Rockers Incubus are back with new songs

Incubus frontman and lead vocalist Brandon Boyd (centre) on the reunion of the five-man band, which comprise drummer (from left) Jose Pasillas, DJ Chris Kilmore, lead guitarist Mike Einziger and bassist Ben Kenney -- PHOTO: UPSURGE PRODUCTIONS
Incubus frontman and lead vocalist Brandon Boyd (centre) on the reunion of the five-man band, which comprise drummer (from left) Jose Pasillas, DJ Chris Kilmore, lead guitarist Mike Einziger and bassist Ben Kenney -- PHOTO: UPSURGE PRODUCTIONSPHOTO: UPSURGE PRODUCTIONS

Quintet's reunion has led to new music, including two EPs that will be released next month

For the last three years, members of Californian rock band Incubus were on hiatus and pursuing their own endeavours.

But the time apart has "engendered a renewed feeling of excitement and perspective", says frontman and lead vocalist Brandon Boyd.

The 40-year-old rocker tells Life! in an e-mail interview that the band recently started jamming and touring again and the reunion has inspired new music.

Ahead of their show here on March 9, Boyd says: "I find that we have returned stronger, more informed and enthralled by one another's unique aptitudes as musicians.

"While we were writing the first few songs, I fell back in love with the guys in my band and their crazy talent."

The result of that is the release of two EPs next month, the first of which is titled Trust Fall (Side A).

The band premiered the first single off the EP, Absolution Calling, this month.

Boyd says of the song: "The lyrics in Absolution Calling are my attempt to consolidate, integrate and describe a beautiful and humbling spiritual experience.

"Not a religious experience, mind you, but one available to anyone, anywhere, at any time."

He adds that the two EPs will "join forces to become one super album, cape, tights and all".

Formed in 1991, the band comprising Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, drummer Jose Pasillas, bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Chris Kilmore, achieved mainstream fame with their third studio album, Make Yourself, in 1999, which spawned the hit singles, Pardon Me, Stellar and Drive.

They followed the success of Make Yourself with Morning View (2001), which went double platinum on the back of popular songs such as Wish You Were Here and Nice To Know You.

Their last album, If Not Now, When? (2011), was warmly received by critics, but did not achieve the same level of success as their earlier material.

While the band were on a break, Boyd released an album with Incubus producer Brendon O'Brien under the name Sons Of The Sea (2013).

He also took on the role of Judas in a theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar last year, starring with music celebrities that included *NSync's JC Chasez and former Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams.

But the rock opera was abruptly cancelled before he could perform on stage. Boyd says the cancellation was disappointing, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

He says: "Incubus decided to start writing and playing again because of the unexpected time frame that opened and we are revelling in the fruits of that turn of events."

In the rockers' absence, electronic dance music has become immensely popular.

Acknowledging the genre's rise, Boyd says "the guys showing up with just their computers and one hand ready to wave at hundreds of thousands of people are currently winning".

But he remains optimistic that the music scene will see a revival of guitar-driven rock bands, as seen in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He says: "I have been sensing a growing appetite for actual bands again. I think that formula will always circle back because of its roots. Well, I certainly hope so, at least."

He adds that if there were one message he wished to convey through his music, it would be to "express yourself".

"I do believe that we are animals with mostly untapped potential... and the courage to express oneself is a beautiful and rarified event."

melk@sph.com.sg