Arty Shepherd – vocals, guitar
Tom Capone - guitar
Adam Marino – bass
Ti Kreck – drums
As Arty Shepherd can no doubt tell you, a lot of shit can go down in eight months. One minute you're, say, spinning your wheels in a well-established, but deteriorating band flogging along the tour circuit, the next you're holed up in a Los Angeles studio working fret-to-fret with legendary producer Bob Ezrin on your major label debut. But when you've spent the last 10 years wearing the same Morrissey t-shirt for weeks on end, sleeping on sticky floors and playing dives where the stage is so warped from all the spilt beer that the drum kit leans, eight months might as well be a blink of an eye.
Yeah, the trip has been long and strange for Instruction, but if you agree that rock has grown soft and pale under the expertly inked knuckles of bland rock-by-numbers mannequins, you'll be glad they made it to the party. Rock needs a kick in the teeth. "I think we have something to say, something that goes beyond crying about not getting laid" says Shepherd, the rarely understated frontman for Long Island's Instruction. "There's a lot more important stuff going on that needs to be talked about and I think our music is a good way of getting that across."
Against long odds, and with a red-hot chip on their shoulder, Instruction is here to preach the truth. But just barely. Shepherd, along with bassist Adam Marino and Ti Kreck were mainstays of underground Long Island punk heroes Errortype: 11. For six years they played any and every room in the Great 48 with a functioning electrical outlet, trying, flailing but ultimately failing to catch a break. In October, with their original guitarist quitting and the rest of the band reaching the point where rock n roll was starting to look like a liability, Errotype called it quits. Frustrated-again-the remaining trio decided to give their long-toothed rock dreams one final chance.
Lucky for you, things worked out. Through a history altering mix of luck and necessity, Tom Capone, former guitarist of post-hardcore deities Quicksand, signed on for duty. A month later, this new band, calling itself Instruction, recorded a demo, the raw intensity of which got them invited for a one-off show in the United Kingdom. Taste-making rock mag Kerrang! salivated over what they saw with a "five K" review, shoveling a mountain of hype that sent the band caroming on a self-funded tour across the Isles-opening for established acts like Hell is for Heroes, Hundred Reasons, Funeral for a Friend, Biffy Clyro and playing twice in one day at the Download Fest. All this momentum culminated in manic, previously unthinkable gigs bashing it out for tens of thousands of revelers-at the Reading and Leeds festivals.
By the time their triumphant marathon run was finished, they'd sold 5,000 copies of their self-funded "Great" EP and become darlings of the British press and underground fan favorites. All of the frothy attention led to an eventual deal with Geffen-just eight months into the bands existence. "Punk rock, with bands like Good Charlotte and Simple Plan, has turned into benign, safe crap," says Shepherd. "It may as well be boy band music and that's not what punk is supposed to be about." And unlike the toothless, politically correct hacks the currently pass for rock, Instruction-with Shepherd's scorched, messianic vocals and Capone's hammer-on-anvil riffs-aren't timid about knee caping the genre and it's criminal element. Just take song titles like "Your Punk Sucks," "Death to the Four Car Garage Band," and "Pissed Me Off Again." "You may listen to some of our stuff and it doesn't sound like what people think is punk rock," says Shepherd, citing Instruction's epic eight minute screed, "God Doesn't Care If We Blow Up the Fucking World." "But I'm not here to play music that people will immediately love-it has to be challenging. Because where is the challenge in giving people the same spoon fed crap?"
Thanks to Instruction, the dark days of gutless, empty-headed rock are about to come crashing to the ground. Because a lot can change in eight months. You've been warned.
-- Courtesy of Geffen Records
--- from the official Instruction website