Incubus is a five-piece rock outfit from Calabasas, California. Their sound straddles the genres of alternative rock and alternative metal. Due to the fact that they were formed in the early 1990s, Incubus has a lot of “grunge” in their sound. They also have a turntablist (currently Chris Kilmore but originally Gavin Koppell). Comparable to Deftones, Bush, and Alien Ant Farm, Incubus mixes hard rock riffs with pop-esque melodies.
Incubus consists of lead singer Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, bass guitarist Ben Kenney, drummer Jose Pasillas II, and turntablist Chris Kilmore. Kenney replaced original bassist Alex “Dirk Lance” Katunich in 2003.
There’s no good story behind the band’s name. When it finally became necessary for them to have a nom de plume they picked “Incubus.” An “incubus” is a demon known for having congress with sleeping women. The female version is called a succubus.
The band formed in 1991 while the original members were still in high school. Soon, the foursome was playing major nightclubs in Los Angeles including the Whisky a Go Go. Incubus didn’t become a quintet until 1995 when they added Koppell (he left in 1998).
Also in 1995, Incubus released their first professional recording, an EP called Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Root Beer. At the end of the year, the band issued their first studio album, Fungus Amongus. The record was released on Incubus’ own independent label.
The band’s sophomore studio effort, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., dropped September 9, 1997. The album quickly reached 100,000 in sales. That may not sound like much but the album received little love from radio or television. S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was eventually certified gold by the RIAA.
Incubus finally broke out in 1999 with the release of Make Yourself. In less than a year, the album moved half-a-million copies. The album’s first single, “Pardon Me,” struggled to get played on radio. To change that, Boyd and Einziger performed an acoustic version of their song at a few stations. This helped create interest in the single as well as the band.
As of 2014, Incubus has released seven studio albums. Their 2006 opus, Light Grenades, went all the way to number one. Their other studio releases, Morning View (2001), A Crow Left of the Murder… (2004), and If Not Now, When? (2011) all peaked at number two.
Incubus is as successful on the touring circuit as they are in the studio. Incubus tickets have been collected at venues and festivals all over the world. Some of the high profile acts Incubus has toured with include Korn, 311, Hoobastank, and Linkin Park. They’ve also performed with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers of the Police and paid tribute to The Who with Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam.