John Avila was born into a musical household and raised in San Gabriel, California. Both his parents sang and played the guitar and would often perform casuals around the greater Los Angeles area. John, sites his parents as his earliest musical influence and holds them accountable for filling him up with the necessary fuel to last a lifetime.
At the age of six he began playing the guitar and was soon banging away for anybody that would listen. While in his pre-teens John discovered 'The Beatles', 'Neil Young', 'Led Zeppelin' and 'Crosby, Stills, and Nash' and began learning the songs of the day. At the age of sixteen he began playing the bass guitar and recalls just how natural it felt.
He began to further hone his craft as a bassist and schooled himself in Rock, Jazz, Latin and World Music. He soon refined his ability to read music and became a bassist in demand. During these years, he cut his teeth on the L.A. club circuit and found himself playing bass with a vast array of musical acts.
John cut short his musical studies at East L.A. College to tour with El Chicano and soon found himself playing for ten's of thousands of people on tour opening for Santana! A headlining tour of Southeast Asia with El Chicano soon followed. John later toured with jazz vocalist Randy Crawford, suporting the hit 'Street Life', with 'The Crusaders'.
In 1981, he co-founded Food For Feet. They were a power trio that toured extensively and recorded two cd's for Doctor Dream Records. The band developed a worldwide fan base and became known for their often unpredictable live shows. Food For Feet would remain together until 1991.
In 1984, John was tipped off by good friend Johnny 'Vatos' Hernandez, drummer for 'Oingo Boingo', that the band was looking for a bass player. John went down to audition and, 'when the smoke cleared', John was asked to join the band. Thus began a musical tenure that would last eleven years. As a member of 'Oingo Boingo' John was not only able to further hone his musical chops but also refine his skills as a Producer. He went on to co-produce 4 full length releases with Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek. Avila sites his years with 'Oingo Boingo' as an invaluable experience. Oingo Boingo never played it safe, yet, always held a firm grip on it's rabid fan base. They flew to the heights of 'cult status' and influenced countless up and coming bands. In Los Angeles, they performed their farewell show at The Universal Amphitheater on Halloween night 1995. The show was later released on CD and home video and dvd. (The video was later nominated for a 'Grammy').
John has never stopped playing, touring, recording, jamming, or experimenting. Highlights include: Produced 'Reel Big Fish' (2cd's including the hit 'Sell Out'), 'Voodoo Glow Skulls', 'Quetzal', 'Robbie Krieger'. John played bass on a Steve Vai recording, performed with the 'Stewart Copeland Orchestra'.