From now on, I’m only going to smoke after classes, never before (except for before film studies).
please fucking read this thank you
SHARKS and TROPHIC CASCADES
What Happens When Sharks Disappear?
Infographics by Lily Williams
Even worse: Humboldt squid will overpopulate. And they learn what to eat through trial and error. They are even known to attack and seriously harm divers. [x]
Protect your Ocean.
sharks are fucking important
Also sharks are lovely
We need sharks in the world okay <3
Tue 23rd Sep, 2014
Incubus will return to Australia to play Soundwave in 2015. Ahead of their visit singer Brandon Boyd speaks to DAVID SWAN about the band’s “wild” new record, why his musical Jesus Christ Superstar really got cancelled, and why he is a “glass half full” kind of guy.
There are musicians that just belong in a certain place: The Ramones down a New York back alley; Led Zeppelin in the misty mountains; David Bowie in space. And it is safe to say that the eternally chilled Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd belongs on a sun-kissed beach atop a surfboard. Laidback, charismatic and seemingly without a care in the world, the singer was at absolute ease when chatting with FL about why his band’s forthcoming album feels like a “reboot” and what fans can expect from Incubus’ first Australian shows since 2012.
What can you tell me about the new album, how’s it coming along?
It’s going really well, we’re still in what I guess you could call the writing process, and we just started about three weeks ago. It’s amazing so far. We set up a studio and we’ve got everything sounding good. We just hit record and record all the ideas, and there’s tons of music coming out, it’s very wild some of it. It’s like there was stuff there waiting in the pipeline or something. Actually we were commenting just now on how our brains feel delightfully overloaded with ideas. So we’re just kind of sifting and jamming and cheer-leading and doing all this stuff, it’s a really fun part of the process, the writing.
Where are you recording it, is it somewhere you’ve recorded before or a new setup?
It’s a new setup. We were really blessed actually to come into a new studio space, out of Los Angeles, and it kind of came unexpectedly. It showed up right around the same time we got the offer to come and play Soundwave down in Australia, with Faith No More and Soundgarden. We said yes to that, and then thought “Well, we should probably get a studio and knock the dust off of our chops”. So we arranged some studio space – it’s a great space, and the setup in there was inspiring so we thought, “Well we should probably just write music until we have to start rehearsing”. And then that quickly became “Let’s make a record!” Everything started spilling over like dominoes. It’s been moving really, really quickly, which is a good thing. It’s indicative of a flow, you know?
In terms of that flow, do you have any themes or vibes coming out of what you’re doing?
I don’t think any real decisive theme has emerged yet, in the music, other than there’s a general air of excitement among all of us in the band. Which has – for lots of reasons that I’ll get into in a minute – led to this [record] feeling kind of like we’re getting to do a reboot. We’ve been a band for almost 24 years and this is the first time we’ve been without a record label, without a manager, without a publisher. We’re about as “back to square one” as you could possibly be, especially for a band like us that has been around for this long and toured the world and stuff like that. So it’s exciting for us to be back in the woods again, and I think that the music that’s coming out is indicative of that excitement. It feels like a reboot, and everybody’s really ripe with ideas and overflowing with ideas. It’s the first time we’ve gotten in a room together to collaborate for years. It’s fun; I’m having a really good time.
“I’m definitely a glass half full kind of dude”
Did you feel weighed down previously by the record label and expectations, and the fact you’d been a band for so long?
It’s interesting, because when we were in it, we were signed to our label for about 17 years and we did seven albums under that contract. I think we probably got used to a general sense of expectation and a general pressure, which probably most bands can attest to, bands that are handing in albums to a major label and hoping to have exposure. There’s a low-level anxiety that tends to permeate all things you do, and you get used to it. I’d really stopped being aware of it at a certain point, because you get used to it. And now we’re without all of those things, that’s what feels so nice about this position we’re in right now. There’s definitely an expectation, but it’s mostly from our long-time listeners and what we’re putting on ourselves. And that’s definitely manageable, and there’s not necessarily an anxiousness attached to it. It’s more of an excitement than anything.
Do you see yourselves self-releasing or do you think you’ll shop it around?
We’re talking to a couple of labels, kind of casually, and we don’t really know exactly what we’re going to do. We’re just going to make this album, and do all that stuff on our own – which is largely what we know how to do anyway, and then worry about the marketing and the promotion and all of those things, the necessary evils, after the fact.
Will Brendan [O’Brien] be back on board to produce?
I have no idea. At this point no, I think we’re producing the record on our own as a band [and] we don’t know who’s going to mix it yet though, or remix it. We’re definitely open to lots of different possibilities.
What timeline are you looking at for putting out the new album?
