"Preserving Hardcore is a brand I had built up on total accident over the years of just collecting, archiving, sharing, and distributing friends' bands and music I enjoyed growing up," says A.J. Rassau, owner of Preserving Underground. "I had originally intended to call the store something else when I opened but didn't want to get in over my head by making claims of specializing in genres I didn't really have enough stock of. My goal as a big record shopper myself is to never make claims that are going to leave a visitor to my store disappointed with the selection. At this point, only eight months in, we have had to triple our square footage designated to retail, and it has truly grown outward in many different directions; to the point where I finally feel comfortable broadening the name and the scope of the store and concert venue."
Rassau, a veteran of the Pittsburgh metal/hardcore scene, opened the space in spring 2019 as a way to sell and showcase his expansive collection of records and music paraphernalia.
"While we have always been open to hosting any type of concert, bands and promoters and fans of all different genres are really taking note that there is something different going on here with our shows and space that truly puts a focus on the musical and social aspect of concert-going as opposed to simply being just another place to get drinks with noise in the background," says Rassau. "Preserving Underground is much more representative of where the store is at now and where it plans on constantly evolving towards."
With the rebranding and additional live music comes an evolving approach to inventory. Rassau is expanding the punk and alternative sections in the store and experimenting with hip hop.
Preserving Underground is planning on an official grand reopening on Jan. 8. There is a show scheduled for that evening with local acts Unreal City and Narakah and touring acts from Florida (Seed Of Pain) and the U.K. (Mourning).
Get a peek of some of the new updates with Rassau's video walkthrough below.