Brandon Boyd of Incubus Talks Honda Civic Tour, Music Marketing and Going Solo. - Interview

The Honda Civic Tour has a storied history of great musical acts. With previous headliners like Paramore and Black Eyed Peas, the festival is no stranger to selling out to thousands of fans. This year is no different. The 2012 edition consists of powerhouses Incubus and Linkin Park. Incubus’ front man Brandon Boyd commented on what fans can expect at this year’s event.

I just think it’s a good moment and a great opportunity to have two big giant rock and roll bands sharing a stage. I just think that it’s going to be better than either of us would do in our own show; there are two headlining sets including Mutemath, which is going to be a good time as well. So it’s almost like a mini-festival, which is amazing. And Incubus has done a Honda Civic-sponsored tour before. It may have been one of Honda Civic’s first ones, I’m not sure, but that was like, over 10 years ago. And I remember it being really, really great. I think the listeners and friends and fans and family who came out to those shows had a really great experience, too. So I know that we as a band are really looking forward to doing it again this year. And personally, this will be the end of our touring cycle for our newest record, and so we’re looking forward to just making some music.

Boyd alluded to the Honda Civic Tour being at the end of Incubus’ touring cycle for “If Not Now, When?” Their last album dropped 2011, five years after the band’s previous effort, “Light Grenades,” in 2006. Since forming in 1991, Incubus has racked up seven studio albums. As for what’s to come for Incubus, Boyd said this.

As far as that’s concerned, we have no plans, to tell you the truth at the moment. We are, for the first time since 1996, free agents again. We’re without a record label. So what we’re kind of doing is trying to get our bearings as to what we should do next, just as a band but also as a band that is kind of off in new territory again. So I have been tinkering around potentially with a second solo record. That’s probably the most likely scenario. But as far as Incubus right now, we’ll probably take another break. Hopefully it won’t be as long. But what we like to do is arrive with the best of intentions and try and create music from a sense of urgency as well as purity and not necessarily based on a schedule. I know that can be a little bit frustrating for our listeners and stuff. But I think that we’ll make better music as a result. So the plan is to have no plan.

With Incubus being free agents and the state of the music industry gravitating away from CDs and to digital downloads and formats such as iTunes, Incubus must rely on their tenure and experience to stay relevant. Boyd talked about how to accomplish this task.

That’s a really interesting notion actually. It’s something that I talk about with friends and people in different industries and everything. Incubus [was one] of the very few bands who kind of got a gust of wind out of the old paradigm of the music industry. But like survived out of it. There are so many bands that, in a traditional sense, write their own music, and perform their music, that didn’t survive that transition. That fell by the wayside with the industry. So it’s been frightening to watch something that you for a very brief moment almost learned to rely on. We learned the ins and outs of how the industry worked; you know you poured your heart out into making an album and then the label puts the record out and you go out on tour in support of the album, and we even started doing it in the van and trailer. We’d make a record and get in the van with our gear and the trailer and we’d drive ourselves around the country and sell albums and T-shirts out of the back of the trailer. That was sort of our education and then once things started going really well, thankfully, we got a sense of what it looks like when the engine is nicely greased and things are working the way they’re supposed to.

(Photo by Brantley Gutierrez)

And then it’s like the millennium turns and the technology changed. And all of that became old. It became an antiquated model. And it was frightening at first but I actually have come to appreciate it. Our technologies are a living system just like we are and our communities as human beings and for us to expect them to remain constant is really just quite foolish. I mean anybody that’s going to come to rely on the way that our music consumption is looking now is going to have the same hard lesson in less time than you think. I think that the technology is going to shift probably sooner than any of us really realize. And that’s a really cool thing, because it keeps everyone on their toes. It levels the playing field, too. It’s allowing for a really wonderful democratization of the music writing process and the music presenting and performing process. So what it’s doing is it is making us try harder and it’s making us expect the best of ourselves and the people that we work with.

In terms of how music is being marketed, Boyd shared his thoughts.

You know, do more with less. I was talking to my friend this morning about the notion of the music video. Incubus has made a music video. We’ve paid like $500,000 to make a music video that MTV just didn’t play. And that was considered like, ‘Oh, OK. That’s a bummer, but, you know, next.’ But now? Are you kidding me? It’s like if we can get a fraction, a spittle of that amount of money to make a music video, that’s amazing. But the cool thing is that the intention is exactly the same. And in fact it’s even better, because now we have to think even further outside the box. We still have to make a music video but we don’t have any money. So we have to have a better idea than we did before. I personally, when all is said and done, really welcome these changes. And they excite me. And they scare me at the same time, but I’m choosing to focus on the excitement.

Check out the Honda Civic Tour at the following dates:

(* Incubus will not be on the following dates.)

8/11 Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live*
8/12 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena*
8/14 Boston, MA @ Comcast Center
8/15 Wantaugh, NY @ Nikon Jones Beach
8/17 Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
8/19 Atlanta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/21 Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
8/22 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
8/24 Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
8/25 Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
8/27 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/28 Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/30 Denver, CO @ Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
9/5 Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
9/7 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/8 Carson, CA @ Home Depot Center
9/10 San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at
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