The 2012 Honda Civic Tour, featuring Linkin Park and Incubus, will make at stop at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion north of Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with gates opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100.25-$46.50 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.
The annual Honda Civic Tour gives fans an amazing concert experience at a great value. HCT offers two headline bands for the price of one and a variety of ticket prices, so there’s something for everyone. Linkin Park customized and designed a 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe and CBR250R motorcycle that will be displayed at every tour stop, and fans can enter to win the customized vehicles at hondacivictour.com
Both Linkin Park and Incubus will continue the tradition of a “Green” Honda Civic Tour in 2012. The bands along with the HCT are supporting “Power the World” to raise awareness about people who have no access to energy and to fund cleaner energy solutions.
Linkin Park is touring in support of their fifth album, Living Things, which debuted at No. 1. They have had more No. 1 albums on Billboard 200 than any other band this century. The debut single, “Burn it Down,” is No. 1 on the Billboard rock and alternative chart and since 2000, the band has had more Top 10 singles at Alternative than any other artist.
Incubus is touring in support of their 2011 release If Not Now, When? They’ve had four No. 1 singles, which include “Drive,” “Megalomaniac,” “Anna Molly” and “Love Hurts.”
Opening for Linkin Park and Incubus on the tour will be Mutemath.
Frontmen Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Brandon Boyd of Incubus took part in a conference call before the tour started Aug. 11.
This tour has been more pop-oriented with acts like Blink-182, My Chemical Romance. What can fans expect from this year’s tour?
Chester Bennington (Linkin Park): Well, I think that for us, really, the most special thing about this tour is the fact that you have two headlining bands singing together on one bill, which typically can be kind of hard to do, specifically, because usually when you’re in a position to headline a tour of this kind, you know; there’s only room for one headlining band usually. So the fact that Incubus gets to come out and perform a full headlining set and Linkin Park gets to come out and perform our full headlining set with personal production and everything is kind of special. But also, we kind of don’t really look at what the other artists have done on these tours and kind of go, ‘OK, what do we think we should do?’ We’re just going to go out and do what our fans want from us, which is play songs that they’re familiar with and catch up on some on the new music and become familiar with that. So really, I think from Linkin Park’s standpoint, we’re just going to come out and put on the highest-energy show we can. And incorporate as much of the new music as possible. And I’m expecting that Incubus will probably do the same.
Brandon Boyd (Incubus): I think that, I just think it’s a good moment and a great opportunity to have kind of just two big giant rock ‘n’ roll bands sharing a stage, I just think that’s going to be better than either of us would do in our own show. It’s like there’s two headlining sets, including Mutemath, which is going to be a good time as well. So it’s almost like a mini-festival, which is amazing. And Incubus has done a Honda Civic-sponsored tour before. It may have been one of Honda Civic’s first ones, I’m not sure, but that was like, over 10 years ago. And I remember it being really, really great. And I think the listeners and friends and fans and family who came out to those shows had a really great experience, too. So I know that we as a band are really looking forward to doing it again this year. And personally, this will be the end of our touring cycle for our newest record, and so we’re looking forward to just making some music and I’m very much looking forward to seeing Linkin Park with my own eyes for the first time since ... I mean, I saw you guys, I think, once at a radio show, like over 10 years ago as well. So I think it’s going to be fun to be able to see you guys every night.
You guys are committed to green energy on the Honda Civic tour. Do either of you wear your political affiliations on your sleeve, especially in this pivotal presidential election year?
Bennington: Well, I know that within Linkin Park, I’ve honestly never heard anyone talk about who they want to vote for, for example. I think it’s something that we kind of take very personally. It’s so funny, I was watching some comedy show the other day and they were making fun of how Americans won’t talk about who they’re going to vote for. It’s such a secretive process, whereas if you go overseas or something, people are talking about who they’re going to vote for and who they don’t like all the time. It’s no big deal. But here in the United States, it’s a little different for us. It’s such a private and personal moment to kind of choose who you think is going to be the best leader. And the last thing you want to do is influence somebody else to vote based on what they think of you as opposed to what they think of the politician they’re voting for.
Can you guys talk about why you wanted to team up for this tour and what you hope having Linkin Park fans seeing Incubus and having Incubus fans seeing Linkin Park, what that can do for your own fans?
Boyd: I personally think it’s an occasion that’s kind of long overdue. We have a lot of mutual listeners, our bands, and I think that it’s one of those things that once the idea was floated, and we really kind of caught onto it, that it seemed like a “Why haven’t we done this yet?” type of a thing. Linkin Park has a considerably larger reach than Incubus has had, and I think it’s going to be wonderful for us as a band to play in front of more people. So we definitely appreciate the opportunity there. But I personally think that it’s just going to be great because of the carryover between the listeners; you know, there are a lot of Linkin Park listeners who are also Incubus listeners and vice versa. But we’ve never done something like this before. So as far as the feedback is concerned from people around the world — Incubus has been on tour for the past year — once this tour was announced it’s been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. So I’m really excited for it to get started.
