In the spring of 1999, Incubus and 311 were both in the studio working on big albums. For Nick Hexum and company it was Soundsystem, the band’s fifth featuring favorites like “Come Original.” For Incubus, it was their breakout Make Yourself, putting the band on a new level. Now 20 years later both bands are looking back, but with very different memories.
Both albums were recorded at NRG Studios in Hollywood, and a basketball game in-between sessions is still stirring up debate. In the exclusive video above, 311 and Incubus both share their separate accounts of that fateful day.
“I wanna know if Nick remembers me just completely shutting him down on the basketball court,” Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger taunts. “He went up for a shot and I just took him out of the sky.”
“I don’t know if he remembers that, but I sure do,” adds Einziger.
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Apparently a long-standing story between the two bands, 311 bassist P-Nut objects to their recollection. “We were talking about this yesterday, this has been mischaracterized,” he smiles. “There is no 'them crushing us.' There is no way.”
“There was a basketball court outside, and we played them a lot,” Hexum adds with calm restraint. “We’ll just leave it up to your imagination who won” he grins.
“Nick’s 6 foot 3, I’m 6 foot 4,” says P-Nut. “And, you know how short they are.”
We may never get to the bottom of this great basketball mystery, but at least the on-court action inspired some in-studio excellence.
“I don’t think it was ever 311 vs. Incubus to really tell the story straight,” P-Nut continues. “We would mix it up, it was who wasn’t working at that time. Not everyone was there.”
“I love that they wrote that into the liner notes, they wrote in ‘Make Yourself’ that they beat us in basketball” he concludes.
We thought that couldn’t be true, and rushed to find our copy of Make Yourself. But there it is, after the list of engineers and special thanks, a note about the legendary game.
“We would like to thank these bands for one or more of the following reasons,” it reads. “A. We beat them unmercifully on the B-Ball court, B. They have great hair, C. They got us drunk and took advantage of us, D. We had a great time with them, E. Other.”
311 is the first band on the list.