining their headliner status. Should we put this down to good luck? Or perhaps creative sorcery? Well of course, thanks must go to the fans.

“Our fans don’t give up on us very quickly,” says bass player Ben Kenney. “In other situations I imagine it’s harder to keep everyone’s attention, but for some odd reason we’ve been gifted with fans that come back after two years. However long we go away, no one holds it against us.”

Having previously played guitar for The Roots, Kenney wasn’t a member of Incubus when Make Yourself and its multi-platinum successor Morning View were made. His initiation came in the lead up to 2004’s A Crow Left of the Murder…, following the exit of founding bassist Dirk Lance. Being asked to join a hugely successful band would be a lip-smacking temptation, but Kenney’s entrance wasn’t purely based on commerce.

“I’m happy to be able to eat, I’m happy to be able to pay my mortgage,” he says “Those things are great, but if I didn’t respect it, it would be miserable. I’m a bit of a snob and I don’t like a bunch of music; I’m very, very picky. So the fact that these dudes are as talented and as legit as they are and the fact that these dudes can push me to want to be better, that’s a big motivating factor.

“Being somewhere you like to be with people you like being around is way better than being successful and being in a place you don’t want to be,” he adds. “That’s why Porsche sales in the United States are so high, because people freak out, have a mid-life crisis and they’re like ‘I’m not in the right place, I’m going to divorce my wife and buy a convertible.’ When I look around at the dudes I work with, although we’re all human and all have our shortcomings, I’m like ‘Man, this is alright.’”



Incubus’ most recent album, If Not Now, When? came out in 2011. Since that time the band’s toured occasionally, but kept quiet on the new music front. However, in early February they dropped the single ‘Absolution Calling’, which is lifted from the forthcoming four-track EP Trust Fall (Side A) – due in late March.

“Those four songs are in the bag, completely ready to roll,” Kenney boasts. “We’ve been spending the last few months together just writing music every day. We’re all interested in fi guring out what we are. I don’t think anybody feels like it’s a done deal yet.” The (Side A) appendix is there to denote that a companion release will follow later in the year. The band haven’t recorded an album’s worth of material and cut it in half, though. In fact the nature of the second instalment is still up in the air.

“We’ve got a bunch of other songs that we’re working on,” Kenney says. “[There’s] everything from a riff to a lyric to songs that have two different demoed versions and arrangements that need to be fi gured out. There’s a big mess in the studio of all this stuff happening. We’re going to come back in April and then pick up the pieces, fi gure out what the next four, fi ve, six – however many songs there are we need to put out.”

With the release of If Not Now, When?, guitarist Mike Einziger explained the album was written with simplicity and a preference for leaner, less aggressive arrangements in mind. The extroverted sound of ‘Absolution Calling’ foreshadows the path taken on Trust Fall (Side A).

“We did not want to come out and play a bunch of mellow stuff for this first EP, because of the last record,” Kenney says. “We felt we were missing some rockers, so we were like ‘Let’s rock out a little bit.’ We did that mellow shit and we explored that side. I think [If Not Now, When?] is going to take a long time for the dust to settle and for it to fi nd its place in our catalogue. But in the meantime we’ve got to get back on it and we’re all in the mood to make
something loud right now.


“Now, in April after we tour,” he adds, “we could want to come back and play Eastern Russia polka music over trap beats with Lil’ Wayne. I don’t know, it could be anything. We’re going to try to let the inspiration lead.”

The tour Kenney refers to kicked off in Australia last month at the Soundwave festival, plus sideshows with Antemasque. Incubus have long maintained a cult of devotees in Oz and, after a three-year absence, Kenney was pumped to return. “You guys have better ice cream and its warm and there’s tonnes of pretty girls. All the stuff that makes life fun.”