Sometimes in life, there are people who catch your interest right away. Other times it’s hobbies, sports, friends, or even music. In this case, for me, there is a certain band that has been active for over 20 years that has always been my number one, no matter what. This band goes by the name of Incubus.
Entering my college years, I interned for their record label strictly so I could help market their band. Fast forward a few years later, I had the chance to interview them live on the radio station that I worked for, thanks to a special co-worker. Now, present day, four years later, I am back in the position of interviewing my favorite band on the planet, Incubus.
However, let’s not worry, I am not in fangirl status, for now working in a professional industry, I have even more respect for them professionally as I do personally. Incubus are one of those bands that survived the post-grunge scene of the late ’90s, and have remained relevant ever since. I believe part of the reason why is that they never really fit in a certain genre; they always had their own sound, and style, and it worked.
With a new EP under their belts, as well as a tour with Deftones coming our way, Incubus remain on the map, and on top of their game. Jose Pasillas, drummer for Incubus, recently took the time out of his busy schedule to chat with me about any and everything I felt like asking him (trust me, I could have kept him on the phone for hours, but I kept it to a more suitable timeframe). Check it out below:
Jose, it’s so nice to talk to you again. It’s been a while. Incubus has been a band for over 20 years, and I have been a fan for almost my whole life. How crazy does that sound?
My pleasure, Maria! It’s definitely crazy, we are all very grateful to be able to keep doing this.
I am sure you are, so let’s get right to it. You guys clearly have been keeping busy, with a new EP, Trust Fall (Side A), a tour, and so much more. How has the reaction to the new EP been thus far?
It’s been really great. I mean, we’ve only had a few chances to play the new songs live so far, since there are only four tracks, but people are loving it. And, of course, we have a lot of other records to attend to at live shows (laughs). We got a lot of great reaction online and such. It’s been great!
Awesome, it’s definitely different for you guys, but I feel like you always switch it up. Nowadays, there really isn’t a “right way” to release music. Did Incubus have any intentions of writing a record or did the EP just sort of “happen?”
Well, first off, you are absolutely right. There is no set way these days to release music. People don’t have the attention span to listen to full-length records anymore, and it’s definitely a singles industry now. So we figured, why not whatever we feel like?
Last summer we had the opportunity to record in some awesome space, so we decided to lay some stuff down. You know, there really weren’t any specific intentions; we weren’t sure if we were going to do a full-length or what, it sort of just happened.
Dare I ask about Side B?
We still aren’t sure (laughs). It could be a full-length; we will keep you all surprised! We will address that again after the tour.
Now, I want to compliment you, but make a point at the same time. Incubus is one of the survivors of that late ’90s music scene that always remained relevant, and you’ve evolved your sound several times. Did you ever find that to be a struggle? You know, keeping your music up with what is popular at the time?
Good question. I wouldn’t say it was ever a struggle, because honestly, we didn’t even fit in that music scene back then! We always had our own sound, and it was always different. The music we played, and are currently playing, never really fit into a “genre” per se, at all. We kind of are a blend of everything, so it’s easy for us to try new things as a band.
Our fans have always stuck with us, and they get why we do things. I mean, we’ve toured with bands like Black Sabbath and Pantera, and then bands like Young The Giant. So we are definitely all over the map.
You are hitting the road with Deftones this summer, hitting PNC Bank Arts Center Aug. 4. I will be front and center, but that is beside the point (laughs). I believe I saw you guys with them in the early 2000s. How did this tour come about again?
Yes, we did rock with them! It was so much fun then too, and it will be even better this time around. We were planning on putting packages together, nothing crazy at the time. Then we decided to put on a bigger production, and who better to do that with than Deftones? We are huge fans of them, and we know it will bring out some great crowds.
It really will. It’s been getting a ton of buzz! Is there anything you’d say you appreciate about touring now than you did 20 years ago?
Oh yes, there is a lot! First and foremost, the fact that we are still able to do this after all of this time, I really appreciate that. We are also lucky as a band that we don’t have to do this all of the time. We can go out on the road for a while, then come home and decompress, be normal for a while too. We are able to preserve the excitement at this point in our careers, because we have a lot of time off in between touring. I appreciate our fans more than ever who have always stuck by us too!
Absolutely, that makes us all very happy! Your fans have really grown with you; no matter what album you put out, people always show up. It has to be a great feeling. Now, one more question, on a personal note, Jose, as a very accomplished musician, is there anything in your career that you have yet to do, that is on your “list?”
Oh yeah! There is a lot actually. I’ve never played in Africa, I want to do that. India is another place; tons of places we still want to play live. Also, I want to collaborate more. We haven’t done much collaboration in our careers, so that would be pretty cool. I feel as if there is a lot of stuff we all still want to do, as Incubus, and we will!
Well, I hope you guys play and write music until you physically can’t anymore!
Me too, Maria. That’s the beauty of my job, in music. There is no end; there is no limit, no end point. We are just living it!
Well thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, tell the guys I will see them Aug. 4 at PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey!
See you there, thanks Maria!
Incubus will be playing with Deftones at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on Aug. 4, Nikon At Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY on Aug. 5, and Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ on Aug. 8. Their new EP, Trust Fall (Side A), is available now through Island Records. For more information, go to incubushq.com.