Nominee at the 10th annual LA Music Awards
Lead vocalist Jamie Ballachino started NO BLINDFOLD on his own in 1998, after attending both Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College, by putting together a solo 7-song demo CD. He grew up in a musical household, as his father was a keyboard player who always had The Beatles, Elvis Presley and other 50’s & 60’s music playing. Jamie’s later influences included The Doors, Metallica, Anthrax, Nine Inch Nails and Mr. Bungle. Brother Rocky enjoyed the same musical influences growing up. Groups like The Doors, Slayer and Faith No More became favorites, along with Helmet, Jimi Hendrix and even John Coltrane.
They eventually recruited a drummer & guitarist, and recorded another 7-song demo CD in early 2001. The group then spent some time in Los Angeles, doing showcases at Cherokee Studios and the infamous Roxy. They also spent a little time working in the studio with legendary Led Zeppelin producer Andy Johns.
NO BLINDFOLD drummer Nate Lester escaped to Los Angeles for a couple years after college to explore musical possibilities. His roommate was Cypress Hill member Sen-Dog’s younger brother and he took drum lessons from Dave Lombardo (of Slayer), Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa) and Chad Smith (The Red Hot Chili Peppers). Nate came back to Cleveland in 2001 and joined NO BLINDFOLD by answering a newspaper ad.
Once back in Ohio, NO BLINDFOLD recorded their first full-length CD In The Back Of Your Mind…..Part1 and Part 2, a two disc set that was played on 92.3 Xtreme radio every Sunday night for about one year. The single Good Morning made it into official rotation. During this time the band played live shows about twice a month in Cleveland, as well as doing shows in Akron, Canton, Kent, Flint, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and New York City.
Rounding out the band is newest member, guitar whiz Matthew Lawhorn, who grew up in Cleveland and attended Holy Name High School. His musical tastes include Slayer, Metallica, Nirvana, Pantera, Slipknot and Helmet. While in high school he played with bands Liquid Spine and Break Wall before joining NO BLINDFOLD in the Summer of 2003.