We end our multi-part coverage of the Stormbringer Metal Festival today with an interview with Evgeny Gromovoy, organiser of the event and drummer of Adamantis. We hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at this fantastic event.

Evgeny: Hi André, first of all, thank you for covering the festival! I am a long-time follower of your blog, so it is a honor and pleasure to grace your site (this time as promoter of Stormbringer). Thank you for giving us an opportunity to expand our reach and open to the world what we are trying to do here. To answer your question, the idea was incubated during fall of 2021 and winter of 2022, just as we were slowly starting to come out of the COVID19 pandemic. I wanted to bring Glacier to the East Coast. But then I realized that, if we bring Glacier, we could perhaps bring some more bands. I floated the idea to Carmine Blades (Seax) and Dwayne Eldrege (Mourn the Light), two good friends of mine and pillars of the New England heavy metal community. We then realized that the heavy metal community was a bit underserved here on the East Coast, and thus Stormbringer was born. 

Evgeny: Ralph’s is an iconic place. It has been conserved as by act of magic for many years while many venues of its kind are long gone. Therefore, Ralph’s has a very special eclectic retro vibe to it. Of course, this makes it one of the most famous metal spots in New England, and for a festival bringing traditional heavy metal, this place was the most natural choice. Ralph’s has been supporting the local heavy metal scene for many years, and I saw there many legendary acts such as Ross The BossRaven or Attacker (who returned for the first edition of the fest), to name a few. Plus, it has so much to offer! Ralph’s has a diner (so you can grab your burger or hot dog on the spot), a patio, a bar with a metal jukebox and a stage, all in the same place. Very few spots have such a great combination. It was a very natural choice.

Evgeny: To be honest, I was very stressed this second time. We were sold out, we had a heat wave, and the venue got very hot and humid quickly, especially on the second day. I knew it could get hot, and I had a choice of hosting the bands outdoors on a stage that the guys from Ralph’s use for other gigs. But the weather forecast was moody with a chance of rain, and thus we decided to keep the fest indoors. I spent all Saturday night carrying water and receiving complaints about the heat! At some point in the night the pack of water bottles I reserved for the bands disappeared. So, then fans saw me carrying glasses of tap water for the Visigoth guys from the bar across the (ultra-packed) concert hall. I think I made like seven runs! I don’t think I want to relive this situation ever again. Shoutout to the bands, bartenders, sound guys and my team of volunteers who were working in such a harsh environment. They were the real heroes of the night.

Evgeny: As you can expect, most of the fans are from New England, but we also get folks from Pennsylvania, New York and even farther places such as Oklahoma! 

Evgeny: Our gig was good, (or so I think, haha). I heard great things from new and old fans, and the footage I saw was quite good. I really liked the special moments we prepared – covering “Flight of Icarus“ with some friends (Olive Gallop from Ice Giant and Jean-Pierre Abboud from Traveler), and then playing “Misbegotten Dream“ with our former guitarist Jeff Taft. This last one was a very special moment for me, since Jeff co-founded the band and spent several years working hard for the band before we parted ways. We never got a chance to play this song (a favorite of Jeff’s) live. So, it was a very personal moment for me. Plus, the song is about Elric of Melniboné, fittingly! 

Evgeny: We are working on the best ways to create a third edition. I learnt a lot after these two editions, and I want to make some changes. But I am not sure if my vision for the festival can be realized yet. This festival is all about building community. However, the costs (of everything) are on the rise, and the logistical and financial aspects of running a festival are considerable. If we move ahead, yes, it will be a two-day festival.

Evgeny: We did not have much trouble these two editions, but I do know of some other festivals that are struggling. As I mentioned, the costs are on the rise, and booking a festival is definitively a risky endeavor. You want to be fair with the bands, but also don’t want to overcharge the fans… plus each state has its own fan base, and if the base is thin, then it is hard to get out of state fans to fly in. 

Evgeny: I will tell you THE dream band, which will never play here – Running Wild! I of course have some other bands in mind, but that’s trade secret. [laughs] 

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