Ultimate Incubus Source


Here is what Brandon had to say about the meanings of several Incubus songs.

INCUBUS:   (Latin for "nightmare") In medieval European folklore, the incubus is a male demon (or evil spirit) who visits women in their sleep to lie with them in ghostly sexual intercourse.

When asked why they named the band Incubus,
Mike: Because it is a silly sounding word.
Brandon: Because we were 15 and we had to think of a name in a short amount of time. The definition had sex in it, and being 15, we were like, "Cool!"

Lyrically speaking I know that there were a lot of things going on in and around the world and there were some very specific people in my mind coming dangerously close to having megolomaniacle tendancies and so I did my best to write those thoughts down. 

That song is sort of covering the idea that there is a very strong tendancy for certain media outlets to try and keep us afraid as to keep us consuming and docile and pliable, so to speak. I think it captures that feeling that we don't want to stay indoors, and that even though we're sort of sometimes being forced to, or forced to feel like we have to, you don't necissarilly have to.

Talk Shows On Mute
I was on an airplane last year when a talk show began playing on the TVs. I decided to start narrating for the people, which is a really great game if you're ever bored enough. I realized a time will probably come when television will watch us if we're watching it, if that hasn't already happened, figuratively or literally. It sounded like some sort of pseudo-Big Brother nightmare, so I wrote it down.

That song is written in second and a half person. Lyrically, I stepped into what in my mind was what somebody else was trying to say at a very specific situation and couldn't say, so I basically stepped into their voice and said it for them. And that's all I can really say...

Wish You Were Here
A simple and straightforward ditty about the beauty of a moment in paradise. And the desire to share that moment with someone of like mind.

Nice To Know You
I had a moment in my life about a year ago where I was way too close to everything that was going on and I was blind, I felt like I was asleep. And the clouds parted for kind of a strange reason and I gained perspective. What happened was my hand had fallen asleep on the airplane on the way to Europe and it remained asleep for about 10 days, which was kind of scary. I must have pinched a nerve or something. But as my hand started waking up, the clouds started breaking away from that emotional state as well. The two happened simultaneously, so I created a simple metaphor for it. So it's basically a song about gaining perspective on a situation.

Tells a small story about a person who has the world at the tips of her fingers but through the art of distraction and compromise she wakes up one day to find that it has slipped by her. And the information she gains from her mistake she shares in song with the rest of the world. Kind of a 'don't do what i did' lamentation.

Just a Phase
ocuments how fickle the world can be and how the only certainty that exists is that everything eventually runs it's course. Keeping this in mind and trying not to get too cynical, it points out the blessing in disguise that is 'Temporaryism' and how it can be a door that swings both ways.

Aqueous Transmission
Perhaps our most ambitious work to date, was first conceived with an instrument quite alien to Incubus and all of rock music to be precise. A 'Ko-kyu' is what was used here and it was donated by a very generous and talented man by the name of Steve Vai. One late evening we began conjuring and experimenting with this track and it quickly brought to mind the image and analogy of floating freely down a river; hence the content of the song. Our friend Suzi Katayama, who has in the past worked string arrangements with the likes of Bjork, Madonna and even yours truly for an acoustic performance in L.A., lent her classical finesse to this story. And in doing so helped it become exactly what we envisioned; a song so atmospheric and vibratory, it would make those who listened to it doze off into a land of rivers, kung fu and unicorns, eventually making the listener pee in her/his pants. (Attainable goals I think, but please don't operate any heavy machinery while listening to this one.)

Nowhere Fast
We've been exploring drum-'n'-bass here and there on stage, playing little improvisational ditties in between real songs from the records. José would start playing a drum-'n'-bass he'd made up, I'd play my didgeridoo to it, and songs started forming out of live things like that. That's how "Nowhere Fast" was written, through improvisational live jams.

The lyrics were inspired by my lover, Joan English girl I met in France. It's about love as a transcendental feeling, like free-floating in outer space. It's kind of a traditional song in that way.

The lyric is basically about fear, about being driven all your life by it and making decisions from fear. It's about imagining what life would be like if you didn't live it that way.

Battlestar Scralatchtica
We have two guest turntablists on this one, DJ Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark. They're from Jurassic 5, a West Coast hiphop group, very good--amazing, in fact. They're friends of DJ Kilmore and this track is a three-way DJ battle. I don't know who wins, but we'd love to recreate it on stage if we ever get the opportunity.

Pardon Me
I was in a bookstore, browsing through an old Life magazine, when I saw a picture of what the article called spontaneous human combustion. There were an old guy's legs and shoes, perfectly intact...then, right around his knee area, was just a pile of charred ashes. I was going through some turmoil in my life, both good and bad, and the image struck a chord, so...I wrote a song about it.

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.

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.

Idiot Box
Idiot Box is about TV culture. "Television, isn't good for your brain. In the song, I fantasized about a world without TV."

Favorite Things
Favorite things is my personal beliefs about religion and how it oppresses the things 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.