Incubus is an American rock band from Calabasas, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas while enrolled in Calabasas High School and later expanded to include bassist Alex “Dirk Lance” Katunich, and Gavin “DJ Lyfe” Koppell; both of whom were eventually replaced by bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore respectively.
Incubus has attained commercial success, reaching multi-platinum sales, as well as releasing several successful singles. After their first two albums, Fungus Amongus (1995) and S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (1997), the band earned mainstream recognition with the release of their 1999 album Make Yourself which spawned several hits, including the band’s highest charting song “Drive.” Success continued with the albums Morning View (2001) and A Crow Left of the Murder… (2004). Their sixth studio album, Light Grenades, debuted at No. 1 in 2006 and was followed by Incubus’ first greatest hits album Monuments and Melodies in June 2009 and the band’s 2011 album, If Not Now, When?. Incubus also released an EP, Trust Fall (Side A), in early 2015, and two years later, the band released their eighth studio album, titled 8, on April 21, 2017. Worldwide, Incubus has sold over 23 million albums.
Incubus was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, bassist Alex Katunich and drummer Jose Pasillas, while the members were in high school. They existed as a band for some time before they gave themselves a name, having only chosen the band’s name “Incubus” when required to supply a band name for an upcoming show. The band’s early shows were frequently at nightclubs on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, including such well-known venues as the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy and the Troubadour.
Incubus produced many of their early recordings with Jim Wirt and Chillum Records in a Santa Monica studio, only able to work on their music during hours in which they were not in school. In 1995, Incubus added Gavin Koppell (known by his stage name DJ Lyfe) to the band and recorded their first two-song EP, Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout Root Beer. This was followed by the debut album Fungus Amongus, also recorded with Wirt and released on Incubus’ own label Stopuglynailfungus Music. In the following year, Incubus signed a seven-record deal with Sony’s Immortal Records, later to become Epic Records. The group was spotted by Epic/Immortal A&R Paul Pontius, who was also responsible for signing Korn to the label. The 1997 six-track EP Enjoy Incubus was the band’s first major-label release and was created so the band could present a recording while touring with Korn in Europe.
Prior to finding mainstream success in the early 2000s, Incubus were often grouped in with the nu/alternative metal movement of the 1990s, alongside other Californian bands such as Korn and the Deftones. When asked about his thoughts on the scene in a 2013 interview, Brandon Boyd reflected “Something I know that separated us from nu-metal was a lot of those bands had misogynist lyrics, and we never wrote stuff like that. I never wrote lyrics like that. I guess there were similarities in some of my musical and vocal stylings, but then we came off tour for S.C.I.E.N.C.E. around early ’99, and wrote Make Yourself, which was a vastly different album but we were still the same band. We don’t try and create any kind of album really. I don’t attempt to write any kind of music, this is just what comes out.” The Chicago Tribune stated in 2001 that Incubus are “Cheerful, melodic and polite, a nu-metal band for people who don’t like nu-metal bands” and also claimed that Boyd was the genre’s “first official pinup boy”. The Los Angeles Times similarly wrote in 2004 that “Incubus always stood out from the rest of the mid-’90s alt-metal crowd, its positive lyrical approach and musical versatility far richer than the overworked wallowing in misery of such acts as Korn and later arrival Staind.
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