After a brief but much-needed hiatus, Southern California rockers Incubus have gathered in their hometown of Calabasas to start drafting new songs for their sixth album, the follow-up to 2004’s A Crow Left of the Murder.
“We’ve been going, going, going for a really long time — we’ve been pounding it out since 1996,” says frontman Brandon Boyd. Previously, the band’s songwriting process would come hot on the heels of touring. “We would come home, rest for a few weeks and jump back in and start writing,” Boyd explains. “We love it like that — but we’re all nearing thirty. I’d really like to unpack; my suitcase stinks. I’d like to put back together some semblance of family — which can only help to reenergize and re-inspire you. You have to get back into, for want of a better term, ‘the real world.'”
A taste of the real world has given the group — Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, bassist Ben Kenney, drummer Jose Pasillas and DJ Kilmore — a handful of yet-untitled tracks for the new record. Reluctant to put a release date on the effort, Boyd says Incubus plan on taking their time to draw on new experiences.
On past Incubus releases, because of time constraints, the band generated little material beyond the final album tracks. For this endeavor, though, Boyd says Incubus will work without a schedule, allowing the group to stockpile new music before hitting the studio. “We have always loved what we have done, but for some reason we were always left like, ‘That’s our date?’ And we’d put that out in front of us and work up to it,” he says. “It’s almost like, at this point, we’ve earned the right to go, ‘This time, we’re going to make two records and take the best of those songs.’ We’ve never done that before.”
Although he downplayed expectations of a literal double album, Boyd says the band is considering producing a film to accompany the next release. “As ridiculous as it sounds, we’ve talked about writing a record that ties into a really cool film,” he says. “I know how sort of pompous concept albums can be, but that could be cool if it’s done properly.”
In the meantime, touring will be limited. And in the future, says Boyd, Incubus will take a more ambitious approach to their live performances, developing a “heavier concept.”
“That’s an uncharted territory for this band,” he says. “The most elaborate stage presentation we’ve ever done was on [2002’s] Morning View tour — and there were a lot of things about that which we felt were really cool, and a lot of things we felt we missed the mark on. So when we go back, we’d like to bring something that is bigger than that.”