By Matt Pais
RedEye Sound Board
August 23, 2012
Today Incubus singer Brandon Boyd stopped by Tribune Tower for an interview on our 22nd floor deck. If you think he's difficult and arrogant and the embodiment of what you imagine the frontman of a very successful rock band to be, you're almost certainly not an Incubus fan or someone who's ever seen/read an interview with the mellow, open, thoughtful Boyd--who appears with the California rockers Friday at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre.
The 36-year-old artist/author/environmental advocate/surfer talked about everything from the band's early days playing Bar Mitzvahs to their feelings about playing a future Lolla, and also flipped through his sketchbook to show us some of the new art he's been working on. We'll post the full Q&A/video as soon as they're ready; until then, a few snippets from our chat, some with context, some without:
-- "There’s a decided difference between our core fans and [Linkin Park's] core fans, but what's been really cool for us is I’m seeing people in the audience, a lot of them who have actually never seen us play before. And this is probably our 30th time playing these places, so it’s kind of neat to play to new people. We’re actually pretty grateful for it."
-- "We were 14, 15 years old when a lot of that stuff was happening. So we were like, “Let’s make our band!” “What are we going to sound like?” “I have no [bleeping] idea; let’s just write music.” [Laughs]
-- "There’s so much noise in the world. I mean that in the spiritual and the emotional sense as well as intellectual and physical noise going on all the time. It’s like there’s constantly something trying to lure you out of your present state, your appreciation of your present state. That’s been my biggest intent I think most of my life, and I think that’s why I intentionally but also perhaps unconsciously have pursued art and the creative process is because it uses everything that’s here, all the noise, but to pull you back into radical nowness."
-- "I’m 36, so I guess we can say I’m pushing 40 at this point. [Laughs] Trending in that direction. And a lot of my friends and acquaintances that I speak with online or I see every once in a while, it’s like, “How you doin?” "Good. I’m super busy.” “What are you doing?” “Well … just being busy.” [Laughs] I don’t know if that’s essentially a good thing. I think it’s good to be busy and have goals and to be working toward things, but are you happy? That’s what I’m trying to concentrate on."
-- "I speak for myself, but I can speak for my band as well in that logic is the part that we try and pay the least attention to. Logic has very little place in the artistic or creative process. I think it’s something that should be shunned until the very last minute, until you get to that place where you’re assessing everything that you’ve made and then allow logic and piece it together like a puzzle. When you’re writing the stuff it should be a free-flow; it should be like a geyser erupting and see what comes out and piece it together later."
-- "I’ve met people who have seen us 80 times. Have come to see our shows 80 times. I don’t even think I’ve been to 80 of our shows! [Laughs] And they still sing along just as passionately and are just as invested in it as they ever were. And that as well is an incredible compliment."
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