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