In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Incubus were that rare breed: a nü-metal band with both a DJ and a hefty female fan base. They began when vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, bassist Dirk Lance (born Alex Katunich), and drummer Jos é Pasillas met in high school in Calabasas, California (in the San Fernando Valley) and began playing around Southern California. By 1995, just out of high school, they added turntablist DJ Lyfe (born Gavin Koppel) and self-releasing Fungus Amongus, which secured them a deal with Epic/Immortal, a Sony subsidiary. Two years later the Enjoy Incubus EP and the album S.C.I.E.N.C.E. pushed them onto the burgeoning nü-metal tour circuit; the band began opening for a number of bands (notably Korn and Primus) that similarly combined hip-hop, metal, funk, and thrash.

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