Incubus have broken camp after completing the sessions for their forthcoming release and are hitting the road. They’ll play a month of dates across Europe before joining Moby’s Area: One tour on July 11th in Atlanta.
Though album and song titles are still being considered, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger mentions “Morning View” as a possible album title. It’s the name of the street where they recorded the album – in a Malibu Hills mansion. This release follows the band’s breakthrough 1999 offering Make Yourself, though Einziger points out this album is deeper. “I think it’s slightly more sophisticated in certain ways, but musically it’s all over the place like Make Yourself is,” he says. “It’s some of the heaviest music we’ve ever written, at the same time some of the most beautiful mellow music we’ve ever written. It’s very across the spectrum, which is very cool.”
As an example, Einziger points to a tune titled “Aqueous Transmission,” which was written on a Chinese instrument akin to a guitar that he borrowed from Steve Vai. “He told me that I could borrow it, if I promised to write something really, really cool with it,” the guitarist says. “So, we wrote this beautiful Chinese sounding song with strings and a bamboo flute. It almost sounds like an old Disney cartoon, something like Jungle Book. It’s weird, but it’s interesting. It’s one of my favorite things that we’ve ever done as a band.”
Singer Brandon Boyd also points to that song (which might also be called “Kyoto”) as one of his current faves. “[Mike] created this guitar riff along with this cool, very sparse, breakbeat thing,” Boyd explains. “It was slow, almost Massive Attack sounding. The first thing that popped into my head was that I said it sounded like we were rowing down some Asian river and there was red glowing eyes in the bushes.”
Where “Aqueous Transmission” is atmospheric, “Blood on the Ground” is a straight-up rocker. “It’s not like ‘Blood on the Dance Floor,’ Michael Jackson’s song,” Boyd jokes. “It’s not as cool as that. It’s a little bit more of the frustrated lyrical attempts and one of the heavier guitar and music approaches. It’s very straightforward, but the lyrical content pertains to biting my tongue as opposed to saying what I want to say and getting my ass kicked. Basically I say, ‘Blood in my mouth beats blood on the ground.'”
Another song on the album, “Nice to Know You,” is probably the closest link to their last record. “It has sort of the melding of the drum-and-bass verse into the rock chorus,” Boyd says. The song was written at the final show during the band’s last European tour, which was cut short because Boyd was suffering from strep throat. “I had taken a sleeping pill on the way over there and I fell asleep on my pinky that was bent weird,” Boyd recalls. “Half of my hand was asleep for almost three weeks and I thought I’d destroyed my nerves. I got totally scared. I’m kind of an idiot sometimes and I got divine inspiration from my hand waking up. So, I created a lyric around that.”
Fans will be able to hear some of the new songs as the band joins the Area: One tour. Einziger is eager to hop aboard the tour because he holds Moby, Outkast, the Roots and Nelly Furtado in high esteem. “It will be cool, because it’s very different from any tour that we’ve ever done before,” he says. “It’s a really cool vibe. It’s something like that that we’ve wanted to do for a long time, but the rock crowd is sort of where we fit in, if we fit in anywhere. It’s going to be a fun change for us.”