Dirk Lance, it was nice to know you, but Incubus fans have reason to welcome new bassist Ben Kenney with open arms.
“He’s been very inspiring for all of us,” guitarist Mike Einziger said at the recent ASCAP Pop Music Awards of the onetime Roots member. “He’s a very different musician than Dirk, so it adds a very different dynamic to what we’re doing. It’s just like a big fresh breath of air.”
Incubus aren’t recording yet, but they’ve set up their instruments in a rented house and are writing new material they’ll take to a studio after finishing Lollapalooza.
“I don’t know how to describe it, to be perfectly honest,” Einziger said. “It’s like a lot of our older music, but older, if that makes any sense.”
“I was referring to the record called Fungus Amongus that we put out independently [in 1995] before we released our first record on Epic Records,” he explained. “It’s a lot more quirky and kind of more free-flowing, I guess you could say. The [new] music is a lot more frenetic and, I think, very indicative of our state of mind at this current time.”
Along with the addition of Kenney, Incubus are stoked to have lined up producer Brendan O’Brien, the hard rock specialist who’s worked with Rage Against the Machine, Papa Roach and dozens of others.
“He’s made a lot of records that we grew up listening to ourselves, so it’s a good thing.” Einziger said. “We can’t wait.”
The band’s as-yet-untitled fifth studio album will be released on Sony Music’s Epic, now that the two parties have settled lawsuits filed earlier this year. “Oh yeah, no problem, those guys Sony, they are cool guys,” Einziger said. “We like them now.”
Incubus sued the label for not releasing them from what they considered an unfair contract; the band settled for a reported $8 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It sucks that as a musician sometimes you have to deal with stuff [like that],” the guitarist said. “Fortunately for us, we can just focus on making music and all that has sort of taken care of itself now.”
Before Incubus hit the road in July, Einziger plans to post a live recording of his psychedelic funk side project, Time-Lapse Consortium, on Incubus’ Web site. The show, recorded January 24 at the Roxy in West Hollywood, included two songs with Brandon Boyd.
“We started a charitable foundation, and all the money that we generate from selling this record will go into a charity fund for us, and then we will decide what charities we want to give all the money to,” Einziger said.
“Makes me feel like a decent human being, even though I really know I’m not,” he added with a smile.