This Ain't No Demon, This Ain't no Disco... Incubus' Brandon Boyd by Don Zulaica
'The whole hair rock thing was still trying to cling to whatever last remnants of hope it had left.'

Rock stars are ignorant, obnoxious, belligerent, egotistical pricks. Then there's Brandon Boyd, 23 year-old lead vocalist of the rock/hip-hop/funk quintet Incubus. The group is currently out supporting their new album Make Yourself with Puya, Mr. Bungle and System Of A Down as part of the "Sno-Core 2000" tour. But Brandon--he seems way too fucking sane for this rock star/lead vocalist job.

For one thing, he's humble. Referring to having a higher billing over Mike Patton and Mr. Bungle, he reverently admits, "We should be third, they should be second." Boyd does not list off names like Plant, Daltrey, Roth, or Jagger as important musical influences. His heroes are the baroque-to-rage Patton, Björk, Primus, Ani DiFranco, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. He's also an avid reader and artist, speaking of Kurt Vonnegut and Stanley Mouse with alacrity.

And while so many groups and wanna-be's are thumping their chests about being gangsta-streetwise, he seems perfectly comfortable with his white bread roots-- Calabasas, California. Nestled right over the hill from Malibu, it's a sleepy San

Fernando Valley suburb where four of the band members met back in grade school."I've known José Pasillas [drums] since the fourth grade," Boyd explains. "I've known Mike [Einziger, guitars] since sixth grade. And we all met Dirk [Lance, bass] going into high school in ninth grade. The newest member, DJ Kilmore, has been with us for about two years. He grew up on the east coast."

"There wasn't a lot to do in Calabasas," Boyd admits. "Some of us in the band grew up together skating and surfing. When we were in 10th grade in high school we just started playing music out of the same, I guess you'd call it, boredom. So when we weren't surfing and skating we were playing in this band."

They hit the Los Angeles club scene at the ripe age of 16. "And in Los Angeles," he explains, "before you're a known band you actually have to pay the promoter to play the show. Or you buy tickets from the promoter and then you sell the tickets yourself for however much you deem fit to make your money back.

"Actually, how the first show worked was kind of funny. Michael found a hundred-

dollar bill on the ground at his school and then went and bought tickets from a promoter--and that's how we got our first show. Talk about fate yelling at you! We bought the tickets and sold all of them to our high school friends and brought a lot of kids to the show; I think we impressed the promoter. So he invited us to do it again, and again, and it just kept building on top of itself."

The early years saw Incubus opening for a vast array of Poison-clones. Not exactly fertile musical-exploration territory, but hey, it's exposure.

"This was '91 or early '92, so the whole hair rock thing was still trying to cling to whatever last remnants of hope it had left," he laughs. "So the first couple of Hollywood shows we did we were opening up for serious glam-hair bands. The promoter didn't know what type of music we were, so they just put us on a bill where there was an open spot. Not really big bands, but stuff that was cult-big in Hollywood, I guess. I don't even remember any of the names of 'em. They all wore lipstick and had their hair poofed up and high heels and shit like that."