I just want to share the story of how I found Incubus, and how I fell entirely in love with their music, for life.
It all began on a day where the tv set had TRL playing on MTV. I was watching for the latest KoRn video, when all of a sudden, this band comes on with a song called "Stellar", and I see this video where the singer is floating near this angelic, goddess-looking lady trapped in some futuristic teleportation box or something. The video highly intrigued me, and the music was entertaining as well. On another day soon after, a new video on TRL, from that same foreign band... The song was called "Pardon Me", and this time the lead singer was walking towards an older version of himself... Very cool. But the song was just alright to me at that time. Then, one day I'm riding in the car with my father, listening to the local rock station, and I hear this soft song, mellow, almost folky-sounding, but in an alternative rock kind of way, playing over the broadcast. I didn't hear the title to the song after it was over, but I knew I needed to listen to this band some more. So I scurry around online and I find the band. They're the same band that had those alright songs with the trippy videos on TRL too. The song was "Drive", by Incubus. A buzzkill to some other fans maybe, but yes, "Drive" was the trigger song that shot me full-speed into loving this incredible band. I remember that I was at Best Buy to get the CD, and I was going to a friend's 14th birthday party later that night. Well, I found Make Yourself, and bought my friend a copy as well. It was like I already knew that I would be telling people about this band randomly, for the rest of my life. It was incredible. When I, myself, got the CD unwrapped and put it into my portable CD player, "Privilege" began playing... I was immediately in love. I could believe how lyrically rich, and musically rich this song was. -How it seemed to make everything positive come to life in me, and tattooing a giant smile on my face that wouldn't go away while the music was playing. So, naturally, as a full-throttle music fan of any band would, I researched their whole story, from tales of calabasas, to the former DJ of Incubus (DJ Lyfe), to adventures of Fungus Amongus, and S.C.I.E.N.C.E., to song meanings, interviews, and just everything I could find on this insanely talented group of musicians. I wanted to know everything.
Time started to flow pretty fast, and before you knew it, Incubus had leaked two songs online from their upcoming album, Morning View (October 23rd, 2001), "Nice to Know You" first, and then "Wish You Were Here". I found out they had leaked, and I was filled with energy and excitement. I mean, this would be the first album release date I'd get to see pass from Incubus, when I had become quite fond of Make Yourself, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Fungus Amongus, and the Enjoy Incubus EP. I was ready for this bad boy to be released. Then, I remember picking out the songs after "Wish You Were Here" that I thought would be released as singles. I thought "Nice to Know You", "Circles", "Warning", and sure enough, the rest of the singles did come from those three choices. In these times, everyone knew Incubus was my favorite band, including my best friend. Her mom and dad helped us be able to get tickets and ACTUALLY SEE INCUBUS LIVE!! June 4th, 2002 was the day I first saw them live. It was the last time Dirk Lance or Alex Katunich would be the bassist of my favorite band, but man was it a show... They opened with "Circles", played "Glass", "Vitamin", "New Skin", "Nowhere Fast", "A Certain Shade of Green", and so many other good songs... It was dead-on perfect, with not mistakes, but improvisations during songs. Brandon on Mike did "Mexico" and I think "Pardon Me" acoustic on a couch, and started that with a snippet of "Earth Angel", just to be silly. But that concert was the true beginning. I became obsessed with not just Incubus, but other bands, and music in general. I decided around this time that I wanted to be as good or better a writer/singer as Brandon Boyd. And so I kind of drew energy from Incubus records to guide me along the process of learning how to sing and write. But this aint about my personal journey into music, so much as it is about Incubus. So back to them. lol...
I followed news about Incubus through the Morning View times, looking at setlists after the show I saw them at. I was like a meth addict with Incubus. They made me smile if I was down, or turned bad times around if necessary. I continued to keep up with Incubus news, and a year after I first saw them, I caught word of another Incubus show coming to Cleveland for the last national Lollapalooza tour. Yes, I went to that and was the only person around me singing along to what I thought were the right words to "Megalomaniac" and "Pistola". They weren't yet released at that time. The band also performed the Happy Birthday song for Chris Cornell's 38th birthday. I think that age number is right. Anyway, the show was cool, despite my hesitation of jumping to like ben kenney too fast. I missed me some Dirk. So, another year later, they released A Crow Left of the Murder, coincidentally on the day of my aunt's funeral. Another example of Incubus getting me through a rough time. That night after all the services were done, I was listening to "Here in my Room", and I could swear it was made to help me feel strong rather than weathered after the heavy loss I was dealing with. But that year, money was tight, and I didn't get to see Incubus. It was a sad day when I knew they were in town, but I couldn't go. That's why it hasn't happened since. I kept up my games of picking singles from the albums with ACLOTM and Light Grenades, and I had posters, magazine cutouts (the only ones still on my wall today. lol.), a calander, a beanie, and of course the cd's and two dvd's. I was buried deep into Incubus, no diggin' out. Of course', in 2007 I didn't miss the Cleveland show. In fact, the first date of the concert was February 3rd, of 07', but was postponed until May 27th, due to Mikey dealing with the carpel tunnel stuff, and then that show was moved back to August 1st, 2007. I waited 8 months to see them, past the time of the original date, and seriously, it was more than worth it. Best show so far... I just remember not caring as we walked through Tower City and the officer told me to put my shirt back on, 'cause I was sweaty and took it off outside. It was like 95 degrees that day. lol.
Then, there was the day I met the band... I had bid on one of the MYF auctions, and made sure that I won the chance to meet Incubus, my heroes. I decided to take my sister with me to meet them. We left early, to make sure we weren't late for the meet and greet. We got in line, and it seemed like forever before they started letting us in, but we got to go in waaay before everyone else, because we had backstage passes. When they called out the first name of the first pair in the group, it was our name. My sister and I walked over with our green admission tickets, and they gave each of us a card to get autographed and a nifty napsack. lol. They told us the rules, and then this guy who I've seen on the Look Alive DVD or somethin' walked us over to the side of the venue. A giant tent amphitheatre, outside. -my favorite venue. Again, an eternity passed, and it seemed like it would never end. Conversation amongst the group, and with some guy who was working for Incubus, who said he worked for Metallica in the 80's, was fun, but only a wasted attempt to make time speed up. But then, they led us in to meet them. This is the moment I flipped a little. I realized I was about to meet the band that had inspired my hopes and dreams, and the man that turned me on to singing and making images with lyrics. I felt slightly woozy, but energized at the same time... First guy at the table, Ben Kenney. He says hi and nice to meet you, and I quickly say "Dude, it's nice to meet you too, man. I've listened to you guys for ten years now." He smiled and thanked me for the support, but I thought, "damn... not enough time to tell him that I knew he hadn't been in Incubus that whole time, and how I had grown to accept him as a legitimate member of my favorite band, etc., etc." Next was DJ Chris Kilmore. He was mega calm and friendly, and I told him it was cool to finally meet him. And then, it was time to meet Brandon... It was like when you wanna' go up to a girl/guy for the first time, 'cause you like them, but you have to retell yourself what you want to say to them. He looked over at me and said, "Hi! What's your name?" I replied, "Rick, and it's awesome to meet you, Brandon.", to which he quickly added an "aw, thanks." I continued, knowing time was slim, and I said, "Brandon, I've listened to you guys for ten years, man, and you're the one. You're the one, dude. -the one who made me wanna' be in a band and sing and write-" Then, he stretched a big smile and interrupted me to ask my bandname. I rolled my eyes, and mumbled "Midnight Buford", as I wasn't there to advertise my band to him; I was there to meet and thank him. I think he said somethin' back like "Ah, very cool." Then, we shook hands and I thanked him. This was as I realized Jose was introducing himself to me, without me acknowledging him. And this would have been a few months after his first child was born. I quickly rushed my hand out to shake his and say "nice to meet you." He seemed a little sad that he wasn't with his newborn, but I didn't get the chance to say "sorry you're not there with her right now" or anything. It was somewhere around this point that I realized I wanted to give Brandon some goggles that I had worn to the August 1st, 2007 show to hold on my glasses. But they looked like these sweet bug eyes or something, and honestly, I kinda' hoped Brandon would wear them for a second onstage or something. So, I was like "Oh, Brandon, I forgot to give you these goggles." And he looked at me with a slightly confused expression on his face and was like, "Why do I need goggles?" I responded, "in case someone throws something onstage while your singing." Remember, I was starstruck, so I said that instead of being like, "Wear these onstage, man!" But he was cool about it, saying, "Actually that does happen. Thanks!" Lastly, Mike reached out his hand and said, "Hey, I'm Mike." -very non-chalantly (sp?) calm and friendly. I shook his hand firmly, and said, "I know who you are, man; it's awesome to meet you." He smiled pretty good when I said that, and also thanked me for the support. It's amazing to be in that kind of situation on his end, rich, famous, able to make music and play shows as his job, and he's thanking me. It's like, no, dude..., thank you! They're all so humble, it's like they're not rockstars, not kings...; they're just 5 regular dudes in one kickass band. :) But anyhow, we got to take a picture with the band, and I was able to stand next to Brandon in it. It was just surreal.... The show night was hyperintense, because of meeting them. It made it more of an experience than the three shows I'd been to before that one. I was so happy, that towards the end of the show, a guy came drunkenly wandering from the pit area to the back (kinda' looked like a zombie), and he nods his head forward to puke and with his elbow, knocks off my glasses, which fly into his stream of vomit. But I met Incubus earlier that day. I saw where the glasses landed, cleaned them off on my shirt, and kept rocking out to the music. -wasn't even phased....
So, from hearing "Drive", to finding that I maybe loved "Stellar" and "Pardon Me" more than that first love that I found for Incubus, to seeing them the first time, and meeting them, and now getting ready for another Incubus release/inevitable tour..., I've loved them deeper than I've loved any person , and longer than most people I've loved. They've connected me to friends, and kept me out of trouble, and kept me sane and alive through my teenage years. They lured me down the path of music, where golden melodies act as the guiding light for the soles who long for smiles and internal freedom. They introduced me to the idea of occasionally smoking weed. They taught me how to absorb every different aspect of every seperate sliver of sound in music. They taught me to sing, and they taught me to love. And so these are the reasons that this band is my favorite band, and why I will love them until my heart kabubs it's last beat and flushes my body of breaths and my mind of thoughts. I love Incubus forever, and am proud to call myself a fan for the same amount of time. Cheers, fellow Incubus lovers, and share your stories too!!