If you ever meet Incubus, do not call them nu metal. Not only is it a point of contention for the band, it downright hurts their feelings.
In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd opened up about just how not into that categorization he is.
“I thought it was terrible. I know a lot of people love it, but being called ‘nu metal’ kinda hurt my feelings. If we made one record that fits into that genre, so be it, but I’ve never heard that in our music myself.”
Boyd makes reference to one of their best-known records, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., and arguably the first to get mainstream attention. In the interview, he admits to having certain tropes in their music that are particular to nu metal. Funky beats, rap, record scratching, and heavy guitars, sure. But adding them up does not, in his mind, equate to nu metal.
“We weren’t trying to fit into a particular niche at a particular time. We were just kids being influenced by a small handful of bands that we grew up with. Just to name a few: Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr. Bungle, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Firehose…”
However, Boyd also makes it clear that this doesn’t mean he hates nu metal folks, just that he himself is not one. He recalls getting emotional support from Korn while playing shows together.
“They would see us limping to the show as our van coughed its way into the parking lot. We weren’t supposed to partake in the catering, but they would see us show up malnourished and under-slept and be like, ‘Have you eaten? Go get some food!’”
So whether Incubus are nu metal or not isn’t necessarily something we’ll attempt to answer for you, but it is a debate best had far from Brandon Boyd. You don’t want to hurt his feelings.