Brandon Boyd: Oh Boyd
The July/Aug 2002 issue of Movieline magazine was dubbed The Music issue. Like a lot of publications in the dawn of the digital age, Movieline was struggling to reinvent itself. Part of its ongoing evolution was to do a double-sized issue that focused more on music than the medium the magazine had been devoted to covering for the last several decades. That issue included a profile piece with Incubus lead singer, Brandon Boyd.
It’s two p.m. and Brandon Boyd has penciled in one hour to talk about movies. After that he has to film a music video with director Dewey Nicks for the song “Are You In?” and then he has to resume his 50-date U.S. arena tour. “I love talking about movies, but I haven’t really seen that many this year,” Boyd admits. Can you blame him? Boyd’s Calabasas, California-based band, Incubus, has recently exploded into the mainstream limelight. Last December the group played a sold-out show at the 6,200-seat Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles; this April they performed at the over 17,000-capacity Great Western Forum. That’s just one illustration of their skyrocketing popularity–Incubus’s most recent album, Morning View, has sold over 1.4 million copies since its release last year.
CHRIS MORIATES: Growing up so close to Hollywood, did you ever want to be an actor?
BRANDON BOYD: My dad was an actor and he did a lot of commercial work, as well as TV shows like “Hart to Hart” and “Days of Our Lives,” so I grew up in the atmosphere. There was a time when my brothers and I were interested in doing the stuff that my dad did, so he got us an agent and put us in acting classes. But I never did anything.
Q: Have there been any movies that influenced your music?
A: Maybe something like Edward Scissorhands or The Nightmare Before Christmas. When I saw that movie I was just absolutely floored and then when I saw the making of it I was just buried–from Danny Elfman’s music to Tim Burton’s vision. I really hope that they start making films like that again.
Q: Do you watch a lot of movies while you are on tour?
A: Yeah. We all have our own DVD collections. I love my surf videos a lot, those are always running on repeat.
Q: Why did Incubus work on the soundtracks for Spawn and Scream 3?
A: Those were sort of last-minute things, where we were asked if we had a song to contribute and we happened to have one that worked. It is fascinating to see how much effort actually goes into a film. There are a lot of similarities to the music world. Maybe one day we can do what Queen did with Highlander where they scored all of the music for the entire film and it was really dramatic and overboard and everything that you really want a good film score to be.
Q: Did you ever see Scream 3?
A: No, but I saw Spawn. Once I heard our song I was like, “Woohoo, great.” Then I got about 45 minutes into the flick and was thinking, “What time is it?”
Q: Are there any films that you wish you had contributed a song to?
A: No, not really. Soundtracks for films are usually a little anticlimactic–they’re used to sell the film instead of as an artist’s expression.
Q: In the song “Idiot Box” it seems that you are talking about TV being bad for your brain. Do you really believe that?
A: I don’t watch much television because it doesn’t interest me. “Idiot Box” was, for me, envisioning what the world would be like if there wasn’t such a thing as TV and how much different our culture would be.
Q: When does television grab you?
A: When it’s “Shark Week” on the Discovery channel. I’m glued. Cancel all shows and plans and get some turkey jerky–it’s “Shark Week.”
Q: If you were to make a movie, what kind would you make?
A: Something self-indulgent, that allowed us to travel to some South Pacific region and chase buried treasure. Something like The Goonies meets The Endless Summer mixed with Sleepy Hollow. More leaning towards The Goonies because that is a very influential movie for me.
Q: Do actors you’ve met ever tell you they’d rather be in a band?
A: It seems like all rock stars want to be actors and all actors want to be rock stars. Why is that?
Q: So you want to be an actor?
A: Not right now. If it were the right people and the right timing then I would do it. I always enjoyed the process of making music videos, which are obviously on a much smaller scale than making a film, but if I enjoy that atmosphere then I have to assume that something on a grander scale would be fun, too. There are very few actors that write, star in and direct their films. I love the fact that I can write, direct and perform my stuff, which is what we in the band do together. That’s the reason I like doing music more, because I am in a very selfish period of my life right now [laughs].