Melbourne bands to see live: MysteryShack

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Melbourne bands to see live: MysteryShack

Words by James Robertson

With this new short and sweet interview series, we'll be focusing on up-and-coming Melbourne live artists that deserve to be seen in their full glory on stage.

Get to know each group with our regular deep dives into their worlds and you might just want to grab a ticket to their next show. Starting us off, a three-piece band with all the boisterous energy of classic punk, MysteryShack epitomise the live experience.

“We are a drummer that sings (Jesse Denson), a guitarist that sings (Alec Gordon) and a bass player that sings (Marcus Kech): all in one delicious package.” As a band who’ve been living together on a boat moored in the Docklands for the past few months, they really cherish their tight connection as friends: “You eat together, you live together, you starve together. We’ve been doing that for the past three years now.”

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Having released their debut single ‘Mind’ in 2021 and their double A-side ‘Final Disaster/City of Hope’ earlier this year, the boys are gearing up to unveil the culmination of those three years in the form of their first EP. But they are anything but unsure about their sound, describing themselves as everything from psychedelia, funkadelia, rockadelia, moshadelia and any other word you can stick at the front of -delia, I guess.

I sat down with local funk-rock outfit under the shadow of Luna Park to discuss everything from the essentialism of Daft Punk’s music to the worst gig of their lives.

Who would you say is your most unlikely source of inspiration?

“Music inspiration can come from anywhere,” says Marcus. “From the trees around you, from the TV you watch, from hatred, from love, from dreams, from people you like and people you hate.”

“My brother is a massive inspiration to my music,” chides Alec, “because it’s an immediate emotional connection I can make.”

What is one album that has to be in your band’s personal record collection? 

10,000 Days by Tool,” is Marcus’s choice.

Butterfly 3000 by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard,” says Jesse. “Our most prized possession is our beautiful paper wrapped copy.”

As for Alec, it has to be Currents by Tame Impala… “Wait, we didn’t even mention a single Beatles album!”

If you could steal any piece of music from history, what would it be?

The boys varied widely on this question, with Jesse citing Arctic Monkeys album cut ‘Only Ones Who Know’ as a song that really connects with him. But it appeared the greatest consensus was the impact that Daft Punk’s 2013 magnum opus Random Access Memories has had on the band as a whole. “Not that I would want to write that album,” says Jesse, “but just to be able to create an album with the same attention to detail and quality in production.”

“We wanted to create something like that for a while,” Alec agrees. “We were all just overwhelmed by how precise and amazing it is, and how they put it together is just insane. So the EP we’ve been producing is as close as we can get to that. Honestly, if Random Access Memories didn’t exist we wouldn’t be inspired to take our EP in this direction.”

What’s been your worst gigging experience? 

“We were playing for a 21st party. Someone decided to put up Christmas lights around the set area and those lights caused an electrical malfunction in the power boards in the middle of a song and turned everything off. The crowd were already not too into us because they were just trying to enjoy a 21st and we were playing hard rock. We kind of lost them with that completely. They couldn’t do anything but listen to us. Alec’s guitar wasn’t working and that pissed us off.”

Marcus was in the worst mood at the end of that set. “At the end I threw my bass on the ground and I kicked the shit out of it. We drank and drank after that.”

If you could remove one artist from popular music, who would it be?

Marcus answers immediately. “Dua Lipa, get her out of here,” he laughs. “She should stop hiring people to write songs for her that already exist,” Alec adds.

Their issues with Dua run deeper than just her as an artist. “Every artist on the radio has the same issue,” says Marcus. “It just hasn’t been exciting to turn the radio on for a while. It sounds like the same producer is making the same music for every other artist that comes out nowadays.”

Their idea of music-making is in their minds a retaliation against this sameness. “We’re on this mission to make the music that we think should be played.”

Lastly, why should people who don’t know you come and see your gig?

“People who come to one of our shows for the first time will be the ones hanging out with us after the show. Even days after the show. They want to get to know us because of how well we tried to play that night, the energy we had for the night, the love we had for the music. We don’t just play this music for ourselves, we play this music so everyone can get involved and have fun. We want to be the sort of people you can vibe out with. We want to get to know people in our crowds. We want to see smiles and dances. We want to play for those people.”

Check out MysteryShack on Instagram and Facebook for upcoming gigs and follow them on Spotify for their new EP.