The Stormfest Files 2015: Tripp Stevens

This is the first installment of “The Stormfest Files 2015.” We are going to do a series of articles spotlighting the bands and the community that make Stormfest happen. If you don’t know what Stormfest is, thanks for visiting for the first time! 😉 You can get some more info here, here, here and on the Facebook event page here.

The metal mayhem is managed by none other than the main madman, “Uncle” Tripp Stevens. I was lucky enough to sit down with Tripp for the following interview. Tripp is the brains behind Clenched Fist Productions and he also holds down the low-end for TenDead and The Blood of War.

Damascus Wootz: Tripp, you’ve done it again, and put together a killer lineup for Stormfest 2015. What’s your thought process behind band selection?

Tripp Stevens: Well, for one, I try to put bands on the bill who are all familiar with one another. Camaraderie is a great thing in the metal/ heavy music community. Obscurity is another factor. People are unfamiliar with some of the bands, and I like to try to help get the bands some exposure by putting them on the bill with the more established acts. Being a down to earth group helps with my decision to have a band on the show. The first few years, I had some bands start acting like they were a big deal and like they were owed something, so I took them off the lineup and told them to get bent. Stormfest is about a room full of people there for the same reason, not to think you’re better than the next guy. That’s why I f*cking despise the whole “Battle of the Bands” bulls*it. It’s not a competition, it’s love motherf*ckers, all love.

DM: You’ve pretty much got three headliners booked for this year: Kingshifter, Iconocaust, and Hemlock. How did you first get hooked up with these guys?

TS: Good question haha! Several years ago, Iconocaust sent me a request on myspace, yes myspace, and I totally f*ckin’ dug them. My boy Blake Oleson, when THE Phoenix Room was operating (R.I.P.), put me on organizing the one year anniversary of opening, I thought Iconocaust should come on out and party. They were down to pound and I have had them back in Nebraska several times since. Kingshifter was a chance of luck. I was asked by another band I was booking to bring them up. Got them to come up for a show, totally dug everything about these guys. Best bunch of cats you could meet. I’ve had them up here several times in Norfolk, Lincoln, and Omaha and they had my band TenDead down to Wichita for their CD release. Awesome, awesome dudes. As far as Hemlock goes, I went to Lincoln for the Dirtfedd CD release, and as I walked in, there was some crazy bastard with dreads jumping like a maniac on stage. I just thought to myself, I need to book these guys. I approached Chad outside after their set and told him who I was, and what CFP did, and he was down to work with me. So I also contacted them about the one-year Phoenix Room show (it was a big one). Been working with them ever since.

DM: Last year, you played bass three sets in a row, but this year I see you put a couple hours between TenDead and The Blood of War. How did that go last year? How did your hands feel after playing that long?

TS: Oh Jesus, haha. My hands were pretty well shot after that. It probably didn’t help that I was nervous about the turnout early and started slamming Beam and Cokes like they were water, haha. I’m sober as a bird these days so that shouldn’t be an issue this year lol. But I will tell you, last year playing that show with three very different bands was a blast.

DM: Speaking of TenDead, it looks like there is a new album in the works–what can you tell me about it? What can we expect to see from TenDead in 2015?

TS: We are taking our time with this album. We want to put out a diverse style of album, but you will still know it’s TenDead. Mike and Christina have been laying down some demo work, and it is pretty killer. We’re experimenting with tones and sounds to try to bring out a new monster in TenDead. It helps in TenDead that we are three like-minded individuals that all bring something different to the table.

DM: Any idea of what the festival’s namesake, Storm Corbin, will be doing for his set?

TS: I’m giving him about an hour before the show to show off his chops. I know the kid has some demos he’s been working on so I would assume he might be laying those down for y’all.

DM: Are you trying anything new with the festival this year?

TS: It’s pretty stat quo for StormFest. Other than there is going to one more band than ever before, and one more long distance act. I will say though, I have considered some extra entertainment. I’ve been in contact with a side show act that is wanting to perform in the lot between sets. But due to budget restraints from lack of sponsorship, it might have to wait. If the show doesn’t go as planned, it comes out of my pocket. So tell your friends to get their asses to the Hideout!

DM: Where can people get tickets?

TS: Tickets will be available the 1st of February.
You can get them by contacting me on facebook or at, contacting, contacting any of the bands on the show, or they will be available at The Hideout Lounge. Pre-sale tickets are just $10, $15 day of show. Keep an eye out on Facebook and for a ticket giveaway, or two, haha.

Tripp is telling you how to do it!!! It couldn’t be any easier to…
…get out and pay some cover charges f*ckers!!