If anyone was paying attention, you will remember that five years ago today, Modest Mouse released their last album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank.
Without trying to sound like an ungrateful fan stamping his feet and asking where that new album is (which seems to the common occurrence every time Modest Mouse makes a post on Facebook), we would like to point out that this is the longest gap so far between albums. If you don't take No One's First, And You're Next, as it's an EP and featured mostly old material.
With We Were Dead reaching this milestone, we thought we'd take this moment to recap and speculate on some of the recent activities of the band and its members, in the hopes of stirring up some discussion or perhaps someone filling us in on some news we're not aware of:
- The band as a whole: After performing a mammoth 119 known shows in 2007, the performances cut to about a half of that for 2008, 2009 and 2010, before performing only 15 shows last year. This year doesn't seem to be off to anything different, with the only dates having past and set for the future being festivals.
One could be optimistic and see this as them spending more time in the studio working, or maybe they're just taking a break. I'm all for not rushing things. However with so little new material having been debuted live, I would think it's closer to the latter.
While the band has been notoriously shy from giving interviews in the past few years, when they have strangely there has been mention of a new album being practically finished, only to have the same story repeated a year later. A lot has happened since, Johnny Marr did leave the band, and who knows how that may have affected any of the material that he may have contributed to.
Even the sessions with Big Boi occurred almost one year ago, although it seems to have been made out that that was more of an experiment than anything.
So far the only new material floating around are the songs that have been performed live. The two that have had the most oration being Lampshades On Fire and Poison The Well. Another potential song is the untitled track performed at The Warfield, unofficially titled "Mexico". Lastly there is the untitled track that made an appearance at the end of the Don't Move Here episode.
- Isaac Brock: Recently, apart from playing the few last minute surprise solo shows, the only other project Isaac potentially has on the go is the writing of the Queens Of Country soundtrack. Which was also announced about a year ago, and has since not been mentioned again. The film is finally due out at the end of this month, and while Isaac is still mentioned as the composer on IMDB, the lack of updates around this make me think he's no longer involved. We attempted to contact the producers of the film, but did not receive a reply. Hopefully with the release just around the corner, we should get some closure to this soon.
- Jeremiah Green: The once side project busy Jeremiah, has also been quiet of late. At least perhaps quiet to news sources. After multiple World Gang releases early last year, this work seems to have slowed down since releasing that live album last June.
- Eric Judy: Eric hasn't performed with the band live since 2011/07/02. Not that the band has performed that much since then. Rumours are rife that he has left the band. Personally I don't believe it, Eric does have young children, and could be taking a break from touring. We have tried to contact the band and certain members about his status, but haven't heard anything.
- Jim Fairchild: Jim will be returning to perform some dates with the reunited Grandaddy. A question to maybe ask is, depending on the outcome there, will he perhaps not return should they decide to take things further?
- Tom Peloso: To our knowledge, nothing news worthy has been happening with Tom lately (sorry Tom).
- Joe Plummer: A lot of updates lately have been revolving around Joe, now that he is with The Shins. They have a new album out as of today (coincidence?), and he will be touring full time with them. As with Jim, a question to ask, is does this mean Joe is perhaps done with his time in Modest Mouse, or when his work with The Shins calms down, will he be returning?
- Pat Graham: Lastly, Pat Graham is still awesome, and we miss him and his updates on the band.