Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd joined Audacy host Nicole Alvarez for a special Check In today to discuss what he’s learned during the emergence of the pandemic, his new solo effort Echoes And Cocoons, and more.
Call it what you will; the arrival of COVID-19 has had a profound effect on every single one of our lives. Nicole prefers to call the last two years, “The Great Education.”
“I have never used the word ‘comorbidity’ before,” Brandon says. “It’s one of the handful of words that a lot of us have learned over this past two years during ‘The Great Education,’ I call it ‘The Great Unveiling.’ Because it was as if veils were being pulled away and we could see clear, and more clear… but it turns out there are an infinite number of veils -- and it’s turning into this dance.”
“The more naked we become, it gets scarier and scarier,” he adds. “But also in certain ways more beautiful because it’s revelatory and we’re learning things about each other that we never even thought we would ever learn, nor even wanted to learn. But I’m of the mind that more truth is better than less.”
With truth, Brandon believes, comes “the opportunity to make a more educated decision. The more you learn about not only yourself but then the people around you and the people that are in your life. It’s like, ‘oh we think differently.’ It’s either, ‘isn’t that fascinating, I never would have thought about it from that angle,’ or it’s like, ‘now I know that you’re not invited to Thanksgiving!’
The break in touring has given the singer time to learn more than how to navigate our new version of society. As evidenced in Brandon’s video background, his home is “part jungle and part human habitation,” as he says, an activity that he chose to cultivate while spending time off the road by growing his own food. “Going to the market, as you know, became like, a thing. It was the one time that I left my house during the lockdown, and it was always a little bit nerve-racking… I feel like the last two years on the dark side turned us all into full-blown hypochondriacs,” he admits.
The Incubus singer just shared his brand new solo single, "Pocket Knife," off of his upcoming solo release, Echoes And Cocoons -- his follow-up to 2013’s Sons Of The Sea -- this time helmed by GRAMMY-winning producer John Congleton.
Making that shift from frontman to solo artist could be a tricky discussion to have for some, but for Brandon and his Incubus bandmates who have “been married for 30 years,” Brandon knows they are at that stage of their marriage, “if there ever was an example of a successful polyamorous relationship, it is Incubus. We have many loves, each of us, and we’ve learned to embrace each other’s uniqueness as we exist in a band together but also we each have a deep desire to be kind of like mycelium and just grow outward. It all tends to lead back to source. Incubus for us, we’ve said it before, is like the mothership, or it’s the source, but everything else that tendrils out of that experience is in a lot of ways just as important… We’ve learned to create an environment that’s embracing of each other’s curiosities to go out and do new things.”
Regarding his upcoming collection of songs, Echoes And Cocoons, written and produced with Congleton, Boyd says he wasn’t even sure there would be a complete offering until writing a number of the tracks. “It was very much born of being ‘cocooned,’ so to speak, in our little collective cocoon that we were all in,” he explains, “and my reaction to most of the events in my personal life but also in a larger, societal, cultural sense… That’s just how I process my experience of being here.”
That inherent need to create, compounded with other people’s fears of going outside and a newfound love of Congleton’s work is what drove Brandon to look into a new solo project. “I slid into his DM’s,” he says, “and he wrote me back! It worked… it was pretty quick, I think. This album, ‘Echoes And Cocoons,’ was a game of musical telephone if there ever was one. Quite literally, we didn’t actually meet in person until after the record was mixed.”
“Under normal circumstances we would have gotten into a room together, but who’s to say under normal circumstances I would have even had that sequence of afternoons where I was deeply enamored by the music that he was making and wanting to reach out to him,” says Boyd. “It was super fun, super rewarding. When we actually did get together and had coffee, I think he jokingly said to me, ‘we should make a record in the same room together sometime.’ Which I hope to do, because this one’s really fun and different, and I love what working with him brought out of me as an artist.It’s definitely a different look for me.”
Brandon Boyd’s Echoes and Cocoons is scheduled for release in March of 2022. Check out his new single, “Pocket Knife,” and watch the full Audacy Check In with Brandon above. Plus, stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists, only on Audacy.com/Live.
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