(ABCNEWS.com) — Incubus follows up their hit single "Drive" with a new album, recorded as lead singer Brandon Boyd suffered a "heart-wrenching" split. The group talks about the recording and the need for music in a time of war.
You might have seen Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd on the cover of Spin — and you might also soon see him at a New York record shop, buying copies of his band's new album.
After a 10-year climb to the upper echelons of the pop chart, Boyd won't take anything for granted as he promotes his new album, the confessional Morning View. He says he's going to "walk into Tower Records" and pick up five copies, if only to keep record clerks on their toes.
"We are a slow-growth band," said Boyd, who thinks that situation is "ideal," and has helped them deal with the larger fame that other groups like Limp Bizkit and Korn seemed to grab more quickly.
Boyd and other band members spoke with ABCNEWS.com from Manhattan's Sony Studios, where they are giving a free radio concert to celebrate their new release.
Incubus seems poised for major stardom. "Pardon Me," and then "Drive" this summer became radio hits after the album Make Yourself was released. Members of the group met in school and have been performing together since, formulating their version of modern rock by mixing trip-hop with hard guitar riffs.
Last winter, Incubus set up shop in a house in Malibu to write their latest offering.
"I guess a bunch of young guys in a rock band living in this big mansion in Malibu sounds like a recipe for disaster," said guitarist Mike Einziger. He says while there was some "partying," they remained focused.
Singing About Tough Love Although with bitter breakup lyrics, you wouldn't realize this was recorded at the beach. The album kicks off with the hard-rocking song "Goodbye," a harsh farewell to a relationship gone bad, followed by "Circles," which contemplates the fate of a spurned romance.
"I did go through a rather a heart-wrenching split of sorts during the making of the record," said Boyd. "So you can tell certain songs that are leaning more towards that in their content."
Boyd is shy on the details of the romance, but says writing about the situation helped him figure out what had happened. The song "Just a Phase" reminds one how temporary an emotion can be.
The album turns hopeful on quieter tracks, written when Boyd says he was feeling "new again" and reached a place of clarity about his romance. Another standout, the song "Warning," he wrote from the perspective of a female who realizes life has passed her by.
"It's a little story about somebody that I knew, and I think we all have the ability to be that way. We sort of wait for life to happen to us as opposed to being instrumental in making things happen."
The song encourages the girl to run out, flirt, and rediscover life. Guitarist Mike Einziger explains it's part of their goal to offer positive messages giving fans a sort of "self-help rock."
The rock songs are mixed with the handiwork of DJ Kilmore, who was willing to tone down his scratch work for this album. "We wanted to really concentrate on the songwriting and Brandon as a vocalist," said Kilmore.
"The guy can sing, you know, and he comes up with really creative melody lines, and we really wanted to focus on that."
Boyd's female fans may focus more on his good looks, but he insists he's not pandering to that when he takes his shirt off on stage or in videos. That's his way of feeling comfortable, which makes sense considering he grew up on the beach.
"Perfect Time" for Music to Be Out While some bands are reconsidering tour dates, given the current political climate, Incubus knew they could not hold up their fall tour plans or album release.
"It's the perfect time for music to be a focal point," said Boyd. "Music is a form of rebellion."
And they gave New York fans the chance to rant and rebel just days after the attack, when the group went ahead with a planned concert.
"[The attackers] want everything to shut down," said Boyd. "They want everything that they know to be our ideals and our standards to be short cutted, and by us putting out the records, we're going, 'no, that's not how it works.'"
Kilmore said the attack made him even more grateful to have the chance to perform and do what he loves. The band is also hopeful their songs will help people heal.
"I think our music would maybe inject some positivity in this weird time," said Einziger. "Because all of our music pretty much is tinged with hope."
— Nancy Chandross