Paul Neil was looking for a way to promote his projects with something unconventional, something that would really capture people's attention. As the manager of 222 Ormsby, owner and operator of Katzulhu Productions, and a fan of the local punk and metal scene in general, Neil wanted to combine his intersecting passions into a single event where he could showcase all the talent Pittsburgh has to offer. The concept he landed on would be challenging but decidedly novel: he'd record a live show at 222 straight to vinyl.
Naming the series Live From 222 Ormsby, Neil chose the punk band Crooked Cobras as his first act to record because he felt they are one of the better live bands in the city (the album was recorded earlier this year and is set for an early 2020 release). Feeling comfortable enough to pursue another act, he searched once again to find a suitable, well-rehearsed band for his next featured live recording and found Greywalker.
The local melodic death metal heavyweights' entry into the conversation comes by the dint of their two releases, Beyond All Mortals (2016) and Without Control (2018), as well as their energetic live performances. The quintet — Brian Howe on vocals, Evan Thornsen and Ricky Zimmerman on guitars, bassist Colt Dalmaso, and drummer Joey Solak — will record their Live From 222 Ormsby on Fri., Dec. 6 at 222 Ormsby in Mount Oliver.
Noting there are no second takes on a live recording, Neil felt that the band was a great fit after meeting Howe, and calls Greywalker “an awesome, tight band with good songs who I thought would be capable of doing it.”
The challenge is not lost on the band, as Howe notes that he and his bandmates are ready to embrace the spirit of the night and the opportunity to showcase their live show.
“I’m fully confident with dropping our ego to the side, and if it’s a little messed up here or there, it’s going to be what it is. It’s going to be more of an opportunity for people that are really fans of ours and friends of ours to have a cool artifact. It’s something different.”
During the show, Thornsen says the band is not going to hold back, promising a ferocious set of familiar “hitters,” along with a few surprises.
Recording live comes with a few challenges, notably outfitting the room for the night: 222 Ormsby was not built with recordings in mind. During the show, Neil and the venue’s sound engineer, Mark Bacjz, will record Greywalker’s performance through a portable mixing board directly to digital storage, mixing the edit from home with the band’s input before sending the final version to press.
Greywalker fans can look forward to seeing the vinyl pressed and released during the first half of 2020, with a digital download available from Katzulhu Productions as well.