Get the latest from Beat



“It’s interesting times before a new record comes out,” Brandon begins. “There’s usually a very noticeable and intense feeling of vulnerability. And this time it’s not that much different. The only reason it might feel less vulnerable is that the record was released about a month ago here in the States, and so a lot of our fans have already heard the record. So that intense period of vulnerability and nervousness is kind of through. Now that the record is out and about and everything, I’m actually quite proud of the record. I think it’s a departure for us, I think it’s the exact thing we needed to do as a band – to return after so long [since their previous release, 2006’s Light Grenades] with something unpredictable.

“I would say it’s definitely more of a song heavy record,” he continues, regarding the comparisons between If Not Now, When and previous releases, “whereas a lot of our other records have been more riff driven. That’s one of the reasons I’m really proud of it: I’ve realised after many years of being in this band one of the most challenging things for us as a band is to say a lot by saying very little…saying something heavy but doing so with more space in between, know what I mean?”

The album does indeed have a lot to say, but in the context of generally quite concise songs. Even the title of the album is semi-autobiographical. “Well, it started as a passing lyric in the chorus of the song, the title song,” Brandon explains. “But then I started to muse about our band, and the ride we’ve been on all these years, you know, the twenty years we’ve had as a band. I started realising that with the kind of band that we truly were, and the kind of band that we were becoming, and the things that we’d overcome, our new limitations that we had started to overcome, I started thinking that we needed a title like that as a band. I also started paying attention to the quickening in the pace of our world culture. I think that if anyone gives the news even a cursory glance they’ll see that there’s a lot of stuff at play right now, politically, environmentally, culturally. So the title If Not Now, When…we decided that was the most appropriate title.”

The gap between Light Grenades and the new album was easily the longest time in between new releases the band has ever had, since the release of their debut album in 1995. Brandon explains that there were several issues, personally and professionally, that contributed to the fans having to wait for five years for something new this time around.

“There were a couple of things at play,” he states. “First and foremost we wanted to take a break when we came off the road after Light Grenades. We’re all about the same age, but we all spent our entire twenties and early thirties on the road, we were on the road for about twelve years. And so there was a collective desire to ‘unpack’. You know, plant some roots somewhere. Our drummer Jose had a baby, so he wanted to be home for that. [Lead guitarist] Michael expressed an interest in going back to school. So there was all of those things and many other things that made us need to take a hiatus.

“But what was interesting,” he continues. “Is that when you take time away from this experience, it acts as a way to re-inspire. We came back into the fold with new tools and new inspirations and stuff and we were really able to deliver the record that we did because we had taken that time.”

Brandon has very mixed feelings about the band having been around for so very long now: “Sometimes it does [feel like it’s been 20 years],” he muses. “Sometimes it seems like we’re just getting started. Sometimes it’s like we’re just starting to figure out the kind of band that we want to be. But sometimes I’m reminded how long we’ve been a band, and we’ve been doing what we do for over half my life. You look at yourself in the mirror and see the grey hairs and the wrinkles, and the road weariness and you can’t help but remember you’ve been doing this for twenty years!”

The great news for Aussie Incubus fans is that we can definitely expect to see the band here very shortly. “Absolutely,” Brandon states emphatically/ “We love playing Down Under, and we’re very much looking to getting down there to do a proper tour.”