Arts Music Culture

Hold Your Wheel and Drive

Nightmare. That’s one of the meanings of the word incubus. However, in paranormal lore, the word’s definition is even more sadistic that I don’t even want to start describing in this blog. But, what’s in a name anyway? After all, the members of the band Incubus just randomly selected it from the dictionary simply because they find it catchy and cool.

The California-based band called INCUBUS, bracketed under the Alternative Rock genre, is composed of: Brandon Boyd on vocals, José Pasillas II on percussions, Mike Einziger on strings, Chris Kilmore on turntables, and Ben Kenney on bass. Brandon, José, and Mike were childhood friends and are all inclined to the visual arts. Former band members were Dirk Lance (bassist) and Gavin Koppell (turntables).

Incubus’ songs are outstandingly superb and tastefully brilliant because of their originality, sensibility, and uniqueness, lyrics and musicality wise. Incubus is also famous for their virtuoso vocalist Brandon Charles Boyd who is known for his 10+ tattoos which were all self-designed, and his linkage to the Supermodel, Carolyn Murphy (Estéé Lauder image model and the one in the “Are You In” Music Video). Besides being a vegetarian, he also plays bongos and didgeridoo (an Australian aboriginal wind instrument), and has written the books: “White Fluffy Clouds: Found Inspiration Moving Forward” (2003) and “From the Murks of the Sultry Abyss” (2007). They’re associated with Chuck Mullholland whose face is all over the scene, as well.

Just like any other bands, Incubus’ debut album is not their best one. Its songs were shrill, resembling a hypnotic trance which matched the album title—Fungus Amongus (1995) —a type of psychedelic mushroom. Their second album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (1997) delivers raw and rhythmic tunes which made a bang such as the songs “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity)” and “A Certain Shade of Green”. But what really hit it to the nail was their third album Make Yourself (1999) which carried the hit singles: “Drive”, “Pardon Me” and “Stellar.”

Success was on their way as they began to be more popular globally with their promising music videos, frequent guesting appearances and smashing concert tours. The strategy of following it up with their fourth album Morning View made it big time. With light resonance and melodic tunes in “Echo” (Final Fantasy OST), “Nice to Know You”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Warning”, and “Aqueous Transmission”, mixed with a bit of pop styling (but still genuinely creative), INCUBUS sure has made their mark.

Since then, there is no stopping this band. After releasing their fifth album A Crow Left of the Murder… (2004) and Light Grenades (2006), Incubus is making history in the international music scene. With moving beats and instrumental prowess, coupled with powerful and much-to-say lines in “Megalomaniac”, “Pistola”, “Talk Shows On Mute”, “Dig”, “Love Hurts”, “Anna Molly”, and “Oil and Water”, among many others, Incubus is no leaving the top of the hit charts.

Come 2009, Monuments and Melodies was released as the first greatest hits compilation album of the band, featuring several all-time favorites, new songs such as “Black Heart Inertia,” “Monuments and Melodies,” and “Midnight Swim,” and three previously unreleased songs.

After a  five-year hiatus as a result of their mutual agreement to temporarily part ways to focus on their individual lives, they’ve released their latest—and probably the last studio album If Not Now When? (2011) which has received mixed reviews but was widely embraced nonetheless. The final salvo can be said to be the evolved and mature form of musicality that is Incubus. With poignant and authentic pieces such as “Promises, Promises,” “If Not Now, When?”, “Friends and Lovers,” and “Tomorrow’s Food,” Incubus has without question set the bar higher for mainstream rock music.

The Essential Incubus, their freshest offering, is a greatest hits compilation album released by Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings as part of The Essential series, which was recently launched this year. This much-awaited compilation features a 28-track collection encompassing singles and hits from the Incubus’ six albums and three EPs. Unlike the 2009 collection Monuments and Melodies, which only included singles from certain albums along with rarities, The Essential Incubus focuses on the group’s entire career, making it a must-have for every die-hard fan.

Incubus is on its 17th year in the global entertainment industry, and still counting. As Brandon Boyd promised in their latest DVD EP* Look Alive (2007), Incubus will “continue their legacy for the rest of their lives.

Incubus has immensely came a long way in terms of reaching for their dreams and beyond, and has proven their label’s denotation wrong. Giving it all back through foundations while going on working to achieve their very best, Incubus serves as an inspiration for us to hold our wheels and drive, whatever tomorrow brings. So much for lexicons.~

*Their other EP’s include: Enjoy Incubus (1997), When Incubus Attacks Vol. 1 (2000), When Incubus Attacks Vol. 2 (2001), Morning View Sessions, (2002) Live at Lollapalooza (2003), and Alive at Red Rocks (2004); plus covers, pod casts and OSTs for the movie “Stealth” (2005).

Photos: Google Images

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