Bennington: Yeah, this to me feels as exciting as a lot of the concerts that I would be excited to go to when I was a kid. That was I think one of the reasons why Lollapalooza when I was young became so important so quickly. It was because it was the only place that you could go see the Chili Peppers and Ministry and Pearl Jam and all these bands play together. And Ice Cube. And that’s been the inspiration for modern festivals, and I think that the fact that this does kind of feel like a little mini-festival even though there are only three bands. It does have that feeling of something that’s going to be a show that you wanna go see. Cuz it’s got something special. I’m excited. Honestly, I also hope that our bands can walk away inspired from each other. I’ve always appreciated Incubus for their music. And they’re also very good live. I’ve had the chance to pop over and watch them play a couple songs on stage here and there at some festivals throughout our career, and they’re a great live band. So I think the energy is going to be really amazing out in the crowd. So I would actually like to be down there to watch the show, but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.
With your (Linkin Park) album debuting at No. 1 it actually set a record for you guys having more No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 than any other band this century. So from a personal standpoint and given the ever-changing landscape of music throughout your career, what does a milestone like that mean to you?
Bennington: It’s cool. It’s something that I never would have thought of, that statistic being one that’s attached to Linkin Park. I’ve always felt that we just made the best record that we could make at the time. So for people, for our fans, it’s really more of a testament to our fans than to us. It really is a testament to how enthusiastic our fan base is about what we do in the studio. And I think that the true test of what we’ve done is good or not is obviously how well the songs hold up over time. But to hit a No. 1 is really something you just kind of hope for when you’re making a record that people respond to well. It’s not really a goal that we set out for as a band. I think we kind of look at a lot of other things, being forced into a different style as a business. I think we pay attention to so much stuff that’s going on, we kind of forget about goals like reaching No. 1 on the charts. You’re focused more on putting the live show together and where you’re going to be in six months, which videos to make and which ones not to make and all that good stuff. It was kind of a cool little moment for us to take a break and go, ‘Oh, hey, this is what all our hard work is doing.’
There’s a lot of bands nowadays who are switching members, losing members. But throughout the years you guys have essentially kept the core members. So how do you all stand each other after such a long time? Because it’s got to be kind of tough.
Boyd: It’s an old saying, but it’s a saying that rings true for me all the time: Being in a band is hard. You are essentially traveling in very small steel tubes, confined steel tubes with family members for extended periods of time. Kind of like inhuman periods of time. You love your mom, but how much flight time do you want to spend with her? You know, how long do you want to sit in the car with your dad and your mom and your brothers? You know what I mean? There’s that, but there’s also the understanding that it’s family, and it’s very much a familial thing. That even though there are times when they hurt your feelings or they might get on your nerves, essentially the majority of your experience with them is rooted in love. So as long as we can hold on to that sort of transcendent notion, everything usually is OK. And it’s OK to be angry at your family members sometime, and it’s OK for them to get on your nerves. The best thing to do, I think, is just to remember who you are. And understand the difference between a need to express frustrations and the difference between that and potentially your own ego, and little moments when your ego flares up for usually ridiculous reasons. Which usually, I know for men, I speak for myself and for the guys in my band, them being my family, most of the times we ever have problems are when someone has under-slept or underfed. So as long as we have enough sleep and enough to eat, everyone’s usually hunky-dory. And that’s the honest-to-God truth. Just get enough food and enough to eat, or enough sleep, and you’ll be fine. What do you think, Chester?
Bennington: I think it’s funny. But that is actually the truth. I think that within Linkin Park, we all have similar aspects of our personality that we share with each other. We all are very driven. We all like to work really hard. We all like to do whatever it takes and be involved in every aspect of what we do. But it takes all of us. … When you look at the business side of things, or you look at like the marketing side of things, the artistic side of things, and what each member brings collectively to the whole … together, the band is worth far more than each of us is as an individual. And I think that that’s something we learned about our band very early. It’s not just about one guy or two guys or whatever, three guys. It’s about all six of us. And so, having six creative people who are totally different personality-wise around each other all the time, we have to be very realistic about what we expect from each other. And it is a family thing. And once you cross that line of being a friend and then it turns into, ‘Well, now we’re family,’ I mean, life gets real, really fast. You’re now exposing yourself. I mean there’s the dating phase, which is like, ‘Oh, you’re so awesome,’ and everybody is so great, and then when you move in together it’s like, ‘Who am I actually, like, getting myself involved with?’ You know, it’s like you get to see all the dirty parts and you get to be around all the unsavory things about each other’s personalities, and so we just basically treat each other with respect. We give each other the space that we need. And I think that being in my band is an example of the most functional relationship I’ve ever had in my life. But I’ve been in band scenarios where it’s just chaos. There’s no leadership and there’s too much ego and there’s too much pride and there’s too much opinion. All those things are very important, so I think what makes it work for my band, for Linkin Park, is that we focus on things that are important for the band. And we don’t really focus on what’s the most important thing for me. It’s really about what’s the most important thing for us. And I think that’s something that we carry not only in our professional world but we try to carry into our personal lives as well. We share both of those things together.