Modest Mouse are one of the most surprising commercial success stories of the new millennium – while their music is by turns taut and elliptical, and the lyrics sometimes cryptic and introspective, the band broke through the mainstream audience with the platinum-selling Good News for People Who Love Bad News and they became genuine rock stars at a time when their musical peers remained cult figures.
Modest Mouse was formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington by singer/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green and bassist Eric Judy. In 1994, Modest Mouse recorded its first EP,Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect and also recorded what would have been its first album, Sad Sappy Sucker, but constant delays caused the album to be shelved and ultimately released in 2001. In 1996, the group officially released its debut album,This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, on the independent label Up Records. It was followed the next year by The Lonesome Crowded West, which featured Modest Mouse’s core membership of Brock, Judy and Green. That album generated a buzz on the underground music scene for its dark, pessimistic lyrics centering on America’s suburban underbelly, and music that jumps from angular punk to gently, country-ish dirges. Another album, The Fruit that Ate Itself, an experimental one-off for the indie label K Records, also came out in 1997. As Modest Mouse’s following grew, they were courted by major labels and they eventually signed with Epic Records, who released The Moon & Antarctica in 2000. A collection of demos and session outtakes,