XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Ross: We are super excited to be playing March 30th with American Arson. They’re just a solid rock/punk type band from Detroit. After that we are hoping to jump right back in for the next EP.XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Ross: This project has been around for 8 years now as a solo project of mine. It has been only really in this last year that I’ve had the opportunity to expand and rethink what this project could be. In the beginning it was about how to write and record songs in my bedroom, now it’s about how to take those ideas and grow as a band and build a community around them.XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Ross: I suppose I’ve always had music surrounding my life, but as far as this project goes, Cloudkicker was the first time I heard someone just “do it”. He wrote and recorded some of the best post metal music at the time from his apartment. It really gave me the kick to just say “screw it” and start making music.XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Ross: I started playing piano when I was a child, although that never went anywhere. I would say that maybe one of my bigger regrets that I never push through and kept at it. From there I tried bass and finally guitar where I would stay for the next decade or so. Singing however is definitely a new venture for this guy.XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Ross: I would hope my music can convey some sort of atmosphere that would allow a story to form and progress as you would listen. I would admit however, it can get emo at times.XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Ross: I would like to finish this re branding goal of mine, re-releasing each of the original instrumental EPs with this new lineup and with vocals. From there, who knows! I don’t tend to make plans that far in advance….XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Ross: As long as the fire doesn’t die and we can consistently create and play to people would will listen, I will be happy. I like to let the road take me where ever it may lead.XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Ross: They both have there place. Playing live has that adrenaline rush with the immediate feedback. Where writing/recording is more of the long haul payoff that gives you a wave of satisfaction when it’s finally done and released.XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Ross: The songs usually follow song kind of story arc that plays out some internal struggle (depression, anxiety, etc.). This last EP was using a soldier struggling with the fallout of war to play out the internal struggle of a man and the war he feels inside different relationships.XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Ross: Not at the moment but I hope to have my fill!XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Ross: Someone wanted me to sign something (napkin, piece of paper, anything) and send it in the mail over seas just after I released the first instrumental demo EP all those years ago. Probably a scam or something but definitely caught me off guard.XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Ross: Yeah my parents were always supportive of music being a passion. My dad did the whole band thing growing up and everyone in my family played some kind of instrument so it was natural to want to be in a band.XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Ross: “Fading Fast” is a personal favorite of mine. There room in there to get my feet moving and lets me just kind of yell a lot for the last portion of the song.XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Ross: I would say Thrice or Minus the Bear keep me motivated every time I see them. They are a four piece band (which is what this outfit will become at some point) and have so much energy without having to force stage movement.XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Ross: Thrice and OceansizeXS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Ross: Pushing past the nerves and trying the whole singing thing definitely has been a change and that fact that I’m still doing it is a huge accomplishment for me.XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Ross: Well at this point music is secondary to my career as it is but at some point I would like to change that. In the long run I can’t say that I would really want to do anything else that doesn’t involve the music scene in some way.XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Ross: We recently built an DIY In-Ear rig to try out before investing a bunch of money in that area before knowing exactly what we want. We have some analog mixers and splitters in a rack with a vocal processor for verb and such. Outside of that we use Peavey and Laney amps, Fender and PRS guitars.XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Ross: It has its ups and downs. Some of my local favorites have fallen off the map, some of them have broken through the local scene. There is always good music out there and good music will always find its way out.XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Ross: Motivation is a huge struggle for me, even though this lats re-release marks #5 for releases of the last 8 years for this project. (#7 over all)XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Ross: Heavy with a sense of ambience.XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Ross: Just to keep in touch, we will be releasing a bunch of music here in the near future.XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Becoming The Lion is:
Ross Blomgren – Guitar, Vox, Bass
Dennis Paterkiewicz – Drums
Dan Mazur – Guitar, Vox
Dennis Paterkiewicz – Drums
Dan Mazur – Guitar, Vox