Modest Mouse: 1992-2010.pdf

Modest Mouse: 1992-2010.pdf


More than any other band, Modest Mouse represented the ascendency of indie rock at the turn of the millennium. True dyed-in-the-wool independent musicians, Modest Mouse originated in the thriving mid-90s Northwest music scene orbiting Calvin Johnson’s K Records and founded on an uncompromising idealism handed down from punk forefathers. After years of touring and recording, in 2004, these indie darlings became full-blown, mainstream rock stars with the release of their platinum-selling Good News for People Who Love Bad News, changing the face of popular rock music and opening the door for a new wave of like-minded peers.

Pat Graham and Isaac Brock were housemates in 1992 at the activist punk house Positive Force, just outside of Washington, D.C. Isaac was learning guitar and writing songs while Pat was documenting the punk scene in Washington, D.C. Isaac moved out and eventually ended up in Washington state where, in 1993, he formed Modest Mouse. In 1997 Modest Mouse embarked on their first U.S. tour, and Isaac asked Pat to come out and help with managing and driving, and to document the tour. What followed over the next 12 years were a continuing friendship and many tours across the USA, Europe, and Japan—and Graham always had his camera in hand.

Modest Mouse: 1992–2010, is Grahamʼs firsthand, intimate, visual history of a good friend and the band that he created. His photographs of Isaac Brock and Modest Mouse are a rare and privileged view into the greatest fantasy of all—becoming a rock star. Onstage and 10,000 miles off of it, Graham’s remarkable photos record the broken down vans, overflowing merch tables, adoring fans, blown amps, couches turned into beds for weary tour mates, performance injuries, more filthy than average motel rooms, run-of-the-mill truck-stops, zen moments and breathtaking landscapes, and scores of other sights of almost a decade on the road, along with both compelling and candid portraits of the band members and their friends—depicting the transformation of a band struggling to get to the next town just to play a basement concert into stars headlining arena shows. Witness to all the highs and the lows of the road to fame, Modest Mouse also features stories from the people involved, including band members Isaac Brock, Jeremiah Green, and Eric Judy; fellow musicians James Mercer of the Shins and Doug Martsch from Built to Spill; and friends like the artist Jay Ryan.

The first and only book on the history of Modest Mouse and the lives of the band members, and a unique and intimate look at the origin, growth, and explosion of an indie rock band at the cusp of the millennium, Modest Mouse: 1992–2010 is a treasure for anyone interested in a back stage pass and a deeper understanding of the glory, grit, and grime of rock and roll stardom.

Pat Graham has spent the last 25 years as a photographer. Mostly shooting musicians, his images have graced the covers and inserts of iconic albums. His photographs are part of the permanent collection at the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, Washington and the Arlington Cultural Affairs in Virginia. He has released two books of photography, Silent Pictures (Akashic, 2007) and Instrument (Chronicle, 2011), and shot commercially for brands such as Ray Ban, Converse, and Umbro.


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