Modest Mouse Biography
Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band. The band was formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington 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.
Brock came up with the name "Modest Mouse" when he read the Virginia Woolf story The Mark On the Wall in which the author described the working middle class as "modest, mouse-coloured people."
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. During this time, Modest Mouse also recorded their "would-be" debut album Sad Sappy Sucker, but constant delays caused the album to be shelved and forgotten (it was officially released in 2001). 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, Up released a singles and rarities collection entitled Building Nothing Out of Something, which included the entirety of Interstate 8 except for the songs "Edit the Sad Parts" and "Buttons to Push Buttons".
Also 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." Despite lacklustre support from most music fans, it was initially positively received by some critics , and The Moon And Antarctica has subsequently gone on to receive further acclaim . Lead singer Isaac Brock has since put out an album with his side project Ugly Casanova on Sub Pop Records. The band licensed "Gravity Rides Everything" for a commercial for Nissan's Quest minivan, a move that Brock has publicly acknowledged as blatantly commercial but necessary to achieve financial stability. (Onion A.V. Club interview with Isaac Brock)
In 2001, Modest Mouse released the EP Everywhere & His Nasty Parlour Tricks, a collection of unused songs from the Moon and Antarctica recording sessions, and Sad Sappy Sucker, a collection of songs Modest Mouse recorded in 1994, originally intended to be their debut album, but shelved in favor of This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. In 2002, they joined Cake, De La Soul, The Flaming Lips, The Hackensaw Boys, and Kinky on the Unlimited Sunshine Tour.
In 2003, drummer Jeremiah Green quit the band due to a mental breakdown; the official word was that he was quitting to work with his side project, Vells. The same year he and bassist Eric Judy appeared on Adam Forkner's debut album, VVRSSNN. Green was replaced with two new members, drummer Benjamin Weikel (who also drummed for The Helio Sequence) and guitarist Dann Gallucci (who had been a member of Modest Mouse previously, and appears on Sad Sappy Sucker). On April 6, 2004, Modest Mouse released their most recent album, the platinum-selling Good News For People Who Love Bad News, which scored two hits with "Float On" and "Ocean Breathes Salty". Later that year, Jeremiah Green returned to the band, and Benjamin Weikel returned to drumming 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."