Interview with Ross Blomgren – Guitarist, lead vocals, and founding member
Interview by Kayleigh McKenzie
Hey, thank you for your time, what is your name and position in the band?
R- Ross Blomgren, Guitarist, lead vocals, and founding member.
You’re a reasonably new band. Becoming the Lion evolved from a solo project so how did you all meet and turn the band into what it is today?
R – I actually went to high school with Grant (Bass) and Dan (Lead Guitar/Vocals). Although Dan and I never really crossed paths until after the suggestion of our mutual guitar teacher (who recorded this current EP) in our college years, Grant and I have been close friends and connected with other projects over the past 10 years. I actually met Dennis (Drums) from a Craigslist advert back in the day!
When did you realize you wanted to get into music? Was there a specific moment?
R – I never had a defining moment to be interested in music since it was always apart of my early years. But when I was introduced to “Cloudkicker,” I was immediately motivated to “just do it” by building out a small recording area and putting a handful of instrumental demo EPs together. This is what became “Becoming the Lion”.
You’ve got your second EP “Unearthly Creature” coming out later this year. What’s the concept behind this album?
R – As with the last EP, Unearthly Creature does have a loose concept surrounding it. This time around, the main theme relates to the confrontation of your inner turmoil. I envision a medieval quest to find and slay a dragon to signify this story. Our single “Silent Return” closes the EP after returning home to try to clean up the wreckage and strive to survive and heal.
How would you say this EP is different from your first one “Ghost of a Fallen Soldier”?
R – Where the GOAFS was a structurally consistent Reissue with the new elements mostly on the drums and vocal additions, Unearthly Creature was almost completely re-written. The themes and structures are more or less intact, but new leads, vocals, drums, grooves, and new parts entirely gives this reissue an entirely new journey than the original demos. It also may feel a little more organic since many of the new parts were a product of jam sessions, as opposed to crafted in logic.
What was the process like for recording this EP?
R – This was the first EP of this project that was not recorded in my studio. This time around I went to Greg’s Guitar Lessons for tracking, mixing, and mastering. The process was pretty typical after that, a few days to lay down instrumentals and a few more for vocals. Much of this EP was a bit of a singing marathon for me that took much more prep than GOAFS. Luckily we were able to get everything tracked before everything hit the fan this year.
Who would you say are your main influences for this EP or just the band in general?
R – Some main influences of the band include Deftones, Oceansize, Russian Circles, Cloudkicker, and the like, but this EP pulled a bit more from the Emo/Alternative side for vocals. (The Receiving end of Sirens, Saosin, Circa Survive). This band is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to genres.
Do you have anyone that would be the dream artist to tour with?
R – Hopesfall would be an all-timer for sure. The Shoe-gazy side of metal has always been a favourite for me.
With everything that’s happening in the world at the moment, how are you finding not being able to get out and play music?
R – It has definitely been a bit uneasy not to have regular practice and prep for shows, but it was nice to really focus in on this EP for the year. We are also steadily working on getting the follow up going for next year. Even though live stuff is slow, there is a great opportunity for much more new and interesting stuff to come from all of this.
Do you have any hobbies that are keeping you occupied?
R – I’ve recently begun picking up woodworking. I’ve always been a fan of Legos, so I figured this was the “Adult” version of that! However, with building a family and a full-time job, more than one hobby can get you pretty boughed down when trying to make progress on any single one.
Is there anywhere that would be your dream place to play?
R – I can’t say I have a dream venue, but something like Arc Tangent or any of those “Post” genre festivals would be an amazing experience!
Do you think in today’s society that a band needs to be signed to a label to get recognition?
R – I think labels will always have their place. Need to? Probably not if you are savvy at the social media thing and have the right presence. Me personally, I would rather have a label that can handle much of the organic growth as I am not great at keeping up with all of the different platforms.
What’s your favourite artist to listen to at the moment?
R – I don’t do a whole lot of casual listening these days but I do have some classic Post-Rock spinning while at work. God is an Astronaut, Cloudkicker, (newer) Tides of Man. Stuff like that is easy to have on without causing a fuss in the office.
Can you give me any pros and cons of being in a band?
R – Pros: There’s nothing quite like the experience on stage, leaving yourself in a collection of notes for someone else to find. Cons: Never being satisfied, can feel like a money pit at times.
Are there any TV shows that you’re enjoying at the moment?
R – Just finishing up “The Boys” then we’ll be on a bit of a dry spell here as I wait for this last season of Rick and Morty to come out to some streaming platform.
Do you have a favourite track on the new EP?
R – Over the River, and Through the Woods is a personal favourite of mine. A lot of movement, different genres kinda smashed into one and a little disconnected at times… kinda like me!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
R – Thanks for the read, check out our single “Silent Return” now, and keep on keeping on!