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Incubus' Brandon Boyd Embraces Life Without A Label

Incubus-hq-liveWith the Honda Civic Tour launching on the 11th, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and Incubus' Brandon Boyd participated in a group interview that covered quite a bit of ground about their bands, their plans and some interesting business insights. In particular, Brandon Boyd talked about the difference between being on a label in the age of the CD versus today's world as he faces life without a label.

In the interview*, Brandon Boyd discussed not only Incubus taking a break but what it's like to navigate from the old music industry to the new:

"Linkin Park and Incubus were two of the very few bands a gust of wind out of the old paradigm of the music industry. But like survived out of it. There are so many bands...that didn’t survive that transition. That fell by the wayside with the industry."

Part of surviving that transition has been dealing with the collapse of a music industry model they were just getting used to:

"Thankfully, we got a sense of what it looks like...when the engine is nicely greased and things are working the way they’re supposed to. And then it’s like the millennium turns and the technology changed..It became an antiquated model. And it was frightening at first but I actually have come to appreciate it."

One of the biggest shifts from old labels to new is the dramatically reduced budgets:

"I was talking to my friend this morning about the notion of the music video...We’ve paid like $500,000 to make a music video that MTV just didn’t play. And that was considered like, 'Oh, OK. That’s a bummer, but, you know, next.' But now? Are you kidding me? It’s like if we can get a fraction...of that amount of money to make a music video, that’s amazing."

But Boyd doesn't find these shifts demoralizing:

"We still have to make a music video but we don’t have any money. So we have to have a better idea than we did before...I really welcome these changes. And they excite me. And they scare me at the same time, but I’m choosing to focus on the excitement."

Brandon Boyd and Incubus got a taste of what life will be without a label during their final days at Epic as LA Reid took over.  The lack of support during the transition allowed them some time to experiment leading to the Incubus HQ Live Special Edition due in August:

"It’s forced us to think outside of that normal music industry paradigm that we had gotten so accustomed that sense the lack of attention from our record label and the end days of our record label relationship were really good and very beneficial for us as a band because it gave us a sense of what we might be doing in the coming years."

For his part, Boyd's quite happy with all the changes:

"So I’m personally very excited about being in complete control, of being able to be a total control freak. It doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t sign with another record label at some point but it would definitely have to be very, very specific. [laughs] Not get into just a good old-fashioned record deal again, if they even exist."

Incubus is planning an undefined break and Brandon Boyd is considering work on a solo album. This seems like the perfect moment to try a crowdfunding project.

*Note: The version of the interview presented at Noize seems to be the most complete and also one of the few honestly presented as a group interview.

More: 2012 Honda Civic Tour Dates

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.