Mystery Ship is a rock and roll band. While that may sound simplistic, the band draws primarily on influences from the 1960s and 1970s, when rock and roll was an open book, still figuring out exactly what it was to become. With a firm grounding in their inspirations and influences, and minds open to putting together sometimes seemingly-unrelated elements, they have developed a sound that is fresh yet familiar, and always energetic. There are elements of the passionate, belting and at times rough-hewn vocal harmonies of Neil Young and Crazy Horse or Yardbirds, the big blues rock rhythms and riffs of Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, and wild whirls of lead guitars reminiscent of Jeff Beck Group or Band of Gypsys.
The band’s origins lay in four musicians who ended up in Seattle from completely separate parts of the US. Lead guitarist and vocalist Michael Wohl, from Chicago, found himself in Seattle at the end of a summer of tour vans and road trips and decided simply not to return. Drummer Travis Curry’s desire was to leave his Hawaii home for the mainland where bands could hit the road at all, rather than air or sea. Rhythm guitar player Josh Kupferschmid, tired of the desert of Phoenix, caught a one-way ride up to the Northwest and never looked back. Bass player and vocalist Alex Hagenah left Chicago to come to Seattle for college, but in a musically vibrant city, quickly found himself playing. Finding each other, they turned up the guitars and have been gettin’ loud since.