For longtime fans of California rock band Incubus, it must feel like Christmas in July. Not only were they treated to the release of the band’s seventh studio album, “If Not Now, When?” last Tuesday, but they will also be able to catch the band live in concert at Istora Senayan on July 26.
In a rare move, the band will be kicking off its world tour in Southeast Asia, starting with Malaysia before heading to Indonesia and the Philippines. It will be the band’s second visit to Indonesia after its first show here in 2008.
Frontman Brandon Boyd released a video on YouTube addressing Incubus’s Indonesian fans.
“On behalf of my entire band, I’d like to say that all of us are very much looking forward to seeing all of you at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Tuesday, July 26,” Boyd said. “We hope you guys have been well. Sorry it’s been so long, but we’ll be there real soon.”
Formed in 1991, Incubus has had a strong following here since the band broke onto the scene in the late ’90s. Fans were drawn to the band’s unique combination of styles, ranging from rock to metal, funk and pop.
The band’s latest release, marking 20 years of playing music together, has taken many fans by surprise due to its quieter and more mellow tone, leading some to wonder: where did all the noise and good old rock music go? But for others, the band’s new direction serves as a reminder of its musical versatility and highlights its ability to reinvent itself for a new decade.
Chydie Darmodihardjo, founder of Incunesia, Indonesia’s biggest Incubus fan club, said it took a while before she fell completely in love with the new album.
“As a fan, of course I had expectations,” she said. “I was hoping that the album would be a clash between [former albums] ‘A Crow Left of the Murder’ and ‘Morning View,’ but when I heard ‘If Not Now, When?’ I thought, wow, this is a different Incubus. But after a while, after listening to the new album over and over, I suddenly realized — hey, this is amazing.”
Chydie said she was shocked to hear that Incubus planned to come to Jakarta again this month.
“I had expected them to come back again someday, but not this soon,” she said. “At first, they were planning to release the new album in September, but then it came earlier.”
For Chydie and the rest of the band’s local fans, this month’s concert and album release must feel like a reward for all their years of loyalty.
Incunesia holds regular gatherings, during which they listen to their favorite songs and share news about Incubus. When the members get together, it sounds like they are chatting about good friends: they share anecdotes about Boyd’s dog, discuss how much the frontman has been into bicycles lately or how adorable drummer Jose Pasillas’s newborn daughter looks. It seems like there is nothing they don’t know about the band, and no detail is too small.
They very much appreciate that Incubus tries to stay close to its fans — which has become easier thanks to social networking sites.
At the end of last month, the band launched “Incubus HQ Live,” a unique fan-band interaction. For seven days, Incubus invited fans living in the Los Angeles area to an undisclosed location, fully equipped with cameras, where the band played live sets and held music workshops, with all the action streamed live for fans around the world.
Incunesia has arranged equally creative events in honor of the band. Last year, Chydie organized a silent auction in collaboration with the Incubus-founded Make Yourself Foundation. Incubus items were sold off to the highest bidders and all of the proceeds went to the charity organization.
For some fans, their love of the band has even changed the course of their lives. It was through the music of Incubus that Aryasena Satria Ajie and Namira Kaulika, both 21-year-old students and now Incunesia members, found each other.
Ajie said he was surfing the Web and opened social networking site Friendster, when, by chance, he came across Namira’s profile, who was a friend of a friend.
“It was not so much her profile picture that interested me,” he said, laughing, “but much more the fact that she listed Incubus as her favorite band.”
He then asked their mutual friend to set up a meeting between the two — and that is how they first met and eventually started dating.
“This year, for her birthday, I gave her tickets for the upcoming Incubus concert,” Ajie said.
“It’s funny because we both watched the Incubus concert back in 2008, only we didn’t know each other yet,” Namira said. “Just imagine — we were in the same room without knowing it.”
As the head of Incunesia, Chydie has worked closely with the music promoter responsible for bringing the band back to Jakarta. ShowMaxx Entertainment is a new kid on the block among music promoters, but Chydie said she was impressed that it had approached her.
“This is a very rare thing to do for promoters, to actually work together with the fan base,” she said.
Ahead of the performance, Incunesia will organize two additional fan gatherings and Chydie said that she had planned a special surprise for registered members — but refused to reveal any more details.
Last month, a battle of the bands competition was organized at the Hard Rock Cafe in Jakarta, with several bands competing to land the gig opening for Incubus at Istora Senayan.
The fans chose three of the participating bands, and the members of Incubus will have the final say on which one will get to open for them. So far, though, there hasn’t been any news on the lucky winner.
Andi Hanif, another member of Incunesia, said he couldn’t wait for the Incubus show. “It’s gonna be my second time to see them perform live, and since this time they’re going to bring their own equipment, lighting and stuff, I bet it’s gonna be awesome,” he said.
With a sparkle in her eye, Chydie added, “Jakarta is the second stop on their tour, so I hope they are still fresh and excited. And then it is up to us fans to give them a big welcome and show them how happy we are to have them here again.”
Source: The Jakarta Globe
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