Radio Feedback: Incubus Pauses Putt-Putt for ‘Pardon Me’ Premiere

Michael Einziger (Photo: Justin Wysong)

Michael Einziger. (photo by Justin Wysong)

Welcome to Radio Feedback,’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.

When Michael Einziger isn’t writing or performing with his band Incubus, the multi-instrumentalist is busy smashing down the walls between genres. Einziger has recently enjoyed watching “Wake Me Up,” his EDM collaboration with Avicii, top international charts.

While catching up about “Wake Me Up,” Einziger shared with the first time he heard Incubus on the radio. Turns out there were some awkward moments as a result on being the guy coming through the speakers.

“The very first time that we ever heard our song be announced and played on the radio from start to finish as a premiere, with any sort of weight behind it, all of us were playing putt-putt golf at this little s***ty golf course in the San Fernando Valley,” Einziger recalled.

“We got a phone call like five minutes ahead of time saying, ‘Your song is going to be played on KROQ (a station).’ It was [2000’s] ‘Pardon Me,’ on a major radio station! So we all ran back to the parking lot and got in the car, turned it up, cranked it and they were like, ‘Yeah, this is a local band called Incubus blah blah blah…’”

On a few occasions, however, radio play presented a sometimes awkward situation for Einziger, particularly during his time at Harvard. Einziger went Ivy League from 2008 to 2010, and still has two more years of studies ahead.

“The science center at Harvard is one of the main places where people study and eat,” he explained. “I would go sit there and do my work and I would get food and Incubus songs would come on the radio all the time. They’d be playing music in the cafeteria area. I’d hear at least one Incubus song every day, and I’d be surrounded by people walking around me totally unaware that it was me or that I’d written a song. But every once in a while I would make eye contact with somebody and they’d look at me, listen, then look back at me. They’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s funny.’ I had some really interesting and sometimes really awkward experiences.”

Despite the occasional awkward experience, hearing his music on the radio is still very humbling to Einziger, even after more than a decade.

“I’m still amazed that we’ve been able to write music that people actually listen to. I’ll take it.”


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