Incubus Sell Their Souls While Giving Away Cars

Band says decision to mount sponsored tour was driven by desire to keep ticket prices low.

Should Incubus fans be wary of the band’s current corporate-sponsored tour?

If they listen to guitarist Mike Einziger, maybe.

“We signed our souls to the devil,” the guitarist said at the band’s Inglewood, California, stop on the Honda Civic Tour (see “Incubus To Perform ‘Civic’ Duty On The Road” ).

Of course, Einziger likes to joke around. Actually, Incubus, who have experienced an unusually organic rise to rock’s upper echelon, are touring behind sponsorship dollars to benefit their fans.

“We are coming into really big rooms now, so what happens is the ticket prices kind of skyrocketed,” singer Brandon Boyd explained. “We were able to keep our ticket prices low, basically the same they have been for the last couple of years, by teaming up with Honda.”

There are other bonuses, too. “We get to give away cars,” Boyd said shortly before Incubus’ DJ Kilmore handed away the keys to a new Civic to a loyal fan.

“And those cars are pretty cool,” added Einziger. “You can go from, like, here to New York on a quarter tank of gas. So it is really cool, but all that really matters to us is that kids can pay 25 bucks and see a concert at the Forum.”

The Honda Civic Tour, now in its second year (Everclear and Blink-182 played last year), features Hoobastank and Phantom Planet on various dates.

Hoobastank — who like Incubus hail from Calabasas, California — have garnered plenty of comparisons to their neighbors, especially between singer Doug Robb and Boyd.

“I’ve never even thought about it before,” Boyd said. “Doug is cool. We hang out, chill, do hairstyles together. It’s cool.”

Incubus, who have become road warriors over the past few years, are taking extra strides to keep their show fresh, especially the band’s many hit singles (see “Incubus Bring Sensitive Hunk Rock To Seattle’s Screaming, Trembling Girls” ).

“You know what’s been really cool and interesting is thinking of ways to reinvent those songs, having performed them so many times, and having the fans hear them way too many times,” Boyd said. “On the last tour, we were remixing ‘Drive’ and we are doing the same thing with songs on the radio [now]. We’re doing sort of musical interpretations of those songs.”

The Honda Civic Tour hits Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday (April 26) before wrapping up July 3 in San Antonio.