Incubus started with the childhood friendship of singer Brandon Boyd and Jose Pasillas III. As school-aged kids, they hung out all the time and listened to crazy So-Cal music like Primus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which would later influence their sound. Later on, during middle school, the Jose met guitarist Mike Enzinger. In high school, the two met bassist Alex Kaunich (Dirk Lance, nowadays) and formed a small party band that played for their friends and such. Soon after, they found that Jose's friend Brandon could sing, and so 4/5 of the modern-day lineup were born.
To find a name, Mike looked in a thesaurus after a discussion about what they should call themselves (for awhile they had no name). He came across the word "Incubus," and as described by Webster 1913 above, is a monster that sleeps with women in their dreams, basically. Needless to say, the guys thought it was cool and stuck with it, even though as of now the name really doesn't fit the neo-hippy personna they now possess with their more laid-back (but, confusingly, still rockin') style.
In high school, these guys did everything together (the three besides Boyd recently confirmed circle-jerking to porn in a Rolling Stone article). The band played parties with a style defined by Boyd's flowing, energetic, and trippy poetry, Enzinger's sound effects that came right out of "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver" by Primus, Pasilla's rock beats with a bit of jazz, and Lance laid down funky funky shit every damn time, like a stone-cold bassist. Word.
Brandon and Jose went to community college while Mike tried out for Alanis Morrisette's band. He didn't make it, and shortly thereafter Incubus recorded a demo, Closet Cultivation. Soon after, Mark Shoffner cut them a deal and let them record in his studio (they had been using a regular tape recorder at first). In late 1995, the band had their first full-length release, Fungus Amongus. A DJ, DJ Lyfe, that is, heard the record and approached the band to join it. Thus, the lineup for the next two releases, Enjoy Incubus in January 1997 and S.C.I.E.N.C.E. in September 1997 were complete.
Incubus enjoyed moderate success as an opening act for bands like Korn during 1996-97. At the core and from the beginning, Incubus has been a touring band, and those years proved to be critical in gaining a fanbase by extensive touring.
In early 1998, amid a tour with 311 and Sugar Ray, Incubus asked DJ Lyfe to leave the band. Soon after, they met DJ Chris Kilmore, their current DJ, and the lineup that everyone now sees today was complete.
The band toured like crazy in 1998: Warped Tour, Ozzfest, Family Values Tour, as well as Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Orgy, and Korn were just some of the shows they played on. In 1999, they opened for Black Sabbath and then took time off to record "Make Yourself," their breakthrough album that has sold 2 million copies to date.
Here's how: The success of the acoustic version of "Pardon Me" rocketed the album off at first, but after "Stellar" hit TRL in the summer of 2000, the world knew of the power of Incubus. All the while, Incubus kept touring, across the Atlantic and with 311 in the US. The acoustical effort of "Pardon Me" made the EP "When Incubus Attacks Volume 1" a success, showing up in the top 50 in its first week of release (the printing was limited to 500,000 copies, and is now rare to find brand new).
In 2001, Incubus released "Drive" as the last single from Make Yourself and it boomed in popularity. It reached #1 on the Modern Rock chart on Billboard, received heavy airplay with its innovative video on MTV, and created a sensation. For the first time, teenaged girls actually liked Incubus AND pop groups like N'Sync, giving them an edge (but unfortunately, losing their old metal roots in the process).
In October 2001, Incubus released their current album, Morning View. It showed a newer, softer side to the band, while still, oddly, rocking out. So far, it has spawned four radio hits: "I Wish You Were Here" (the largest one, released a month and a half before the album created the buzz about it), "Nice to Know You," "Warning," and the current track in heavy airplay, "Are You In?". Over the course of 11 years, the band has grown from a couple of teens with funk and metal on their minds, to a touring metal act, to a major band in the US and the world, as well as world-class musicians.
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