Brandon Boyd On Incubus Being Lumped In With Nü-Metal: “I’ve Never Heard That In Our Music Myself”


Multi-platinum alternative rock outfit Incubus have long had a complicated relationship with the legacy of their early output. Before heading for more commercially favorable pastures with 1999’s, ahem, redefining “Make Yourself“, the group’s material pinballed amid funk, rap and alternative metal influences—a hybrid that came to be more commonly known as ‘nü-metal.’

While their 1995 debut “Fungus Amongus” and 1997’s “Enjoy Incubus” helped Incubus build a name for themselves while championing that eclectic blend, it was their major label full-length debut, the gold-certified “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.“, that truly put them on the map.

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That album, which led the band to touring with Korn, 311 and even stints on the 1998 ‘Ozzfest‘ and ‘Family Values Tour‘, truly primed them for the success that would follow. Given the company they kept on the road at the time, it was no surprise that Incubus got lumped in with the then burgeoning nü-metal scene.

The band’s vocalist Brandon Boyd has spoken previously about how they also never truly embraced that association, telling Kerrang! back in 2019:

“It felt a little strange to be associated with some of the bands around that time who were very deeply misogynistic in their content and vibrationally kind of violent. It never felt like we were of the same ilk. So for years it hurt our feelings that we were associated with so many of these bands who we felt we had no relationship with or similarity to.”

In a new retrospective on “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” available in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, Boyd stated that his band’s inclusion in the genre was never wholly intentional. He had the following to say about being lumped into the genre and its legacy:

“I thought it was terrible. I know a lot of people love it, but being called ‘nu metal’ kinda hurt my feelings. If we made one record that fits into that genre, so be it, but I’ve never heard that in our music myself.”

He continued:

“We weren’t trying to fit into a particular niche at a particular time. We were just kids being influenced by a small handful of bands that we grew up with. Just to name a few: Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr. Bungle, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Firehose…”

Back in 2017, Boyd admitted to Spin that much like Deftones did with their career-defining 2000 album “White Pony“, he and his bandmates were intent on not being pigeonholed into nü-metal going forward.

He stated to that publication that Incubusknowingly rebelled against “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.‘ with their future output, stating at the time that they were “desperately trying to shake off the identity it had created around us.”

While “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” did produce a number of perennial set staples, in that same discussion with Spin, Boyd also explained that the group have consciously avoided playing a number of tracks from that record since, labeling them as being “terrible.”

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