Modest Mouse is an American Indie rock band. The band was formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, United States by guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green and bassist Eric Judy. Since being signed to Sony's Epic Records in 2000, the band has attained significant popular success with songs such as "Float On" and "Dashboard."
The band's current configuration is Isaac Brock (vocals, guitar), Tom Peloso (strings, horns, bass, keyboards), Eric Judy (bass), Jeremiah Green (drums) and Joe Plummer (drums). Jim Fairchild has replaced Marr for their 2009 tour while Marr focuses on his other band, The Cribs. Marr is a former member of legendary alternative band The Smiths and Plummer has recently become the new drummer for The Shins.
Brock came up with the name "Modest Mouse" when he read the Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness essay The Mark On the Wall in which the author described the working middle class as "modest mouse-coloured people"
Brock frequently moved around with his mother when he was a child. Around this time, his mother left his father for his father's brother (Brock's uncle). Brock's mother's house flooded and forced them to move into his mother's new husband's trailer, but there was no room for Brock. Brock stayed behind, living in the second story of the flooded house, until he was eventually evicted by police. He then moved into a shed next to his mother's house and it is said this is where Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green and bassist Eric Judy first began playing music.
In 1994, the band recorded their debut EP, Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect?, at Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic Studios, which was then released on Calvin's record label K Records. Then followed a single with Sub Pop that was recorded by Steve Wold at Moon Studios. After moving to Up Records Modest Mouse put out several releases recorded at Moon Studios, including 1996's This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About. This double LP was produced and recorded by Steve Wold, (at this time Steve Wold was a member of the band as well.) The next offering on UP was Interstate 8; also produced by Steve Wold. 1997's The Lonesome Crowded West, (also recorded at Moon Studios, by Scott Swayze) turned out to be the band's breakthrough album. The Lonesome Crowded West gained the band a cult following and is now widely considered by many critics to be one of the defining albums of mid-90s indie rock.
In 2000, Modest Mouse released The Moon And Antarctica, their first album on a major label (Epic Records). The band enjoyed some success on alternative radio with the singles "3rd Planet" and "Gravity Rides Everything." Lead singer Isaac Brock has since put out an album with his side project Ugly Casanova on Sub Pop Records.
In 2003, drummer Jeremiah Green quit the band; the official word was that he was quitting to work with his side project, Vells. He was replaced with two members, drummer Benjamin Weikel (who also drummed for The Helio Sequence) and guitarist Dann Gallucci (Murder City Devils). Weikel being new to the band and Gallucci returning to the band for the first time since This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. On April 6, 2004, Modest Mouse released the platinum-selling Good News For People Who Love Bad News, which scored two hits with "Float On" and "Ocean Breathes Salty". In 2004 Jeremiah Green returned to the band, and Benjamin Weikel now drums exclusively for The Helio Sequence. Dann Gallucci left the band in August, and they have been touring with Hutch Harris of The Thermals.
Modest Mouse was mentioned by name in the 2005 Supreme Court decision in the case of MGM v. Grokster. Justice Souter wrote that on the Grokster P2P network, "Users seeking Top 40 songs, for example, or the latest release by Modest Mouse, are certain to be far more numerous than those seeking a free Decameron, and Grokster and StreamCast translated that demand into dollars."
In 2005, multi-instrumentalist Tom Peloso, who already played various instruments on Good News For People Who Love Bad News, officially joined the band. Latest addition is former Smiths songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr, now an official member of the band and featured on their new album, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. (James Mercer of The Shins fame is also featured on the album)
In 2009, they released an odds and ends collection of unreleased songs from around the time Good News and We Were Dead were recorded, and two songs that had already been released, I've Got It All(Most) and King Rat. The video for King Rat was directed by the late Heath Ledger.
Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, their lineup has centered around Brock, Green and Judy. Guitarist Johnny Marr (formerly of The Smiths) joined the band in May 2006, along with percussionist Joe Plummer (formerly of the Black Heart Procession) and multi-instrumentalist Tom Peloso, to work on the album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Guitarist Jim Fairchild joined the band in February 2009.
The band has accrued significant mainstream success since being signed to Sony's Epic Records in 2000 and have been one of the leading bands in the popularization of indie rock, beginning with The Moon & Antarctica and Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which have been certified gold and platinum by the RIAA respectively. They have gone on to sell over three million records since. Elements of Modest Mouse's early sound have been likened to or inspired by that of Pixies and numerous other alternative rock and space rock bands. Their name is derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story "The Mark on the Wall" which reads, "I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises."