Nu metal might have been the biggest thing to emerge from heavy metal in the 90s, but not every band was thrilled to be handed the label. In an exclusive interview in the new issue of Metal Hammer, Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd recalls his frustration at being lumped in with the likes of Coal Chamber and Limp Bizkit.
"I thought it was terrible," he says, when asked about the legacy of nu metal. "I know a lot of people love it, but being called 'nu metal' kinda hurt my feelings. If we made one record that fits into that genre, so be it, but I've never heard that in our music myself."
The "one record" Boyd refers to is S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Incubus's mainstream debut (after independently releasing their first record Fungus Amongus), released in 1997. In a feature in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, Boyd discussed the impact of that record, and the inspiration behind the band's first major single, A Certain Shade Of Green.
With its incorporation of funk-metal inspired beats, turntable scratches and rapped vocals (not to mention the ever-prevalent down-tuned guitars), it's hard to see S.C.I.E.N.C.E. not falling under the nu metal tag, but Boyd is having none of it.
"We weren't trying to fit into a particular niche at a particular time," he insists. "We were just kids being influenced by a small handful of bands that we grew up with. Just to name a few: Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr. Bungle, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Firehose..."
For all of his protests, Boyd does share fond memories of supporting Korn in their early days. "It felt like we had support," he says. "They would see us limping to the show as our van coughed its way into the parking lot. We weren't supposed to partake in the catering, but they would see us show up malnourished and under-slept and be like, 'Have you eaten? Go get some food!'"
Read the full interview in the latest issue of Metal Hammer. Order your copy now (opens in new tab).