The slow road through the clubs eventually landed them an EP, Enjoy Incubus, and a trip to Europe supporting Korn. "That was our very first real tour, playing in front of 2-6,000 kids a night," he says. "We're very thankful to Korn for that."

That and years of the hard-knock van tours across the States led to them being taken in by none other than Sharon Osbourne (current wife and former manager of Ozzy), and a coveted spot on the 1998 OZZfest tour: Limp Bizkit, Tool, System of a Down, Primus and, of course, Ozzy and Black Sabbath.

"It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Sharon," he says. "Truthfully, I don't know the exact contact point [how Sharon found out about the band]. Of course, I'd like to think that she somehow stumbled across a tape and loved it so much that she asked us to come on tour, but I doubt that's how it happened. But Sharon is amazing. She's given so many young bands so many brilliant opportunities that she deserves some kind of a medal."

He gleefully continues, "The OZZfest was like summer camp. Because we knew most of the bands on the bill from previous touring, it was just like a big group of friends kind of traveling around the country together and playing music and having a brilliant time."

While the phrase "rock/hip-hop/funk" is used to describe Incubus, it should be noted that this band has some distinct differences from peers like Korn or Limp Bizkit. Dynamics are what made songs like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" so powerful--loud choruses were made louder by having subdued verses to set them up, a point not lost on Incubus' collaborative songwriting efforts. And, Praise The Lord, they aren't allergic to that ancient musical practice: melody. Guitar textures on songs like "Nowhere Fast" bend from a crunchy, Faith-No-More Jim Martin vibe to middle-eastern Steve Vai. "The electric sitar, yeah, Steve Vai was actually probably one of Michael's (Einziger) biggest influences," Boyd says.

Perhaps one of the things that makes Boyd sound so sober and humble is the car accident that occurred last fall while the band was putting the finishing touches on Make Yourself.

"It was about a week and a half into mixing the record," he explains. "I was pulling into the studio in my little Honda Civic, making a left, and a guy in a Mercedes was trying to jump a red light and he broadsided me. Totaled my car. I bashed my knee and kind of blacked out for a second and came to. I saw my whole band and one of the guys who mixed the record, Rick Will, running towards me and I was like, 'Whoa. Am I dead right now?' But as they're lifting me out of the car, I was laughing; I think I was in shock a little bit. And I asked them, 'What song are you guys mixing?' And they all started laughing back at me and I said, 'Drive.'... I'm definitely a little more wary of left turns on Sunset Boulevard now," Boyd underscores with tongue in cheek.

It probably makes better copy to talk about rock stars in the traditional sense: self-destructive media whores with their feet planted firmly in their stratospheric egos. But there's something special about a band that can musically whip your ass, make you think, and keep their heads on straight. Maybe it's because while they're in this business, they're smart enough to understand it's just a business, and purposefully go after what they want.

"In a lot of people's eyes, being a musician or a writer or an artist full time is not something too respectable," Boyd concludes. "But to tell you the truth, I think it's the most respectable profession because you're doing it as (only) what you want to do. And you didn't succumb to the pressures of doing what you don't want to do, just to make a living. You realize you can actually make a living by doing something that excites you. And the more you pursue what excites you, the more you're rewarded."

Too fucking sane. But then he laughs, "Well, give me a couple more months on the road and I'll lose it."

Not bloody likely.