Mike Einziger

Biography of Mike Einziger

Mike Einzinger: Guitarist for Incubus


Mike Einzinger is the Grammy-nominated co-writer and guitarist of the popular alternative rock band Incubus. Born June 21, 1976 in Los Angeles, California, Eizinger owns a fat white Labrador Retriever named Rufus. He is the second of four siblings– an older sister named Rachel and little brothers Ben and Paul, who together with band mate Brandon Boyd’s brother has a band called Vent.


Mike Eizinger loves touring New York City and plays basketball and loves listening to the music of Cristina Guilera. He is an active composer having written his first full-scale orchestral concert entitled “End>Vacuum” and “Forced Curvature of Reflective Surfaces,” featured during the West Coast Left Coast Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall. At the moment, he is presently a Harvard University student studying music and other subjects.


As the guitarist of Incubus, Eizinger was popular for innovating and pushing for the use of pedal board guitar effects during the band’s live performances. In 2002, he topped Total Guitar’s list of the Top 100 Guitarists of all time.


In 1991, Eizinger established Incubus together with his Calabasas High School classmates Brandon Boyd, Jose Pasillas II, and Alex Katunich. Their band has sold more than 13 million albums worldwide and has received a couple of nominations for Grammys, MTV Music Video Awards, American Music Awards, and Billboard Awards. The band has performed in sold out concerts in various venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, London’s Wembley Arena, and the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines.


Aside from Incubus, Einziger formed his own band Time Lapse Consortium in 2003. The group included Jose Pasillas II, Ben Kenney, Soulive member Neal Evans, and long-time collaborator Suzie Katayana who contributed string arrangements. The band made their debut at The Roxy in Los Angeles and performed in Jimmy Kemmel and the Knitting Factory in New York City.


Eizinger The Composer


In 2003, Eizinger contributed in Dragonfly, Ziggy Marley’s debut solo album together with other Incubus members Chris Kilmore and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and John Frusciante. He ventured into video games when he and his bandmates worked on the soundtrack of the popular game Halo 2, composing a 26-minute song that also included Flea playing the trumpet.



Three years later, he produced the debut album “Red Rover,” by Agent Sparks, a collaboration with younger brothers Benjamin Eizinger and Paul Fried. A year later, he produced Nighttiming, the debut album of long-time buddy and former actor and drummer of Phantom Planet Jason Schwartzman. The album had Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, and Robert Schwartzman, which was recorded at Eizinger’s home studio in Malibu, California.


Movie Collaborations


Aside from Halo 2, Mike Eizinger also wrote songs for several other movies including “Vitamin” for Final Destination 2 and “Familiar” for the 1997 movie Spawn. He also wrote songs for the video game Karaoke Revolution and Karaoke Revolution Party.


Original Orchestral Composition


End Vaccum represents Eizinger’s venture into original orchestral composition. It debuted at the Royce Hall of the University of California Los Angeles on August 23, 2008. A year later, he performed “Forced Curvature of Reflective Surfaces.” at the West Coast Left Coast Festival event “Eureka.” The composition was inspired by the physical appearance of Walt Disney Concert Hall and Eizinger’s studies of the philosophy of quantum mechanics.


It was designed to be played with 12 electric guitars, 12 strings, and based on the glissando. The musical instruments are based on their corresponding high and low registers as a reflection of each other as seen on a mirror.


Mike Eizinger was influenced by Jim Hendrix, Steve Vaj, Jimmy Page, and Frank Zappa. Eizinger claims he is infatuated with the voice of Bjork and was heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and Metallica.


From playing Ibanez guitars, Mike Eizinger made the switch to PRS (Custom 24s) around the time Enjoy Incubus is being recorded. He used a Mesa-Boogie Tremoverb on the albums “Science” and “Make Yourself.” On the album Morning View, he used PRS McCarty Archtops. While on the A Crow Left of the Murder tour, he started switching to Fender Jazzmaster guitars, most prominently played on the “Alive at Red Rocks” DVD.

In his most recent tour, he used a Gibson SG Junior with P-90s with an additional neck pickup and selector switch.


Eizinger The Multi-Instrumentalist


Besides the guitar, Mike Eizenger can play a wide range of musical instruments. He can play the piano, Mellotron pipe, analog synthesizers, tape samplers, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, and other musical instruments. He showcased his versatility in playing musical instruments during his recordings with Incubus and other projects. He played the Jerry Jones Guitar’s Master Sitar on the song “Nowhere Fast,” from the album Make Yourself. He used a pipa on the song “Aqueous Transmission.” He played electric piano on the song “Here In My Room” and during live versions of “Drive.”


Aside from the instruments mentioned above, Mike Eizinger also commonly plays with the Mesa /Boogie Trem-O-Verb 2/12 Combos, the Electro-Harmonix, the Micro Polyphonic Octave Generator (POG), and the Fender Twin Reverb.  He used the  Micro for the solo rendition of the song  “Promises, Promises.” For the title track of

“If Not Now, When?,” he played the Mellotron mandolin.


Mike Eizinger also has a 1930s Gibson with a smaller body. He played with a Martin acoustic during his recording for “Defiance.” In making the video of “Adolescents,” he played with a custom PRS guitar which was later sold at a charity auction for $15,000 and was borrowed from the buyer for the video shoot. He eventually stopped playing the PRS guitars after resolving the issue with a certain employer of Paul Reed Smith.


After Time Lapse Consortium’s debut performance, Eizinger switched to a customized 62 Jazzmaster. Previously, he used a wide range of customized PRS guitars, such as a custom artist package arch top, a gold top arch top, and a hollow body for Drop D songs.


In his 2007 Spring European Tour, Mike retuned to the United States to undergo surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. The tour resumed upon his recovery the next summer. It was during this stage when he worked on his symphony End Vacuum, performed by a sixty-piece band conducted by  Suzie Katayama. Einziger called this group of musicians “The Graviton Modern Ensemble.” He called the group a realization of nine movements and an “insomnia-induced orchestral anxiety attack.”


Eizinger’s inspiration for producing End Vacuum came about due to his huge love for science. As such, the 45-minute composition began with a phenomenal presentation by world renowned British physicist and BBC correspondent Dr. Brian Cox. He made a discussion of particle physics as well as the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research. These experiments are huge scientific instruments conducting studies on the smallest identified particles for better understanding of the origin of the universe and its destination. The Large Hadron Collider is considered as the most powerful and expensive machines built by man.


End Vacuum was shown at the Royce Hall of the UCLA and included a 3D visualization component, built by the team of Andrew Schwartz using a process called chromadepth for 3D visuals. The team utilized 3D glasses with prisms within the lenses separating color channels.


With the instrument, only red will be visible ahead of green and blue resulting to the 3D content. The team also made use of a process called 3D video mapping, representing the inside of the venue and formed a 3D space for projecting into it. The movement of the music coordinates with the visual effects.