We’re going to start recording over the next couple of weeks, actually tracking songs. We have so much material; we’re just going to start carving away at it and recording bits. Our hope is to have some material available to steal before we actually come to Australia, so when we perform new songs down there, they won’t be totally unfamiliar to people. And wow, saying that out loud… It’s like “whoa, that’s coming up!” There’s a lot of work to do. But it’s what we do.
Will the sense of a “reboot” play into the Soundwave shows and the way you configure your set lists, for example?
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I can say coming into this process, having not been on the road for a long time, we’ll inevitably be approaching this tour with fresh eyes, and with high hopes. We’ll come into it knowing we’ll play a bunch of stuff, I mean any Incubus set wouldn’t be without certain songs, some of those things we’ve come to understand and be completely cool with. It’s a lot of fun to play songs like ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Nice to Know You’ and ‘Anna Molly’, and these songs that have really helped us become the band that we are. But we’re also interested in playing some new music, and playing some old music we haven’t touched in a long time. The whole point I think of the live show is it takes the listener on some kind of psychedelic journey. So we’ll keep that as the square one.
The Soundwave lineup is pretty massive obviously. what’s the politics between t bands like on these big festivals? Do you just hang out with everyone? Or are there different groups going on?
I know there are a tonne of bands playing, and I’m not familiar with quite a few of them so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing some of these bands that I’m not as aware of. But as far as Faith No More and Soundgarden … playing with those bands? I may have shit my pants a little bit [when I found out we’d be playing with them]. The offer to do that came through, and both of those bands are two bands that made me want to be in a band. I know Chris [Cornell] from Audioslave because we toured with them in 2003 and I’m very much looking forward to seeing him. I’ve never actually seen Soundgarden play. Wait, I have actually! I saw them at Lollapalooza when I was 15. Wow. So it’ll be a long time coming. Faith No More I’ve seen a handful of times on European festivals and at Coachella a couple of years ago, and I know Mike [Patton] from touring with Mr Bungle. And I know Mike Bordin, the drummer, from touring with Ozzy [Osbourne]. So I do know quite a few of the guys just from touring and stuff, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing all of them.
“I realised how much my name is something that is attached to Incubus”
With regards to your Sons of the Sea solo album last year, would it have done better commercially if you’d released it under your own name?
You know, I have no idea. It’s really hard to say. I know that during the short period of time I did some shows in the States with Sons of the Sea, unbeknown to me – I’d find out when I’d get to the venue- the venue would put up in the marquee “Brandon Boyd with Sons of the Sea”. And I’d go “What? This is a different thing”. And I started to understand, perhaps a little bit late, how it wanted to be perceived. And there’s a little bit of part of me as an artist that wants to have some semblance of control over the way things go out, but you can never really fully control the way that people digest it or want to digest certain things. Especially new things from established artists. In terms of what I hoped for it, it made sense, and I would love to keep doing Sons of the Sea stuff and have it just be something else. I realised how much my name is something that is attached to Incubus, so I knew I needed to create a different moniker to perform under if it was going to be looked at aside from Incubus, and not as a quote-unquote “Incubus side project”. These are good problems to have [laughs].
What led to the cancellation of the Jesus Christ Superstar musical you were set to perform in?
Oh, god. The official explanation was that it had poor ticket sales. And so I guess that’s the quote-unquote “official explanation”. Why were there poor ticket sales? We will probably never know. I know that from where I was sitting, and for a lot of the cast, there was really, really a lack of promotional activity. All of us in the cast come from varied musical backgrounds but we’re all used to the process of going on a promo spree before you go and do a major tour. And there was nothing like that. So we were all a bit like “Wow, they must really have this one nailed down, if we’re not doing any promo”. And then they cancelled it and it was like “Well what the fuck did you think was going to happen, if we haven’t even been talking about it?”
All I know is it was an amazing experience, just to learn a different type of music so intimately as I did, and making sure I got it right. I learned it like the back of my hand, with the sheer number of rehearsals with the director and the cast members and the musical director. And that experience was amazing. So I definitely could see myself operating in different musical territories as a result of just doing a week of rehearsal with this. We were definitely disappointed, but not being on that tour opened up a lot of other possibilities. Like, Incubus started writing a new record. And I got to go surf in Bali, which I’ve never been able to do before. I’m definitely a glass half full kind of dude. So it was kind of a bum out, for like 10 days afterwards I was really bummed out and depressed and then I was like “You know what, life is beautiful, and there are lots of beautiful things to concentrate on”. So here I am.
Read more at http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/features/40580/Incubus-Why-we-have-gone-back-to-square-one#JTxKuIeQ6tE12uXv.99