and In­cubus take us in­side their clas­sic, Make Your­self

HOW A BUNCH OF CALIFORNIA BUMS GOT PLUCKED FROM OB­SCU­RITY TO ADD A TOUCH OF CLASS TO NU-METAL

Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents -

When In­cubus re­leased Make Your­self in 1999, the world of heav­ily-am­pli­fied rock mu­sic stood on shift­ing sands. The tem­plate of songs all of which fea­tured a gui­tar solo was, for the first time in the genre’s his­tory, markedly out of vogue; into this vacuum flooded all man­ner of strange things: hip-hop verses, down-tuned guitars, DJS, turnta­bles, and God knows what else. The name given to this new school was nu­metal, a catch-all term that suited In­cubus not very well at all.what did suit the Los An­ge­les band well, how­ever, was the cre­ative space in which they were sud­denly free to ex­press them­selves, a pe­riod of time that co­in­cided with the re­lease of Make Your­self, the first point in the group’s his­tory where their song­writ­ing skills blos­somed to the fore. In other words, this was the point that light­ning was cap­tured in a bot­tle.

More in tune with the ge­nius of california eclec­ti­cists Faith no More – who would his­tor­i­cally be blamed for in­spir­ing the genre – than many of In­cubus’ bag­gytrousered con­tem­po­raries, Make Your­self went on to sell more than two-mil­lion copies in the united states alone, and made their highly-pho­to­genic front­man brandon boyd a poster boy for the new al­ter­na­tive gen­er­a­tion. here, he tells us the story of how it all hap­pened.

MAKE YOUR­SELF WAS SEEN AS A THINK­ING PER­SON’S NU-METAL AL­BUM. HOW DID THAT SIT WITH YOU?

BRANDON BOYD (VO­CALS):“I don’t think that it’s news to any of your read­ers, but the term nu-metal al­ways made me cringe. It still makes me cringe a lit­tle bit. There are some bands that shall re­main un­men­tioned that, to me, fit that moniker very suc­cess­fully. but one of the rea­sons it made me cringe, aside from some of the mu­sic that it was de­scrib­ing, was that some­how our band oc­ca­sion­ally got lumped in with some of those bands. They were bands that we had noth­ing in com­mon with ex­cept for an electric gui­tar. but we can’t re­ally con­trol these things, so it’s some­thing that I’ve lov­ingly let go of. but the mu­sic press that re­ally lis­tened to what it is we were do­ing on that al­bum never ap­plied the term nu-metal to us, and those that did were just be­ing lazy. so ‘the think­ing per­son’s nu-metal’ is re­ally only a phrase that I like the first part of!”

WERE YOU AWARE THAT MAIN­STREAM ROCK MU­SIC AT THE TIME EN­JOYED GREATER SCOPE FOR IN­NO­VA­TION THAN IT HAD IN THE PAST?

“hmmm, aware.we just sort of, you know, go for it. but at the time we were chan­nelling tons of in­flu­ences – not just our orig­i­nal in­flu­ences of Primus and Rage Against The Ma­chine and Red hot chili Pep­pers and bands like that but also stuff we were hear­ing at fes­ti­vals, drum’n’bass stuff, and peo­ple like björk. so we were shov­el­ling that into our sound, both con­sciously and un­con­sciously.and al­though we have a cou­ple of songs that do fea­ture gra­tu­itous gui­tar so­los, that was never part of our mu­si­cal tem­plate, so we’ve al­ways had the free­dom to write how we like in that sense.”

MAKE YOUR­SELF EN­JOYED ENOR­MOUS COM­MER­CIAL SUC­CESS. DID YOU EN­JOY BE­COM­ING FA­MOUS FOR YOUR MU­SIC?

“It was fun, but also strange.there was a cer­tain amount of pres­sure to re­peat that suc­cess. I re­mem­ber for the first time be­ing aware of the amount of eyes and ears that were on us.and that was ex­cit­ing, but also there was noth­ing that could re­ally pre­pare you for that. so there was a learn­ing curve in be­ing aware of that level of at­ten­tion on our band. Over the years we’ve got­ten used to that, but then again you can re­ally get used to that level of at­ten­tion.”

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