Incubus is five musicians from Calabasas, California, a semi-rural bedroom community north of Los Angeles who began playing music together out of natural friendship. Vocalist and percussionist Brandon Boyd and drummer Jose Pasillas went to elementary school together. In middle school, they met guitarist Mike Einziger, who spent most of his time playing guitar in his bedroom; then, in high school, the trio became friends with bassist Alex Katunich, who was playing in a jazz band. In 1991, in the 10th grade and still too young to drive, the four friends decided to form a band simply because they loved music, from Primus and Rage Against the Machine to Ella Fitzgerald and Santana to S teve Vai and Iron Maiden. It was a big day when the oldest, Brandon, turned 16 and got his driver's license. Within a year of their earliest party gigs, Incubus were playing all-ages clubs in the San Fernando Valley and at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip, thanks to a hundred dollar bill Mike found on the ground. "That's when you had to buy tickets and sell them in order to play the Strip. That day I went to the Roxy, bought the tickets, booked the show, and then we sold all of them." The band's tireless self-promotion expanded its audience from high-school friends to fans from across the Valley and Hollywood. In 1995, DJ Lyfe saw Incubus play live and asked if Incubus would be interested in using some of his hip-hop tracks. Lyfe joined full-time after one rehearsal. "We didn't want the turntable to sound like somebody scratching a snare drum, like it sounds on a lot of rap records," explains Mike. "We wanted it to be more of an instrument with its own sounds, like that of a keyboard player or another guitar player." "As a rapper, Lyfe is very rooted in hip-hop," adds Brandon. "But since he learned to spin discs with a live band, Incubus, rather than with pre-recorded music, he's got a different approach." Incubus' unusual amalgamation of styles and high-energy shows, combined with its growing fan base, turned label heads and put the band in the enviable (although somewhat embar- rassing) position of a bidding war. Immortal Records emerged the winner by understanding that Incubus is a touring live band, not an out-of-the-box, hit-single sensation, and intent on building its following from the ground up. With this strategy in mind, in January '97 the quintet released the EP Enjoy Incubus (containing six remixed songs previously recorded as demos) and completed several mini-tours in support of it. During this period, Incubus perfected the new songs for their full-length debut, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. "Our album is called S.C.I.E.N.C.E. because we wer e able to experiment," notes Mike. "We were able to take our time and get everything to sound the way we wanted it to -- weird science and energetic funk." The band again enlisted producer Jim Wirt, who produced their early demos: "He helps us come up with strange stuff and he likes it when we do. He doesn't try to change what we do, he tries to enhance it." In six weeks at 4th Street Recording, using "old analog gear with phat sounds and spider webs," Incubus recorded the twelve tracks of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. with the traditional bass, guitar, drums and vocals along with turntables, didjeridu, djembe, and…well, other things. "We found out what it's like to actually plug a phaser pedal into the wall while it's on," explains Brandon. "It sounds like a laser gun, and that's the first sound you hear in 'Nebula.' And we used these walkie-talkies for children that have this Slinky-like coil between them. When you talk through them and hit the coil, it makes this natural reverb, like talking in another dimension." The lyrics, all penned by Brandon, carry an underlying positive theme through stories of space, relationships and socio-political issues. His beliefs are expressed most strongly in "Redefine," New Skin" and "My Favorite Things." "'Redefine' is about the creation of your own reality and your own world. The metaphor I used was humans being like Magic Markers. For so long, they painted black and white pictures in their life because that's all they thought they could do. But they can paint with a different color and make a very vibrant and beautiful picture if they take control." "In 'New Skin,' I attribute a scab to the present state of society. The way the scab looks in its worst state is gross and chaotic and horrible, that's now, but when it breaks away, there's a brand new piece of skin that's stronger than before. It's like creation out of chaos. "'My Favorite Things' is my personal beliefs about religion and how it oppresses the thi ngs I enjoy the most. Unfortunately, the simplest things, such as thinking for myself, creating my own reality and being whatever the hell I want to be each day of my life, are a sin. To be a good Christian basically means to give up the reigns of your life and let some unseen force do it for you." Incubus has already taken their new songs on the road: A 1997 European tour supporting Immortal labelmates Korn was capped by a show for more than 5,000 fans in Paris. Brandon: "We had never played in front of a crowd that big, and the response we got far exceeded any response we've ever gotten. To play in front of a crowd that has no idea who you are, and then you start playing and they understand the energy of it and start freaking out, it's quite an experience." Even so, Incubus is aware that there will always be those ready to criticize. No matter: "People are real quick to put labels on music, so I'm sure they're going to do that with us. But we think we're doing something cool, and judging from the responses that we've gotten from all over the world, others do too," surmises Brandon. "We have the music gods on our side." 07/16/1997 04:41 -by- D .......i swiped this from the epic page