In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Incubus were that rare breed: a nü-metal band with both a DJ and a hefty female fan base. They began when vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, bassist Dirk Lance (born Alex Katunich), and drummer Jos é Pasillas met in high school in Calabasas, California (in the San Fernando Valley) and began playing around Southern California. By 1995, just out of high school, they added turntablist DJ Lyfe (born Gavin Koppel) and self-releasing Fungus Amongus, which secured them a deal with Epic/Immortal, a Sony subsidiary. Two years later the Enjoy Incubus EP and the album S.C.I.E.N.C.E. pushed them onto the burgeoning nü-metal tour circuit; the band began opening for a number of bands (notably Korn and Primus) that similarly combined hip-hop, metal, funk, and thrash.
In summer 1998, DJ Lyfe was replaced by DJ Chris Kilmore, who made his recorded debut with the group on 1999's Make Yourself (Number 47), the album whose slow-burning success helped make Incubus into stars: they toured with Moby and had a belated hit with "Drive," which went to Number Nine in 2001. That year saw the release of Morning View, which went to Number Two and yielded the singles "Wish You Were Here" (Number 60 pop, Number Two Modern Rock), "Warning" (Number Three Modern Rock), and "Nice to Know You" (Number Nine, Modern Rock). In 2003, bassist Lance was replaced by Ben Kenney, who had played guitar with the Roots, and in 2004 the reconstituted group issued A Crow Left of the Murder (Number Two), featuring "Megalomaniac" (Number 55 pop, Number 1 Modern Rock) and "Talk Shows on Mute" (Number Three, Modern Rock). 2006 brought Light Grenades, the band's first Number One album featuring the hits "Dig" (Number 94 pop, Number Four Modern Rock), "Oil and Water" (Number Eight Modern Rock), and "Anna-Molly" (Number 66 pop, Number One Modern Rock).