Q&A: Steven Douglas Ross

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 31, 2011 7:20 AM

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Local band Blizzard at Sea will perform for the first time at Mission Creek this week. We spoke with band member Steven Douglas Ross to learn what to expect at one of the group’s performances and what he thinks the weeklong festival means to Iowa City.

Daily Iowan: Who is in the band and where are you guys from?

Ross: I’m vocals and play guitar, and I’m from Ankeny. John Komdat is from Denver, and he plays drums, and Jesse Cohen is from Clarion, Iowa, and plays bass.

DI: What can an audience expect when attending a Blizzard at Sea concert?

Ross: People can expect a Blizzard at Sea show to be energetic and loud. Really loud. It’s a hard thing to describe, what draws people to shows. There’s something about not only hearing a band, but being able to feel it, all the way through. That’s what a Blizzard at Sea show is about. We can thrash around on stage until we collapse, but really, it’s the communication to the audience that we are after.

DI: How long have you been performing together?

Ross: John and I discovered our shared musical tastes while working together on a haunted house just over a year ago. Jesse joined us to complete the line up at the beginning of this year.

DI: What’s the craziest show you’ve guys ever had?

Ross: We played a show in Ames with a wide representation of musical genres. In one night, there were people hula-hooping and spinning in circles, people head-banging and getting their angry faces on, and people relaxing and swaying to the tunes. It was a small venue, so there was an intimate atmosphere about the whole night.

DI: Is this your first Mission Creek Festival experience as a band?

Ross : Yes, in fact, this is our first festival in general. The whole experience is new to us. Being part of such a diverse selection of musicians is great.

DI: What do you think Mission Creek means to Iowa City?

Ross: Mission Creek, to a lot of people, is the musical highlight of the year in Iowa City, and for good reason. Mission Creek does a good job of bringing in bands from across a wide range of genres, more than many festivals out there.

DI: What other bands/acts do you guys want to see at Mission Creek this week?

Ross: Growing up listening to local Iowa music, I’m excited to see that Christopher the Conquered and the Poison Control Center are on the bill this year.

DI: What do you hope to accomplish during Mission Creek week?

Ross: Music is a powerful form of communication. If we can make an impression on even one person there, then we have accomplished what we’ve set out to do.

—Evan Clark

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