Whether the powers-that-be crafted the current incarnation of Hollywood’s own Instinct of Aggression with hands of fate or coincidence, one thing remains certain: Chemistry like theirs cannot be easily found or replicated. Comprised of lead singer Carl Bensley, guitarists Tony Santi and Colin Reed, bassist Jon Becchina and drummer Phil Gonyea, Instinct of Aggression has overcome many hurdles to stand proudly where they’re at.
In the summer of 2005, Reed met Santi and Bensley at a random bus stop in Los Angeles. The three struck up conversation and within weeks began writing songs together.
Equipped with a singer and two guitarists, Santi, Reed and Bensley went in search of the remaining appendages to build their monster: Instinct of Aggression.
The search for an adequate drummer left the band unable to play live shows for roughly a year. Gonyea responded through an online ad for the gig and won the job.
Three bassists later, the band found Becchina through a friend. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.
The first shows were rough. Their sets would begin when venue staffs were still getting ready to let people inside. The group’s reputation as a furious live band began to pick up steam.
Their first headlining gig at the Keyclub led to more headlining gigs across the Sunset Strip and as far as San Diego, Santa Barbara and New York. After top billing just a few shows, they caught the attention of legendary guitarist and producer Mickey Doling. The former guitarist of such notable bands as Snot, Soulfly and currently Invitro asked the quintet if he could produce their debut album.
Needless to say, they accepted the offer. It’s taken three years to complete their debut, Beyond All Control, but it’s been a worthwhile ride.
“Every time I listen to a new mix, I get butterflies,” states Becchina, “I really dig this album.”
Given the current state of the music industry, Instinct is in no rush to sign a label contract.
“Record labels don’t know how to sell records anymore,” says Becchina, “so why rush it?”
Label or no label, they’re ready to unleash Beyond All Control on iTunes and at every tour shop.
“We consider ourselves a live band,” Gonyea states. “We’re trying to capture that energy on our debut album.”
It’s their unquestionable confidence and in-your-face attitude that’s made this quintet one of the most talked about heavy metal bands to come out of Hollywood in a long time.
“We give our best performance whether we’re playing for two people or 1,000,” states Reed.
It’s not uncommon to drive through the Sunset Strip on a random night and see their name on a marquee. They have headlined numerous gigs at the Roxy, Whisky, Keyclub and Knitting Factory, just to name a few.
Although the local audiences have been great to them, they’re ready to expand their boundaries. Instinct of Aggression is currently working on setting up an East Coast tour later this summer to give the other coast a taste of bonafide West Coast metal.
It’s their hope that through their music, the Hollywood music scene won’t just be known for producing the glam metal scene of the ’80s and dime-a-dozen pop bands.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/instinctofaggression.
Article posted on 7/31/2008
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