Incubus' Brandon Boyd on Overcoming Band Burnout, Hitting the Road With the Deftones and Why the Group Has a 'Renewed Adventurous Spirit'
Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd knows what's expected of him if he's going mano y mano with Deftones' Chino Moreno during the two bands' summer tour -- a six-and-a-half-week run that kicks off Wednesday, July 22 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit.
"A lot of calisthenics, stretches, shadow boxing -- all of the above," Boyd tells Billboard with a laugh. Actually, though, Incubus is approaching the trek (which also includes Death From Above 1979 and The Bots) as something of an old home week for the two northern California groups.
"We used to tour with them quite a lot in the early 2000s," Boyd notes. "They're similar, I think, in the sincerity of the approach to making music. We both come from humble backgrounds, humble beginnings of getting in the van and playing everything from someone's backyard and listening rooms to the bar and the theater and the bigger theater and the bigger theater yet and then the arena, that kind of thing. I think we understand and resonate with each other around that kind of work ethic, a willingness and a desire to get back and pound the pavement."
Boyd adds that "there's a lot of crossover in our audiences but there's not a lot of crossover as far as our music is concerned." But the best part is that the two bands "just get on really well. That's probably the most important thing when you're touring with a band again and again. Do you guys have fun when you're out there, seeing each other for every single day for months on end?' We do, so I'm really looking forward to seeing those guys."
The tour is also part of a campaign that catches Incubus coming out of a hiatus it began after touring to support 2011's If Not Now, When? album. The five group members pursued their own projects during the interim, though there was never really concern about whether Incubus would come back together -- which it did with a new label deal (with Island) and new management. "We were just burnt out, kind of on our last legs energetically," Boyd says. "We were almost in denial of that, too, and we just kept pushing forward, but it was almost like we were trudging through thick mud. Now, having taken enough time away from record labels and away from the same team we had around us for a long time, it's making sense to me how sort of excited we all are again about being in this band and making music together and going on the road." Incubus released a four-song EP, Trust Fall (Side A), back in May, and Side B is slated to be recorded this fall, after the tour with Deftones wraps.
"We're still writing music for it now," Boyd says. "There's definitely a renewed adventurous spirit in the songwriting right now, which has been really fun. We've done two tours now, through Australia and Asia and Europe, since we wrote Side A, so the music we're writing is already kind of another step further, but it's a step in the direction we went with Side A. The idea is when you put the two (EPs) together it'll be Side A and Side B, like an unusually released full-length album, 'cause we're still guys who think in terms of the full album experience."