Lancaster band is a local, national sensation
Lancaster sensation The Stonewall Vessels are hard to pigeonhole, and that’s just the way they like it.
“What sets us apart is our huge amount of influences,” said guitarist Luke Krizner.
The five-piece has been making waves locally and nationally, and will be a part of the Prava Sessions Live show on Saturday, Jan. 23.
The band’s broad musical palette draws from across the spectrum, including aspects of pop-punk, modern indie rock, hip-hop and psychedelic.
Rather than confusing the music or becoming gimmicky, this wide range of taste works to simultaneously fuse the music together and broaden the band’s audience.
“I really think that we appeal to all audiences because we listen to everything,” said Krizner.
The band started out when Krizner and bandmates Darrion Washington, guitar and lead vocals, and Josh McNamee, guitar and vocals, met and began playing together.
“We started out as a trio, playing coffeehouses.”
After garnering considerable attention through their coffeehouse appearances, bassist Jake Salinger joined the band and the search was on for a permanent drummer to round out the lineup.
“In our first year we went through three different drummers,” he explained.
It wasn’t until the band posted a want ad on the area’s Craigslist that they found their current drummer, Josh Perry, and their signature sound came together.
“When we found Josh it was like a light switch. As soon as we started playing together it mixed so well,” said Krizner.
This cemented the quintet’s membership in 2013, and the band has been busy ever since, playing more than 100 shows across the United States, showcasing on Lancaster area radio stations and recording two full length albums, alongside a special recording made live at Prava Creative Studio in New Holland.
“One day we got this email to do live recording sessions,” said Krizner.
The band was contacted to record a Prava Sessions set, similar in concept to the Pink Couch Sessions, in which artists are invited to perform a live set of a number of songs in studio.
Stonewall Vessels was extremely happy with the results, citing the live performance approach to recording as one that they felt worked best for them.
In March, Stonewall Vessels signed to the newly founded Prava Recordings label and are re-releasing their album "Colours" with this live recording, then record the new full length in a similar fashion.
“Now we have an opportunity to do a full album like that and I can’t wait. We’re really happy with the studio and everyone who’s coming in,” said Krizner.
The album offers 10-12 songs, varying in style with acoustic and electric elements, and will likely feature a number of friends and fellow area musicians.
“Hopefully we’ll have a lot of different featured guests, and people will put their own take on the music,” said Krizner.
The band prefers live studio recording because of the energy level of its performances, something that can be hard to capture in traditional studio recordings.
“When you see us live, it’s a completely different experience. Its craziness, people jumping everywhere, people screaming out the lyrics and everything,” said Krizner, who described the atmosphere as rife with the “energy of metal shows.”
“We’re not heavy metal, we’re not punk, but we have that kind of feeling. We have the live show of a heavy metal band without being a heavy metal band,” said Krizner.
He explained that, while they’ve performed in states all over the county, they often prefer touring on the east coast.
“You can hit so many major cities in just a few hours’ drive. We’re never more than a day out from home,” said Krizner.
Even then, there’s still no place like home for the band, who consistently maintain a local performing presence.
“Local clubs are my favorite. It seems like everybody know all the words,” said the guitarist.
This works out well for the band, as the crowds continue to promote, come out and enjoy the shows.
“We’ve had success in that manner by getting a lot of support from the local area,” said Krizner.
If you go
What: Prava Sessions Live featuring The Stonewall Vessels, Medusa’s Disco and Chris Rattie
Where: Tellus360, 24 E. King St., Lancaster
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, January 23
Cost: 21+, $5 cover charge