Dan Ostebo is approaching his four-year anniversary as bassist for The Afters, a chart-topping Christian rock band hitting the road this fall with Casting Crowns and Sanctus Real for a 40-city tour. Read as Dan talks music, faith, family and fun.
AHD: How did you choose the bass guitar?
DO: I "chose" the bass guitar when I was about 15 years old. I had a lot of friends that played instruments, and they had a pseudo band going, but no one played the bass guitar. Actually, I think that's how everyone who plays the bass, starts to play the bass. Your friends have their first birthday party gig coming up, but they're bass-less! So, they get the friend that doesn't know anything about music to play the bass. I really like to think of my beginning in bass guitar as a rescue mission. I bailed my friends out! Except the rescuer (me) didn't have a clue how to play. Rescue mission fail? Yeah, pretty much! The good thing was I fell in love with the bass guitar. So, thank you friends for throwing me under your musical bus, and thank you dad for buying me my first bass guitar.
AHD: For those who haven’t heard, how would you describe what The Afters sound like?
DO: I would describe The Afters sound as a mix between The Fray and U2, with a little OneRepublic sprinkled on top, and maybe a Muse bow wrapped around the outside of the package.
AHD: How long have you been with the band, and how would you describe the fit?
DO: I have been with The Afters for almost 4 years now. I can't believe it's been that long. I guess they like me and I like them. We have all become best friends. I wouldn’t want to be on the road with anyone else.
AHD: Your band mates make family a priority, even while touring. What’s it like being a part of a band that’s not ashamed of holding lofty values?
DO: There are four of us in the band. Josh (vox) is married with 3 kids and 1 on the way. Matt (guitar) is married with 3 kids. Jordan (drums) is engaged and will be married this year. I am married to an amazing woman, and we’re expecting. And we have a dog named Nacho. Family means everything to us. Our wives are the real rock stars. Without their support, The Afters wouldn’t exist. It's amazing to be in a band that believes family comes first. Bands have a short shelf life. They come and go all the time. Your family is where your investment needs to be.
AHD: The Afters recently went through a tough stretch including the deaths of a couple of close friends and changes in personnel. How was the band able to forge ahead during such a difficult time?
DO: The Afters have been through a lot over the course of the last couple of years. We lost our manager to cancer and our drummer Jordan lost his best friend to a very rare heart condition. All of that happened right before going in to write for our latest record. Songwriting was one of our avenues for getting through those hard times. The message of hope poured out of our songs on our last record, Light Up The Sky. One song that came out of those tragedies was "Life Is Sweeter". Going through these obstacles and difficult times as a band was a huge growing experience. Grieving with each other brought us closer together.
AHD: How do you pass the time while you and your band mates are out on the road?
DO: We do a lot of different things to pass time on the road. On our off days in between shows we try to see as many sites as we can. Our frontman Josh is the king of finding the best place in town to go check out. I feel like we've seen America 103 times over.
AHD: Chart-toppers are nothing new to The Afters. How does your faith impact how you handle success?
DO: We believe that we are promised nothing, yet are blessed with so much. That’s how we view radio success. It's just a flash in the pan. Life is but a vapor. It is there one minute and gone the next. We try to make every moment and opportunity count for a greater purpose than this life.
AHD: What’s next for The Afters? How can we keep up with the latest news?
DO: Next up for The Afters is a 40-city tour this fall with Casting Crowns and Sanctus Real. We love both of those bands. It's going to be a blast! We will also be writing our forthcoming album due for release late spring/early summer 2012. You can keep up with The Afters by “liking” our facebook page, our blog on our website, or following us on twitter.