Incubus Drummer Jose Pasillas Makes Rhythm The Medium With New Art Installation

"I want people to be intrigued by my work. I want it to be like our music, very thought provoking."
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Courtesy Dunn Deal PR

Courtesy Dunn Deal PR

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For the last 20 years, Jose Pasillas has traveled the world as a collaborative anchor in one of rock music’s most critically applauded and commercially successful bands, as the drummer of Incubus. Revered for his work on the skins, Pasillas is now garnering praise for work in a whole new medium.

Describing himself plainly as a lifelong student of all things artistic, Pasillas, while delivering the percussion on everything Incubus has ever recorded, has always continued his passion for visual art. From CD artwork to band gear, fans of Incubus have likely seen Pasillas’ work and just never knew it. As news of the band’s hiatus broke this last summer, it seems as though Pasillas is ready to emerge from behind the drum kit into an all new spotlight. Harnessing the same love for music that has made him one of the genre’s most respected names, Pasillas has created a visual experience that manages to freezeframe rhythm in a way few others have imagined. Jose Pasillas has always been an artist, however, this time, he is going at it all on his own.

“As far back as four, five, six years old, I can always remember drawing. My Godmother was someone I was really close to and she would always put a pencil and paper in my hand to occupy my time,” Pasillas recalled. During the garage days of Incubus, both Pasillas and frontman Brandon Boyd were art students at Calabasas High. The common ground would only lend itself to the creative output of the band throughout their career. “I did lots of artwork for the band, t-shirts and album art. There were always some parallels there musically and visually. I had always gotten compliments on my work and really felt like it was time to do something of my own.”

Opening November 1, 2012, “Abstract +Rhythm Landscapes” marks a milestone for Pasillas that remains truly unique. “I am used to being in a collaborative environment and this is the first collection of my creative side outside of the band. I definitely have some insecurities, but it’s a natural feeling.” Cameras, glow in the dark drumsticks, paint, and canvases, resulted in some 100 pieces of original artwork from Pasillas.  The concept? Capturing rhythm on a canvas. Pasillas explains just how he managed to get that done.

“I sat down and played 30 to 60 seconds of drums with glow in the dark drum sticks. From there I took those images and transferred them to a canvas and began altering the images by hand and painting over the top. It’s taking rhythm and providing a visual component to it. It is still music based, but it’s looking at it in a completely different medium.”

jose art Incubus Drummer Jose Pasillas Makes Rhythm The Medium With New Art Installation

Discussing artists like Maxfield Parrish and the roots of Art Nouveau, all the while praising street art pioneers that have become household names like Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and Mike Giant – Pasillas’ approach is that of a lifelong student excited about his contribution and not the slightest bit jaded by the kind of fame he’s enjoyed as a result of his day job. “I want people to be intrigued by my work. I want it to be like our music, very thought provoking. Moving. Alphonse Mucha, anything Art Nouveau and guys like Banksy, Shepard Fairey obviously, [Mike] Giant, they all have been very moving to me. I hope that my work does the same for people.”

Be one of the first to experience Jose Pasillas’ “Abstract + Rhythm Landscapes by clicking here.

Ramon Gonzales
- KROQ-FM, Los Angeles


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