Sometimes Blind
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Sometimes Blind currently consists of singer-songwriter, Dan Van Ordstrand, who has created music in several bands over the past two decades and released 3 full length albums and 2 EPs during that time. What began as a 6 piece indie rock band in 2017 with Dan serving as the primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist, the band has morphed over the years into its current form today due to other members joining or leaving the project. Today, Dan works in the studio or performs live with various other musicians. Based in Springfield, Oregon, the band regularly performs at wineries, breweries, music venues and community events throughout Springfield and Eugene, Oregon and the outlying area.

Influences for the band include The Allman Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, The White Stripes, and Iron & Wine. Notable achievements for the band include a feature article in the Spring 2018 edition of Emerald Valley Magazine, with the magazine saying of the band, "Blending several genres of music, Sometimes Blind mixes classic rock, folk, blues and jazz, into harmonious melodies that please the ear and sway the hips." They were also a finalist in the Sprout City Studio's Battle of the Bands in the summer of 2018, and a Top 10 Local Finalist in the KNRQ Next2Rock Contest in the fall of 2017. In true do-it-yourself fashion, the band wrote, recorded, and self-produced their debut eponymous EP in August 2017, and released their second EP, Morning Light, in the summer of 2018. After a 4 year hiatus induced by band personnel changes, Dan and his long-time drummer and recording engineer, Garrett Johnson, began recording a 3rd EP consisting of 6 original songs. The new EP's title has yet to be revealed, but is expected to be released in 2023.

Dan's interest in rock music began in his early teen years while taking in all the great alternative rock acts of the 1990s, such as Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, The Foo Fighters and Sublime. But a major turning point occurred during his high school years, which turned his interest in rock music into a driving force in his life. It was on that fateful day in May of 1998 when Kip Kinkle came into the cafeteria at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon and began firing shots at random into the room full of high school students. Dan had left with a friend to go to class just minutes before Kip began firing into the cafeteria. He had been sitting at the same table in which several students were injured. Dan was in his classroom on the other side of the wall of the cafeteria and could hear the shots being fired, but wasn't sure what it was making the firecracker-like sounds.

Dan recalls, "I remember that it was Election Day at our school and and friend of mine and I had left the cafeteria to go to our Video Production class and listen to a Smashing Pumpkins album I had been asking to borrow. No longer than 5 minutes had passed that we could hear what sounded like some Black Cat fireworks being fired off. We initially wrote it off as some sort of Election Day gimmick. But then a moment later, a classmate of mine came into our room, pale as a ghost and shaking, and she cried out that there were shots being fired in the cafeteria and people were dying.

“My first instinct was to get as many people into our room as possible and lock the door where we were in a room that had thick concrete walls and solid metal doors that could be locked. We also had a phone line in which we could make calls. I took a minute to listen for more shots before looking out the doors. What I saw in that moment still haunts me to this day. Most students had already fled the cafeteria by that point so it was mostly empty. But I saw a lot of blood on the ground. I also saw teachers tending to students who had been shot. We managed to get several students into our room and we locked the doors. We all started making calls to our parents to let them know we were OK and to arrange being picked up. We could hear our principal on the school intercom giving us updates and let us know when we were safe to come out. It was a surreal day, and it's not something I can ever really shake from my memory."

After surviving the shooting, it was in the months that followed that Dan found a galvanized desire and focus to begin writing his own music as a means to communicate with the world around him. "I just remember being in a dark place from the traumatic events that occurred. I was 15 and life was a scary place. I didn't find much happiness for several months. And then I remember hearing The Beastie Boys album Hello Nasty that dropped at that time. It was such a powerful album for me personally. After several months of carrying around a thousand pounds of depression and trauma from the things I witnessed during the school shooting, that Beastie Boys album just lifted all those negative emotions and helped me to feel normal again. Like what I felt like before the shooting occurred. I remember thinking then that if that Beastie Boys album could be that powerful and make me feel that good just listening to it, then that was something I had to do in life. I had to figure out how to write music so that I could pass that same feeling onto someone else. I didn't own any instruments then and didn't have a job or any money. So I just started writing lyrics. They weren't even really songs yet. Just random thoughts that tapped into what I was thinking or how I was feeling at the time. Eventually I borrowed a friend's electric guitar,  which didn't even have an amp. But I just couldn't put it down. I borrowed a guitar book that taught me the basic chords and scales. I poured hours into it. I'd play until it felt like my fingers were going to fall off. But I just kept going. I couldn't put the guitar down."

As time passed, Dan continued to grow in his guitar playing and songwriting, as well as other interests. With Dan being an avid snowboarder and outdoor adventurer, the music of Sometimes Blind is written for those who love snowboarding, skiing, camping, backpacking, kayaking, hot air ballooning, going off road, the mountains, the desert, the beach, a cold local brew around the bonfire, a cup of coffee around the morning campfire, or anyplace else where you can go off the grid and let your soul unwind.

Sometimes Blind - Dan

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