Ben Kenney’s Unauthorized Biography
Ben Kenney: Bassist for Incubus
Any self-respecting rock band aficionado is definitely familiar with the multi-platinum award winning band, Incubus, especially since regular folks like you and I have definitely heard of them. Unless you have been in a coma for the last 20 years, it’s highly improbable that you haven’t heard of Incubus yet. However, how well do you really know Incubus without checking the Incubus wiki page? Do you know who makes up the wildly popular band, Incubus?
The band, Incubus, was originally from Calabasas, California and is made up of then local high school students – Brandon Boyd, Mike Einziger, Alex Katunich and Jose Pasillas. The humble beginnings of Incubus can be traced back to the early 1990s from when they were playing Metallica and Megadeth songs together back in the tenth grade during their spare time. They weren’t known as Incubus yet back then.
It’s always a curious question for Incubus on how they came up with their band name. If you scour the internet, you’ll find many stories explaining how Incubus came about but it’s hard to know which one is actually true. It ranges from throwing a dictionary to wall and picked up the random word, incubus, from where it opened to choosing the name, Incubus, because it has the word ‘sex’ in the definition.
Incubus did an interview back in the late 2000s at the House of Blues and a fan asked the band members how they came up with the name, Incubus. The two founding Incubus members went on to explain that they were 15 years old then and they were getting ready to play in somebody’s backyard when they were pressured to come up with a name fast for their introduction. They reminisced that they considered some really silly names that included Spiral Staircase and Chunk of Funk before Incubus’s founding member, Mike Einziger, picked up a thesaurus and picked out Incubus from it and settled on the name.
When asked if the band knew what the word, incubus, meant, they explain that they remembered it was defined as “a spirit that seduces women while they sleep”. They further explained that at 15 years old, they thought the name, Incubus, seemed pretty harmless enough but they did play up the sexual nature of their name in their flyers and ads to promote their act.
It wasn’t long after that when Incubus recorded their first demo tape, Closet Cultivation, in 1994 wherein one song in particular, “Bathe in My Snot”, set the tone for the kind of music that Incubus will eventually be known for.
The band released another demo self-titled, Incubus, which contained songs that will eventually be featured on their very first album release like Enjoy Incubus and the song, Fungus Amongus, which was released on the 1st of November 1995 under their very own label, Stopuglynailfungus Music.
In the same year, DJ Lyfe or Gavin Koppell joined Incubus and with it he introduced hip-hip to the band’s existing mix of music. This band of brothers is now at the brink of success because it wasn’t long after that that Immortal Records released Incubus’s first EP titled, Enjoy Incubus.
Incubus’s second album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., was released on September 9, 1997 and this opened a lot of doors for Incubus to work along side several notable musical acts like Korn and 311 among others.
Unfortunately, the collaboration between DJ Lyfe or Gavin Koppell and the original members of the band, Incubus, didn’t last long. He was eventually asked to leave Incubus on February 1998 and Chris Kilmore aka DJ Kilmore replaced him based on a recommendation from a friend.
Incubus, along with new member, DJ Kilmore, continues to tour around North America and Europe with other musical personalities such as Hoobastank, Sugar Ray, Limp Bizkit, Korn and Papa Roach. However, after a relatively modest success with their second album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Incubus took a two-year hiatus from the industry.
On October 26, 1999, Incubus released their third album, Make Yourself, which was their most successful album thus far since the music is considered to be more mainstream compared to their previous releases. Incubus went on tour with musical acts, Primus and Buckethead, immediately after the release of their third album.
Not long after the release, various radio stations, MTV, TRL and the like picked up the songs like Pardon Me from their third album and this catapulted the album into a certified gold for Incubus. This led Incubus to take their tour across different countries and cities that ended with a show with longtime friends, 311, in the United States.
The success propelled Incubus to release another album Morning View in 2001 and A Crow Left of the Murder in 2003. However, prior to the release of A Crow Left of the Murder in 2003, Incubus found themselves in the midst of some legal woes between Sony regarding their contracts. This period also ushered the departure of Incubus founding member, Alex Katunich aka Dirk Lance due to irreconcilable differences between band mates. This is when Ben Kenney comes into the picture for Incubus.
Ben Kenney is the newest member of the band and the current bassist for Incubus. He was born on March 22, 1977 in Brielle, New Jersey and prior to joining Incubus, he previously played guitar for a hip-hop group, The Roots. He also previously worked with Incubus’s founding members, Mike Einziger and Jose Pasillas in the Time Lapse Consortium sometime earlier 2000 prior to joining Incubus.
Ben Kenney is also considered to be musically gifted as he can play six various musical instruments well like the bass, guitar and drums to name a few. In fact, he would often do drum duets with Jose Pasillas during live performances by Incubus. Ben Kenney is such a versatile performer that he also released several solo albums like 26, Maduro, Distance & Comfort and Burn the Tapes, which were released under his own record label, Ghetto Crush Industries. You can even download it directly from his website, www.benkenney.com. Ben Kenney is also said to have previously worked with various musical talents such as Justin Timberlake, Faith Evans and Timbaland among others. Moreover, Ben Kenney’s record label helped produced The Smyrk’s newest EP, New Fiction.
Currently, Ben Kenney continues to perform as part of the band, Incubus, from the release of their albums like Light Grenades in 2005, their greatest hits album, Monuments and Melodies in 2009 and their latest release, If Not Now, When? in 2011 until present.
Incubus continues to make a name in the entertainment industry with their own personal style of music that can only be described as a fusion of alternative rock, heavy metal, funk, jazz, hip-hop and techno. Their style is uniquely their own and can’t be categorize into one specific genre. That is the lure of Incubus.
Recently, Incubus joined Linkin Park in the 11th Annual Honda Civic Tour that started on August 11, 2012 in Bristow and will end on September 10, 2012 in Chula Vista. Incubus was rumored to take yet another hiatus after the said concert. However, Incubus manager went on record to say that Incubus will only be taking a break and not a hiatus after the annual concert tour. Only time will tell if we’ll see Incubus back in the music scene soon.
The band’s name, Incubus, continues to attract a few controversies specifically from the religious sector. Many believe that listening to the band’s song is somewhat akin to devil worship and they all attribute it to the band’s name being similar to the mythological demonic spirits, Incubus and Succubus, who rapes men and women in their sleep.