"(Art)... rescues us from our self chosen triviality, to which we are so prone. It is like a deep organ note that makes my hair stir and a shiver run through me. I 'pull back' from life, like a camera taking a long shot with a wide angle lens. I quite simply become aware of more reality than before."
When I first read this quote, it truly affected me. I felt like someone had finally spoken an iota of truth about creativity and the process it allows to both the creator and the observer. It helped certainties that I have held dear for so long, resonate even deeper within me. And it inevitably made me muse about what we do as a band and group of friends who come together and through a symbiotic chaos of sorts make art and sound. The gratitude I and my friends feel is beyond measure. Gratitude for the experience itself and gratitude to the people who have lent us their attention, if even for three and half minutes.
Now on our sixth album, we (Incubus) have been writing music together long enough that there is a sense of perspective available that has only come to us with time. Some of our earlier works, though pure and even fun at times, lent to a sense of disorganization; a readily apparent lack of focus in my opinion. I have always said, "Yeah, we suck...but we're really good at it!" Light Grenades is a very new perspective for Incubus. Working, once again, with Super Producer, 'Brendan O'Brien', we spent more time crafting, and sculpting these songs than we ever have historically. Every album we had ever made was written in eight weeks and recorded in eight weeks. A long time by some standards, but alarmingly brief by most. It's not that we were rushed, we just like working quickly. We wrote twenty-something songs during this sitting. Like proof readers on meth, we devoured songs and only let them live if they excited, surprised and inspired us all! In a nut shell, it took about a year.
"Dig" was toiled over the most I remember because it is the kind of song that is completely new to us. Structurally, integrally, and fundamentally different. And thank- fucking- God. Lyrically, it's a nod to camaraderie. And without pepperin' ya'lls interpretation of it too much, it speaks to the importance of forgiveness and compassion. Little alien concepts that some choose to toy with on occasion. "A Kiss to Send Us Off" shows Incubus in our most primal incarnation. It floors you but simultaneously leaves you thinking. But seriously, that song puts my balls in a vacuum cleaner hose and turns the power to 12. It hurts sometimes, but it leaves my balls satisfied and clean. Think about THAT!
"Anna-Molly" delivers a similar push but has a far more sophisticated bent, in that it rocks, but conjures imagery of a girl that I can see in my minds eye but most likely doesn't exist. Therefore being a bit of an anomaly. I guess that is relatively sophisticated...right? Fuck. I actually hate trying to explain what these or any of our songs mean! And it's really not fair for me to condescend to do that in the first place. If you care to, let them be about whatever you want. Our single, "Megalomaniac" from our last album A Crow Left of the Murder was interpreted in ways that I never intended. It wasn't far from home base, but was nowhere near as case specific as it seemed. Which is fine with us. Good! Think of it what you will. And for doG's sake, start your own band!
While home over the past two years, we had a chance to unpack for the first time in almost a decade. Isn't it interesting that to so many people we are a new band, while we have been writing music together, for better or worse, for fifteen years now. Coming home in November of 2004 was an important decision. Not only were we road weary and dried up, but each one of us in his own way needed to step back from the monster that we had created and re-access what had transpired.
Michael Einziger, in his down time, wrote original music for a surf documentary entitled 'Flow' (Directed by Josh Landon) and was nominated at XDance film festival for best original score. I peed on the same tree as well, but lent my speaking voice to narrate the story of said documentary. And yes, I sounded fucking sexy. Michael also lent his producing skills to his brother's band, Agent Sparks, and is also currently involved with the scores of several motion pictures. I have been feverishly working on the follow up to my self published book entitled, 'White Fluffy Clouds', and expect the newbie to be available for criticism by December of 2006. 'From the Murks of the Sultry Abyss' is a compendium of images both real and unreal; painted, photographed, scratched and typed.
Jose Pasillas has been exploring his love of art in mixed mediums from canvas, to computer and everything in between. And by day he happily frolics through the grasslands of his hometown with his two feline friends. (Total hippy.) DJ Chris Kilmore spent the past few years expanding upon his already stellar reputation as a world class DJ by learning and incorporating a bevy of new instruments into our fold. Turntables, the Theremin, and Moog keys have been creeping into our collective via Chris for some time. But the Guitar-o-phone, Mellotron, Fender Roads, and the kitchen sink are welcomed surprises! Thanks Kil. Ben Kenney has been writing music and performing with his side project, 'The Division Group', and produced the latest album from a young band called 'The Smyrk'.
All this and we still managed to conceive and carry out what I believe to be our most worthy album to date. If ever asked which album I preferred personally in our arsenal of sound, I would invariably tell you that I most liked whatever was the latest. But this time, I really mean it!
I think I can speak for my band when I say that we are interested in movement, experimentation and freedom. Being in this band has allowed us the freedom to move in and around other artistic endeavors. Like meandering streams we each wandered off over the past two years; only to be drawn unconsciously back to the ocean where all streams converge. And thus composed Light Grenades, our sixth studio album.
What I am getting at (sort of) is that art has rescued us in many ways. Through circumstance, chance, good fortune, a teeny, weeny bit of talent and an ardor for expressivity, Incubus has survived long enough to garnish a perspective onto itself. "Like a camera taking a long shot with a wide angle lens," we conjured Light Grenades; a forty-seven and some odd seconds long bulbous mass of sound and intention captured on tape. 'Light Grenades' that explode with consciousness, light, art and mind. If you enjoy it, we thank you. If not? Then my dog is French and he already pooped under your pillow.