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April 19, 2018

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Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd talks two-nighters, chaos and turning 40



Incubus performs at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel from Sept. 5-6, 2015, in Las Vegas.

2012MDW: Incubus at HRH's The Joint

Brandon Boyd and his band Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, May 25, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Artwork By Incubus’ Brandon Boyd

An installation of Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd's artwork. Launch slideshow »

Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel

Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Oct. 8, 2011. Launch slideshow »

California rockers Incubus, with charismatic frontman Brandon Boyd, rocks the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday and Sunday nights this Labor Day Weekend, but don’t expect two identical shows.

“Two different sets! Some crossover between the two … there is a lot of room for spontaneity when you have real people playing real instruments,” Boyd, 39, said.

Boyd, a singer, visual artist, author and philanthropist, answered questions via email ahead of the 2015 LDW gigs and talked about the chaos factor of live music, the secret of the band’s success, what he would tell someone entering the music industry today — and more.

What can Incubus fans expect from your back-to-back shows Sept. 5 and 6 at the Joint?

We now have a little legacy of two-nighters at the Joint in Las Vegas, and we’ve really come to love playing these back-to-back scenarios. Both nights will be a psychedelic, laser-beam-filled romp through our catalog. Playing songs from our oldest albums to the newest release, “Trust Fall Side A,” and everything in between.

Of course the thing we all love most about live music is the chaos factor. The shear fact that we are five humans playing instruments leaves room for a lot of events.

Do you plan to keep the two concerts similar, or are there planned changes (planning vs. spontaneity)?

Two different sets! Some crossover between the two, but, as mentioned before, there is a lot of room for spontaneity when you have real people playing real instruments.

Along with touring, what’s in the near future for Incubus? A new album after this year’s EPs?

We are spending this fall finishing Side B of the “Trust Fall” project. We have so many newbies written and recorded, but we’d like to use some of the lovely momentum we’ve generated on this tour to project into another handful of songs.

The plan is to have a new single out by the holidays and hopefully the new album by the start of 2016!

Incubus celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. Is there a standout or an especially memorable moment?

This band was formed in 1991, so next year we will be a quarter-century old. Does that earn us anything beyond the gray hairs I keep finding in my mustache?

What is one secret to Incubus’ success after 25 years?

After 25 years, I think the secret to our success is that we love what we do. We feel blessed to make art and music, and I think that love is channeled into our process. That and maybe the fact that we are blessed with so many amazing listeners and supporters.

You’re an accomplished visual artist and published author, and you’re philanthropic. What’s the latest on all three — art, writing and charity?

Our nonprofit, the Make Yourself Foundation, is celebrating its 12th year, and we’ve been doing cash grants to a handful of amazing causes this year. Two amazing documentaries that are absolute must-sees, we have helped off the ground.

One is called “Becoming Bulletproof,” and it’s incredible! I wrote the title track for it with producer Brendan O’Brien, and it’s called “Stem to the Rose.” Here is the trailer:

Becoming Bulletproof

The other doc we did a grant for is called “Kiss the Ground," and it’s still being made. But it addresses the dire state of our planet’s soil and how regenerating Earth’s soil can radically help reverse climate change.

Keep an eye out for both of these films, as they will definitely prove to be game changers!

Besides that, I’ve been writing feverishly for “Trust Fall Side B” and am so excited to share what we’ve been coming up with! Also painting and shooting photos like a madman. Working on my fourth art book and prepping for a couple of art shows.

I like to keep the floodgates open, as you can see.

You’re turning 40 next year. Are you freaking out at all?

Freaking out, but mostly in good ways. It’s been fun and kind of hilarious getting older, and I’ve been enjoying witnessing the changes in my Earth suit as I approach 40.

Any plans for new tattoos? How many do you have now?

I stopped counting long ago! But, yes, planning on continuing to decorate my canvas as I go along. There are some really unbelievable artists working now all over the world, and I’ve been so lucky to collect some of their work!

What advice would you give someone entering the music industry today?

I’d say that to fall in love with whichever musical medium you choose would be the best advice. Fall into an obsessive love, a love that demands all of your time and attention and one that you can effortlessly give. Music and art are the most rewarding when you surrender yourself to them fully!

You’re in Las Vegas for the first weekend in September — Labor Day Weekend. Anything on your must-do or –see list?

I was going to ask you that question. What should I definitely see? I’m not that clued in. I was thinking that I’d microdose myself and wander into the desert and go UFO watching.

Incubus is at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Don Chareunsy is the Las Vegas Sun’s entertainment and luxury senior editor and has been a journalist for nearly two decades.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous fame” has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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