Review and Photos by: Issa Luckett
There isn’t much to introduce for Incubus front man, Brandon Boyd. Musically, him and the band have produced 7 albums and have been all over the world. I’d like to think the world is a better place having such good-hearted people behind this band but I digress. On Friday night at the Archimedes Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon,Boyd answered questions, shared memories reflecting on his art and was humble enough to stay all night to ensure everyone got what they wanted signed and even snag a photo.
The main man behind those vocals has a side to him in which people are only now becoming familiar with and the look in their eyes when they see how talented he is outside of the band is priceless. He has published two books already, if you can believe it! His third and most recent one, So the Echo, is a combination of projects he’s completed, thoughts from tours and the never-ending portrait of a woman who continues to show up. She is a woman without a name, a woman whose pseudo hair sometimes resembles dreads or sometimes a bionic touch. As for yours truly, she is embedded in my skin to remind me of strength.
On Friday night, only a select number of people could sign up for the Q & A section of the night before doors opened up to everyone else. In that hour, the small crowd (less than 50) was able to ask an array of questions and in exchange not only did we get personal stories from Boyd but also from the crowd. In that time, the uniform matter of the session dissipated and it felt more like a casual hangout, where we could get to know one another. Such a vibe isn’t surprising to come across considering his infectious, humble demeanor and welcoming vibes.
Boyd manages to reveal much more than art in his books. We are given a glimpse into his mind when he travels and he shares with us just some of the things that matter to him: the environment, the woes of trying to figure life out and also—Bruce (his dog). Being a celebrity comes with a label–that you’re a perfect mold but in, So the Echo, we see how he sorts through his thoughts and in a way you feel like you’re receiving a letter from a friend; we see flaws.
We are reminded consistently that he is just like us and there’s a particular part that stuck with me because too often we feel the need to validate our feelings: “Men are not machines, and in order to appreciate happiness sometimes we have to feel sad. Self pity? No. Just sadness. Mild and fleeting.” (52)
His artistic techniques vary from drawings to watercolor images, but it’s the journal entries that I think keep fans (myself included) intrigued. Seeing the other sides to him gives him a face in the crowd and not on stage.
This could possibly be the strongest piece of work he’s published. It’s not Incubus. It’s not Sons of the Sea (Boyd’s solo music). It’s just Brandon Boyd sharing his personal thoughts which quite often people find to be very difficult and here he decides to share it with the world.
* A special thanks to Jen DiSisto of Art Duet, Brandon Boyd and Baelyn Elspeth for their help, making it a comfortable and enjoyable experience overall (and to Archimedes Gallery for having Brandon Boyd)