Incubus In-depth Biography
Incubus} rose to become one of the most popular alt-metal} bands of the new millennium, setting themselves apart from a crowded field with a somewhat less-negative outlook and tireless touring. Formed in 1991 in the San Fernando Valley suburb of Calabasas, CA, group members Brandon Boyd} (vocals, percussion), Mike Einziger} (guitar), Alex Katunich} (aka Dirk Lance}; bass), and José Pasillas} (drums) were all tenth grade classmates when they got together. Their early funk-metal} sound was heavily influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers}, but broadened over the next few years to incorporate thrash}, rap-metal}, post-grunge} rock}, and grinding alt-metal} à la Korn} or the Deftones}. By the time the group graduated from high school, they had already been playing all-ages shows around southern California on a regular basis. In 1995, Incubus} added hip-hop} turntablist DJ Lyfe} (aka Gavin Koppel}) to their lineup and recorded the independently released album Fungus Amongus}. That, coupled with their strong local following, helped the band get a deal with Epic} subsidiary Immortal}.
Incubus}' first major-label release was the six-song EP Enjoy Incubus}, which was released in early 1997 and consisted of previous demos that were revamped in the studio. Later in the year, their first full-length album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E.}, was released. Incubus} hit the road with a vengeance, opening for bands like Korn}, Primus}, 311}, Sublime}, and Unwritten Law}. By the summer of 1998, the band had amassed enough of a following to land a slot on that year's Ozzfest} tour. They also wound up the year as part of Korn}'s inaugural Family Values} tour, by which time DJ Lyfe} had departed and been replaced by DJ Kilmore} (first name Chris}). With their momentum and exposure slowly building, Incubus} returned to the studio and delivered their follow-up album, Make Yourself}, in late 1999. The group went right back out on the road, and their stint on the 2000 Ozzfest} helped crystallize the new audience that the single "Pardon Me"} was pulling in. Although Make Yourself} barely broke the Top 50 on the album charts, it was a steady seller that eventually pushed past the double-platinum mark. The second single, "Stellar,"} was a smaller-sized hit on rock} radio, but the album's biggest song didn't hit the airwaves until 2001; "Drive"} was a left-field success that became their first Top Ten hit on the pop} charts. Incubus} expanded their audience by playing Moby}'s Area: One} package tour that summer, and with "Drive"} still fresh in the public's mind, released their next album, Morning View}, in the fall of 2001. It entered the charts at number two, confirming that Incubus} had diligently worked themselves into stardom. "Wish You Were Here,"} "Nice to Know You,"} and "Warning"} were all popular on rock} radio, and the band naturally toured heavily in support -- this time as a headliner. In early 2003, Incubus} became embroiled in a contract dispute with Sony} and filed a lawsuit to have their deal terminated under California labor laws. In April, the band announced the departure of bassist Dirk Lance}. Within days, fellow Incubus} guitarist Mike Eiziger} called upon his Time-Lapse Consortium mate}, Ben Kenney} to be Lance}'s permanent replacement. The group remained a part of the Sony} empire, however, and released A Crow Left of the Murder} on Epic/Immortal} in early 2004, which hit number two on the Billboard} Top 200. Some touring followed before Incubus} headed home in November to take a well-deserved break. The guys spent the next two years individually exploring things outside of the band -- music, art, film, and literature endeavors all included -- though they also remembered to work on and finish their sixth album, recorded over a year's time in both L.A. and Atlanta. The resulting record, Light Grenades}, appeared in late November 2006. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide