The following is an imagined dialogue between me and the members of the band Incubus. Picture if you will a lovely meet and greet setting back stage or at HQlive, and somehow I have the good fortune to speak to each of them. It might go something like this:
How are you Ben? Wow, I’ve seen some of your solo work lately, and man you can do it all. You’re a multi-instrumentalist? And a genius at writing and composing your work? So you’re basically a one-man-band on your own, huh? Oh, and you were a member of the Roots? Cool. Well, I’ve taught two people how to drive a stick, and I choose all of my own clothes. And after I get dressed, I stand in front of the mirror and turn around really quick, and the first thing that catches my eye, I take it off.
Hello Brandon, so nice to meet you (shakes hand). So I understand you are a prolific and unbelievably talented song writer? And you are a gifted vocalist with amazing control and superb diction and phonetics? And you are a poet of the highest order? And your brilliant solo album is an expression of your active engagement with the problems of society and the world today through movingly intimate music and potent metaphoric imagery? That’s really wonderful because I really like to read, and my mother says I started talking really early (smiles proudly). I’m also very good at singing along when I play your music, if I do say so myself. Also, you know, artistically, whenever I buy socks, I get rid of all my other socks so I’m only wearing fresh ones.
And Chris, how do you do? Such a technical profession you are in. I mean, you are responsible for a lot of input to the sound of the band that comes from a variety of sources, your timing and musical sense must be impeccable. Talk about multi-tasking! Yet at the same time you are creating an artistic expression of great power that weaves its way throughout the soundscape of the other musicians? I can relate to that, sometimes I keep two windows of the internets open on my computer at once. That can be hard though if you’re trying to read or anything like that.
Oh, and Jose, how are you? I’m really impressed with your drumming ability. And you tell me that it’s a constant struggle to balance technique with strength? That injuries are common and have to be dealt with so that you can play for crowds of thousands? And stamina? Yes, playing like that for two hours must be very demanding. Well, I like to practice my balance by walking and talking on my cell phone at the same time. Sometimes I even try and dial the numbers, but that’s pretty rare, usually I have to stop to do that. And I try and stay in shape too. I have a set of those little weights at home, you know, the powder-coated ones? Well, not a set exactly, just the one pound ones but I’m getting the two pound ones soon.
Mike, it’s so nice to meet you! You’re one of the greatest guitar players EVER in the world? The emotional content of your playing makes your fans cry? You had to overcome a painfully chronic condition to be able to continue doing what you love the most? That’s cool. You know, I studied the French horn in school. Yeah, for about a week, then my dad forgot me and I waited three hours after practice for him to pick me up. I didn’t go back after that because I was afraid they were going to leave me there. (points to forehead and chuckles ruefully) Kids and their imaginations, you know?
Well guys, as a band you’ve travelled the world and experienced so many different cultures, all while bringing us your beautiful music, music which resonates in our hearts and helps us connect with others and feel like we are not alone. What’s really wonderful is that you’ve done it together. You’ve held on to relationships that sustain and nurture you and allow you to grow as people and as artists. You know I've had a similar experience, I had this dream once where I was a wizard in a blue cloak and a pointy hat, both with those shiny stars all over (I remember that part really well) and I could cast spells on people with my magic wand so that I could help them and make the world better. Then my cat walked over my face and I woke up.
So good luck on your tour, I'm sure it will be a great experience for everyone.
This has been such a pleasure. Nice meeting you all, and thank you for your time! (derp)