Linkin Park and Incubus team up for the first time
It’s a two-for-the-price-of-one deal for ticket-holders to this year’s Honda Civic Tour, headlined by Linkin Park and Incubus. After reaching major success in the early aughts, the two groups are still making music and reaching milestones — Linkin Park’s fifth studio album, “Living Things,” debuted at No. 1, and Incubus, whose most recent album is last year’s “If Not Now, When?” just celebrated their 20th anniversary. Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington and Incubus singer Brandon Boyd offer insight into their joint venture.
Past acts on this tour have been more pop-oriented. What can fans expect from this year’s?
Chester Bennington: I think the most special thing about this tour is the fact that you have two headlining bands singing together on one bill, which typically can be kind of hard to do. … You never get to go see Bon Jovi and Kiss at the same time.
You’re both West Coast bands. What do you like most about performing on the East Coast?
Brandon Boyd: When you play these large places, some of the diversity gets lost in these venues because a lot of them are built by the same architects. … And what really distinguishes them is the people that come. … Sometimes you can catch accents in the crowds, people in between songs are yelling like “You suck” or “I love you, man,” or on the East Coast it’s “Play that f–ing song, man.” And the East Coast has got a little bit more grit to it, perhaps. And on the West Coast you just smell pot a little bit more.
CB: Well, that’s because the weed on the East Coast smells like cigarettes. [laughs] There are other subtle differences that makes every crowd a little different. I am used to playing the East Coast primarily in winter, so I never really get to enjoy being out in Boston because usually I’m inside because there’s like a two-inch glass sheet of ice on the building outside. … I was talking with some of the guys in my crew and they’re like, “We should do something like get a band-on-band soccer game.” We always end up playing our label in Germany and playing a bunch of reporters from different publications in a soccer match and we always beat them. So I think as the tour goes on, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for band and crew to get together and get to know each other more.
BB: I know a river in Ohio that we can go to and go camping and jump off of a rope swing.
CB: That’d be great. Let’s do it. I’m down.
As you each grow older, how do you connect to the style of music that is very rooted in a much younger you?
BB: Actually, it’s been a real struggle. Being so identified with a particular style and a particular time … certain music reviewers will literally have not looked beyond Incubus’s very first album, “S.C.I.E.N.C.E,” which we wrote and recorded when we were just freshly out of high school. It came out in 1997. … That’s been a real challenge, to get people to take a second glance at an established artist.
CB: I think that Incubus and Linkin Park share a lot of similarities in terms of when we became popular, in a time when selling tons of records was what people did, and the Internet wasn’t really a strong force in the world. And then transitioning into a time where no one’s buying records, and yet people are spending more money on music than any time before. Going through all that and getting older definitely shapes the way you think about business. But the things that inspire me are all the same kinds of things that inspired me when I was 15.