Saturday 28 May 2016

Doomed & Stoned Festival Spotlight: Interview with Melissa from Doomed & Stoned

When I first heard that Doomed & Stoned were putting on their first musical festival later this year, I was thinking good on Billy Goate for deciding to do this. I asked Billy when did this idea came about and he replied – You better ask Melissa as she's organising the whole thing.

It seems Melissa has jumped right in and organised a great festival with a killer line-up. I've interviewed Melissa a couple of years ago on The Sludgelord so I asked would she be up for another interview with me. Mainly to discuss Doomed & Stoned Festival.

I wanted to find out where she got the idea from and how hard was it to put this festival together. Melissa is one of the most hard-working and dedicated individuals currently out there. Along with Billy Goate they runs one of the best blogs currently out there. Melissa kindly agreed to answer my questions and provide more info on the festival. Here's what we discussed.

Hi Melissa. Thanks for doing this interview. Means a lot. How are things with you today.

Busy, but that's usually good.

We are here to discuss the Doomed & Stoned festival that you're organising. How did that idea come about to arrange a festival.

It was kind of thrown out there by a few friends after my compilation "Doomed & Stoned In Indiana" released and experienced it's success. Of course at first it felt so impossible. The more you talk about something, the more you want it. I've had lots of help, so it's coming along well.

Had you been planning to arrange a festival for a while now.

I've been seriously planning for about two months.

Can you tell our readers what people can expect from the festival. What bands are appearing.

Of course. Cough is headlining on Friday November 18th and Bell Witch is headlining on Saturday November 19th. Over the two days, we'll have Demon Eye, Pale Divine, Toke, Heavy Temple and more. The complete lineup is at

Has it been challenging to organise this festival. Did you have any help from other people to organise the festival.

I have so much respect for the people who do this, year after year. Indy metal shows is one of our sponsors and they have been an enormous help. They hooked us up with our website and a ton of behind the scenes kind of stuff I never even considered. I'm also pretty cool with the folks who run the venue, the 5th quarter lounge. They've been walking me through everything. That's why I love the Indianapolis scene. We're relatively small, but very tight. If I were a in a big city like Portland, I'm not sure many people would be willing to take the time to help. I'm just so grateful.

I thought Billy Goate was originally behind this idea and he told me you were. What was Billy's reaction when you suggested putting on this festival. Was he fully supportive or apprehensive in some way.

I think at first he didn't think I could do it, HA HA. In all seriousness, he's been very supportive, but perhaps a bit hesitant to make any suggestions. His advice is always there if I need it.

What has the bands reactions been like when contacting them to appear at the festival. Have they all been fully supportive. Have any bands refused to answer your emails and telephone calls.

There have been a lot that didn't reply and that was very frustrating. I understand if a band is on tour but you'd think after three weeks it wouldn't be hard to send an email. I shouldn't complain though, the lineup is solid and all the bands really seem excited too.

With this being the 1st annual Doomed & Stoned festival, I take it if this is successful you will be doing this on a regular basis. Or will you see how this festival goes.

I hope to do this for a few more years at least. I didn't quite realise how badly the MidWest needed a doom fest and there's certainly some hype for it. 

I know you're partial to a bit of death/thrash metal. Were you tempted to sneak a death/thrash metal band on the bill. Other doom/stoner metal festivals have been guilty of this in the past.

That's what everyone is asking, because I'm a huge Testament fan. I'm not quite sure if death and thrash metal do well here or not. I did ask a few death doom bands but none of them were able to. I wanted to stick as closely to doom as I could.

How hard was it to find a suitable location in your home-town of Indiana to hold the festival.

Not at all. I go to no less than three shows a month at the 5th quarter and about a third of my annual salary goes to them. They're great people.

I know you've recently became involved filming local gigs at posting them on Doomed & Stoned. Was that an easy decision to get involved with. Are you more confident filming gigs now. Will you be filming gigs at the festival.

You can thank Billy for that. I had some cash and he talked me into getting the same camera he has, so filled me in on the settings to use and all that. I get the camera in the mail and two hours later I'm at a show filming this local doom band called Spirit Division. It turned out great so I've been filming local bands. They all seem to appreciate it and I think it's important that bands have videos of their performances. 

As you know I've been a big fan of you all over at Doomed & Stoned even when I was The Sludgelord. I loved your own journey on that blog. Reviews, video jukebox requests, interviewing bands face to face, filming gigs and now festival organiser. Did you ever expect your involvement with Doomed & Stoned ever take you on this journey.

Absolutely not. The cool thing about the relationship I share with Billy is, as we bounce ideas off each other the vision continues to change. I never thought we'd be where we are now. We worked very hard and didn't ride in on anyone's coattails.

Well Melissa, thanks for doing this interview. I wish you every success with this festival

Words by Steve Howe and Melissa Collins

Thanks to Melissa for taking the time out to talking to me. Check Doomed & Stoned Festival for regular updates.

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