Veteran rock producer O'Brien (Pearl Jam, the Killers, Soundgarden) had produced Incubus' last three albums -- beginning with 2004's "A Crow Left of the Murder…" and Boyd realized he wanted to work with him in a one-on-one setting.
"(2011's "If Not Now, When?") was different enough that we were curious to see what would happen if him and I just sat down and actually wrote songs together… Brendan was going to be spending some time here in LA because he was doing another project so he asked me to start sending him ideas that I had, and I’d been demoing some stuff at home and most of my musical ideas start on the little iPhone recording devices."
Of Boyd's submissions, the first to catch on was a vocal but that eventually turned into the glamorous EP cut "Lady Black." Boyd remembers:
"A day later he called me at a friend’s house and he’s all excited like 'Check this out!' And he played me back my voice recording but then played the guitar part along with it, and that was really all we needed to really say like, 'Let’s actually do this. There’s something here.'
For the project, Boyd contributed vocals and lyrics, while O'Brien handled the guitar, piano, and bass parts, with Josh Freese playing the drums. Writing and recording for the first time without his Incubus bandmates, Boyd was able to "exercise his inner control freak in the best possible way," crafting elegant, nuanced pop songs that show rock influence, yet ultimately live outside of the genre. For those who enjoyed Incubus' recent work with O'Brien, Sons of the Sea should come as a welcome extension of where those projects were headed.
Boyd and company have completed recording for Sons of the Sea's debut album, which is expected to be released this fall. According to Boyd, he's "in the process of putting a small band together" for some live dates to coincide with the release.