Exclusive: Modest Mouse Frontman Talks Cutting Self, Heath Ledger Collab



We caught up with enigmatic Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock shortly after topping the Billboard charts to find out how it feels to sell thousands of records, what he’s up to next, and why the hell he cut himself.

So, um, why’d you cut yourself?

I had lost my voice in Portland, and I was drinking single malt scotch, which opens up your vocal chords. That night I was drinking coffee with single malt scotch and was having a really good time. I got hyper, got kind of punk rock on it, no crazier than Nick Cave or Iggy or anyone like that. It’s not a cry for help. If people want to make it a sad sack moment, f*ck them. I see no reason to turn my fun into their drama. After the show I was in a great mood. It wasn’t something I even thought about until a few days later when I got a text from a friend that said “Someone said you cut yourself — are you ok?” and I’m like, “Oh sh*t. Here we go. I know how this one plays out.” So now I gotta answer this question for the next year.

To find out what else Brock’s up to, check out after the jump.

Were there any songs you plan to release that didn’t make it on the record?
We’re going to make an EP –- a partner record for [We Were Dead]. They’re really good songs, a couple of my favorite songs didn’t make it to the record, but they’ll be coming out when we have a chance to get them together. Not a clue when that’ll be. There’s one called "Autumn Beds" that’s about some of the characters that are recurring on this record, the people who worked on the fishing boat -— it’s about their trial and them getting killed again. There’s one called "Tie the Lake Down," and there’s another called "The Whale Song," which is a lot of people in the band’s favorite song.

Any other videos planned, apart from "Dashboard"?

We started working on some lower budget videos for seven or eight other songs. Heath Ledger’s been wanting to do a video for one of the songs that didn’t make it on the record, "King Rat." Terry Gilliam is going to help animate it. Heath and I have a mutual friend and when we were in Australia, my fiancé and some of us in the band went out on a boat with him and his family and friends and talked about the idea. He’s got a video production company and was interested in working on something. We were talking back and forth for a while. The idea seemed sort of dropped, but then he just sent me an email saying that he wanted to do it. And I love me some Terry Gilliam. I hope it works out and I don’t sound like a f*cking liar at the end of this.

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  1. Johnson Fairy says:

    Every time I hear the band name “Modest Mouse”, I’m all like “pedebleberbaum”!!! or even “bllrlrlthththhhhau!!” (which is what Boy George used to yell into the mic on Culture Club tours)…

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