Mike Einziger, lead guitarist and backup vocalist of top band, Incubus was born June 21, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. But he was not always quite so famous: “Here’s what I used to know about Mike Einziger: that when he was 9, he played on the same soccer team as my good friend Mike; that he was the only kid in my second-grade class who could breakdance; that his mom makes great pizza bagels; and that he went to Calabasas High School” – Keren Engelberg, School Friend.
It’s amazing to think that a simple profile like this can make you think so much differently about a fantastic star and how much he has been through since the most innocent of days in childhood. Mike was born into a Jewish family and studied in a Jewish run school before joining Calabasas High School. He spent two years at Kadima Hebrew Academy until second grade. He then attended Hebrew School three times a week after his usually elementary school classes. Mike continues to believe in his religious background but prefers to dramatise his life in the spiritual background rather than the religious. Since he has grown up and viewed life very differently from his youth Mike has branched his beliefs away from the traditional ways of Jadaism but continues to believe the basic principles that are taught by the religion.
Mike first picked up a guitar at the age of about 8 years old, in third grade and proceeded to take lessons for a couple of months but soon became bored with the monotonous teaching and decided that he’d teach himself ‘rock’ songs that were his passion. However, it took four years for Mike to begin his own teaching on the guitar having picked up a few bits and pieces in between. Mike soon became incredibly hooked and from that moment on spent every second of his free time trying to figure out songs. His first triumph was learning the theme to James Bond, before taking any lessons whatsoever.
Mike considers the music he creates as ‘rock’ and frowns upon accusations that today’s musical triumphs such as the albums; ‘A Crow Left Of The Murder’ and ‘Morning View’ are a mixture of funk and metal. Mike does not conceive that their style is anything like that although they have touched on those elements previously in their musical career. He sees the need for change in music otherwise the monotony of it encroaches on everyone that listens and it soon becomes very boring. So Mike chooses to describe their music as rock because it is an extremely loose term, which fits accurately to their ever changing style of music and lyrics.
Mike’s life is all about making music. The celebrity aspect that often comes with stardom holds no interest for the guitarist who feels no excitement at the prospect of large functions and simply says: “I just prefer to stay as far away from that type of energy as humanly possible”. In fact Megalomaniac touches on aspects of society where people look to the cameras for their joy, yet there are those as impassive to the scene as a human to an ant. People believe the song to be about George Bush, to whom Mike says “I think that guy sucks”.
And to that ‘Jewfro’ Mike is never without he says: “It’s not really a choice I have, actually. It’s kind of like — it’s nature. It’s what God gave me. It’s why I’ve been put on this earth”.
After the band met at College a firm friendship was wrought from the musical awareness and fondness that each of the artists shared. and ‘rockstarishly’ picked a name by sticking a finger on a word in a thesaurus! But it soon became clear that they were ‘destined’ for greater things. Brandon had the knowledge for writing powerful lyrics, but Mike had an understanding of those words and the ability to tweak their power with some splendidly written and recorded music. Each song was written with not just notes to make a tune, but a true understanding of what was required to add that bit extra to lyrics that already made Incubus something different.
There is no doubt that Brandon Boyd and Mike Einziger and the combined technical abilities of each of the band members have made Incubus what they were meant to be. They are a band, and brilliant artists in their own right. But brought together they form one of the most inspirational and powerful song making bands of this era.
If your interested in learning to play an Incubus song check out our Video lesson over at Songpond.com where Moses teaches you step by step to play “Drive” one of the bands more famous tracks.
Posted by Cam Findlay
Incubus is such a great band. And I always thought of them as rock (albeit alternative). A refreshing change of sound.