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Christian rockers Red guided by "Instinct"

In an interesting clash of inspiration that combines ” The Divine Comedy ” and a highway accident, Red’s sophomore album, “Innocence & Instinct,” echoes the emotional ups and downs the Grammy Award -nominated rock act has experienced over the last two years.

“Dante’s Inferno became a cool metaphor for some of the roads we’re taking and exploring the darker stuff that we all deal with,” guitarist/songwriter Jasen Rauch says. A van accident in late 2007 added real-life drama to the process. “We hit a guardrail head-on at about 75 miles per hour on the highway,” Rauch recalls. “There were seven of us in the van, and we were all lucky enough to make it out alive.”

Red channeled the experience into an album that has already spawned “Fight Inside,” the first single to debut at No. 1 on Radio & Records ‘ Christian rock chart . “Innocence & Instinct” will arrive February 10 on Essential/RED. The disc includes songs co-written with pop veteran Richard Marx , Breaking Benjamin ‘s Benjamin Burnley and Dove Award-winning writer/producer Bernie Herms.

The band has had several Christian radio hits , but a relentless tour schedule that has included dates with Papa Roach , Three Days Grace , Flyleaf , Puddle of Mudd , Kutless , Seether and Staind has helped Red reach a wider audience.

“We were on some of the biggest tours that format really had going on at the time,” Rauch says. “Constantly hitting the road like that made us a better band technically and better performers and, at the same time, made us better writers and more prepared for the next record.”

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