Mike Einziger Of Incubus On Recording With Frank Ocean: “It’s Scary How Talented He Is”

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Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger is known for having truly diverse musical tastes, from the funky free jazz of side band Time Lapse Consortium (featuring Incubus members Jose Pasillas and Ben Kenney) to his nine-movement orchestra composition, “End.vacuum.”

More recently, Einziger teamed up with emerging modern soul sensation Frank Ocean of the sprawling and controversial L.A. hip-hop crew Odd Future to perform at this year’s Coachella festival, which spawned a fast friendship with the group.

“I played with Frank Ocean at the second weekend at Coachella this year. Apparently he had kind of a bad experience the first weekend, and a couple of phone calls were made,” Einziger explained during an exclusive interview with CBS Local. “I’m a big fan of Frank’s music and his voice. I really like Odd Future and what they do. I think they’re an exciting group of young, talented people.”

“After we did Coachella, Frank and I did some stuff in the studio together. I made a connection with Hodgy, Left Brain and Tyler, particularly,” he continued, referencing rappers Hodgy Beats and Left Brain of Odd Future spin-off group Mellowhype and the crew’s leader, Tyler The Creator. “(Mellowhype) were making their latest record Numbers at that time. They would come over to my house, and we would hang out all night and just record ideas. We ended up doing a few things that stuck.”(Einziger shows up on two cuts from Mellowhype’s Numbers album, adding guitar and co-production on “P2” and drums to “Monster.”)

Einziger also discussed a recording session with Frank Ocean that came about after the Coachella performance.

“We recorded a live version of one of the tracks off his Channel Orange album (“White”) that I don’t know what he plans to do with,” he explained of the song, which features John Mayer on the studio version. “We had played that song at Coachella, and he dug the way we had done it. It was a really cool session with Matt Chamberlain, who’s also one of my favorite drummers, so we were all jamming together and it was awesome,” Enziger added in regards to the in-demand studio drummer who’s kept the beat for everyone from Pearl Jam to Stevie Nicks to David Bowie. “Frank was playing the keyboards and it was just a lot of fun. It’s scary how talented he is.”

Einziger is still basking in the glow of his overwhelming victory as the Number One guitar player in alt-rock in our recent readers’ poll where he received a whopping 46% of all votes.

Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local


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