It's too early to break out the tux 'n' tails and the conductor's baton, but Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger is working on a symphony.

It's too early to break out the tux 'n' tails and the conductor's baton, but Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger is working on a symphony.

The project began in March, after Einziger had surgery to relieve debilitating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. "I couldn't play guitar for a few months," Einziger tells Billboard.com, "so I just started studying music again. I started working on (the symphony), and I learned very quickly that there were a lo of gaps in my musical knowledge."

Einziger began studying five days a week with a teacher and also spent time with a "musical mentor." The symphony project remained his focus, and he's working on it during Incubus' current headlining tour of North America to promote its 2006 release "Light Grenades."

"I'm just kind of writing it in small pieces, 'cause it's very intimidating to think of it as a whole body of work," explains Einziger, who hasn't titled the piece yet. "It'll probably be three movements and 40 minutes of music, and that's a lot of music to write.

"And I completely realize that it can't just be interesting only because it's the guitar player of a rock band writing it. It has to stand up to the work of other composers as well. It's a pretty hefty task for me to endure, but I'm actually excited about it."

Einziger says Incubus' road schedule should give him plenty of time to continue working on the symphony. After wrapping up on these shores, the group will hit Europe and South America in the fall, with Australia, Japan and other parts of Asia slated for 2008.

The next Incubus album is also on the quintet's radar -- especially since any leftover "Light Grenades" material has been used up for B-sides and bonus tracks.

"We'll be starting completely from scratch," Einziger says, "but that's how we like to do it. We like to look at our albums as photo albums from a very specific time and place. We want them to be representative of where we were at a specific time, so including older songs would seem strange. Everything we do next time will be fresh and brand new."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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