Incubus Loosen Up on "Murder"

Fifth album due this winter

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California rockers Incubus will release their fifth record, A Crow Left of the Murder, on February 3rd. The album is the follow-up to 2001's Morning View.

"It's been like petting a cat in the right direction," frontman Brendan Boyd says of work on the set. "Other records have been a little bit more laborious. This one has been pure joy."

The difference? The band enlisted producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen), and worked on the album in O'Brien's home base of Atlanta. "He doesn't like to obsess over boring details that take the life out of a recording," says guitarist Mike Einziger, who also credits new bassist Ben Kenney. "Ben's been a really awesome part of this whole process. He's contributed to the songwriting, and he's a really amazing musician and a totally mellow, cool great guy to be around."

According to Boyd, the laid-back vibe in rehearsals and the studio led to lots of jamming for fun, and that tone will be reflected on the record. "On a few songs in particular there's some extended periods," he says. "Of course, some of them might seem a little bit self-indulgent, but every part, even the most subtle parts of the jams, are all necessary to that particular song."

Also look for a new experimental aspect to the band's sound. "This record is going to raise Mike to a whole new level of guitar geekdom," Boyd says. "I think there are going to be a lot more kids in the front row -- not that there aren't already -- at our concerts, studying Mike. There's a lot of left-field changes too."

For example, Einziger says, "We have a twenty-two-minute psychedelic rock odyssey that we don't know if it's going to make the record. I spent two weeks in my house geeking out. It's kind of its own entity."

Boyd says, "We wanted to be more flamboyant this time around."