Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Washington by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. 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 of 2009.
The band has attained significant mainstream success since being signed to Sony’s Epic Records in 2001 and have been one of the leading bands in the commercialization 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.”