“We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to make music with such a talented and generous artist for two decades”: Incubus announce formal departure of bassist Ben Kenney – and unveil his official replacement

Ben Kenney
(Image credit: Valeria Magri/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Incubus have announced that Ben Kenney will be stepping down as the band’s bassist, and that he will be officially replaced by current live player, Nicole Row.

Row – who has performed with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa and Panic! at the Disco – has been promoted to the official bass player post after first joining the band for a string of dates last year.

Kenney, who joined in 2003 and spent 20 years in the alt-rock outfit, stepped down from the band early last year to recover from brain surgery. Accomplished bass player Tal Wilkenfeld (Jeff Beck, Prince, Steve Lukather) had stepped in on a short-term basis, before Row took her spot. 

The announcement of Row's appointment comes with news of a forthcoming nine-State, 10-date tour, for which Incubus has also tapped progressive rock adventurers Coheed and Cambria. During the run, Incubus will be performing their career-defining fourth record, Morning View, across all dates.

Row spent much of 2023 on tour with the band and, as vocalist Brandon Boyd enthused, quickly proved herself “indispensable”. He’s also confirmed she is contributing bass to Morning View XXII, a re-recording of the classic album.   

Said Boyd in a statement posted to social media: “Our friend and bass player of over 20 years, Ben Kenney, has decided to step away from Incubus. We are saddened at his departure but honor his decision and we are so grateful that we had the opportunity to make music with such a talented and generous artist for two decades.”

As for Row's promotion, Boyd went on, “What started as a suggestion from Ben Kenney himself for someone to step in during his absence has become a fast friendship and creative kinship. She spent most of 2023 on tour with us and has quickly proven herself indispensable. 

“We love her and her delightful presence, and it’s a real dollop of icing on the proverbial cake that she is a monster of a musician. We are thrilled for you to hear her contributions to Morning View XXII and witness her energy on stage.”

Announcing the tour on her Instagram account, Row called the run of shows, “My childhood reimagined and come to life," adding: “Can’t wait to bring you all this nostalgic heavyweight! Cheers to Alex [Katunich, Morning View bassist] and Ben, I’ll be channeling you both.”

Speaking on the Elmo Lovano podcast, Row opened up on how she had missed Boyd's first Instagram message regarding the bass-playing spot in the band.  

“This is all happening as I'm walking out of my final show with Panic, hopping onto a plane, and going home,” she said. “I hadn't slept, I'm changing time zones and I was very confused like 'Can we chat about this tomorrow?'”

The tour announcement follows the news the band was re-recording the album, to be released as Morning View XXII, on May 10. Double Platinum selling Morning View was released in October 2001 and spent 60 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at the second to top spot.

“Roughly 23 years ago we rented a house at the sea to do an art experiment,” Boyd expanded in a press statement. “The novel and expansive environment combined with a healthy dose of momentum helped us find that ever sought-after flow state and the songs that became known as Morning View have since become indelible and deeply important parts of our lives.”

 “This album helped propel our little art experiment called Incubus into a way of life and here we are today, some 23 years later, about to introduce the next phase of its existence,” he continued. “Morning View XXII is a re-recording/re-think of the 2001 album and is the result of our desire to honor this burgeoning legacy, but also reimagine it as musicians who have been lovingly performing these songs night after night for the last 23 years.”

Tickets for the upcoming tour will be available via Citi pre-sale, on February 6. Additional presales will run throughout the week ahead of the general on-sale beginning February 9 at 10 am local time.

For tickets and more information, head to IncubusHQ.com.  

Announced dates:

Aug 23: Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
Aug 24: Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
Aug 27: Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
Aug 29: New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
Aug 31: Boston, MA, TD Garden
Sep 03: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
Sep 06: Irving, TX, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Sep 07: Austin, TX, Moody Center ATX
Sep 09: Denver, CO, Ball Arena
Sep 12: San Francisco, CA, Chase Center 

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.