It may be a while before we see American rock act Incubus in Australia again. Though they were here last February in support of their 2011 album, If Not Now, When?, the latest news from frontman Brandon Boyd is that it’ll be a while before fans – Australian or otherwise – will see or hear from the band; as he rolls out that most dreaded of euphemisms.
Speaking to Billboard about their current tour, Boyd has let slip that the future plans for Incubus are “to have no plan.” Meaning essentially, they’ll be heading on an extended hiatus. “We have no plans, to tell you the truth, at the moment,” said the vocalist about the band’s movements following their current Honda Civic Tour with Linkin Park and Mutemath.
Adding that, “as far as Incubus right now, we’ll probably take another break” but stressed that the band were not splitting up indefinitely. Adding that it “hopefully… won’t be as long” as the five year gap between 2006′s Light Grenades and last year’s If No Now, When? “What we’d like to do,” says Boyd, “is arrive with the best of intentions and try to create music from a sense of urgency as well as purity and not necessarily based on a schedule. I know that can be frustrating for our listeners and stuff, but I think we’ll make better music as a result.”
The planned break comes at a time when the five-piece have finished up their contract with Epic Records, which ended on a sour note when their latest album was shunted in the transition to the label’s new chairman, L.A. Reid. ”There was a lot of changing of the guard sort of going on,” says Boyd, noting the new boss “wasn’t quite there yet… there was a real lack of direction and leadership when we kind of needed it most. It was hard and it was frustrating, but it was also very telling for us and perhaps educational because we were forced into ingenuity.”
As a result, Boyd says that he and his bandmates are ”trying to get our bearings to what we should do next… I’m personally very excited about being in complete control, being a total control freak.” The end of their Epic dealings “forced us into thinking outside of that normal music industry paradigm we had gotten so accustomed to. So in that sense the lack of attention from our record label… was really good and really beneficial for us as a band because it gave us a sense of what we might be doing in the coming years.”
Boyd didn’t specify in the band would ‘do a Radiohead’ and go for a more updated online method of releasing their music, saying of their new contractual freedom “that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t sign with another record label at some point, but it would have to be very, very specific, not get into just a good old fashioned record deal again, if they even exist.”
The band are planning one more release before they head off into the record label-free hinterlands though, a live release entitled Incubus HQ Live, to be released in a series of CD and DVD packages. Based on a series of exclusive shows the band performed in a Los Angeles storefront playing to fans both live and online through social media.
The project, says Boyd, gave the band ”ideas about subscription-based concerts online… it ended up being a really scary and stressful project, but the fruits of it are still kind of revealing themselves.” Incubus HQ Live will be released on Aug 14.
Following its release and their tour commitments, the Incubus frontman will be using the band time-out as an opportunity to work on the follow up to his 2010 solo debut, The Wild Trapeze. “I have been tinkering around” Boyd tells Billboard, “with a second solo record. That’s probably the most likely scenario.”
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