News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.
Arts & Entertainment

How recording Modest Mouse's new album almost made Isaac Brock go crazy




"Coyotes" off the new album by Modest Mouse, "Strangers to Ourselves."
MODESTMOUSEVEVO (via YouTube)

Listen to story

10:08
Download this story 4MB

Eight years... that's the length of time a successful president might serve, or the time it takes on average to make it through high school and college, or for fans of the indie rock band Modest Mouse, it's how long they've had to wait for a new LP. Now that wait's finally over.

https://open.spotify.com/album/6iKqPv9C5oU29LR82N8lJf

The band's lead singer, Isaac Brock, recently joined Alex Cohen in conversation to talk about the new album.

There has been so much anticipation leading up to this album and and everyone's been asking you why it took eight years. But I'm wondering why it didn't take longer? 

"I couldn't afford to have it take longer. I wasn't interested in living under a bridge..."

Could it have taken longer?

"I was pretty certain I was going actually crazy and it could've taken very long. I kind of saw... this could continue. This is crazy people stuff man. If you continue down this path you might not be able to find your way back from things." 

How do you know when you're done? Was there added pressure because of the fact that it was taking so long? That you felt like you had to make it perfect?

"Yeah... and then that would take time. And then you would be like exponentially the expectations have gotten grander, so now we've got to work harder. And then that would take time. And you know, it just kept matching itself. So at some point I was just like it's done because this doesn't stop. This isn't the first record I've found myself in a position where it's like, 'Even though you know you can keep working on this for a long time, it's done now.'"

Can you talk about where you recorded this album? It used to be an old check printing studio, is that right?

"Yeah, it was like a check printing factory from 1947 to 2005, then some fella bought it... And banked it until he leased it to me for what at the time I was just like, 'Wow this guy's great. A six month lease, no one would do that.' It's because he knew he had a live one...

"A six month lease was all the better for him because I spent my six months of the time on my lease that I had, building a studio I didn't need to build. So, when my lease was done, I still didn't have anything that resembled a record or anything. Just a place to make one. 

"We ended up just purchasing the place... The front where the first four or five offices were turned into hotel rooms essentially for the band to live in while we were recording...

"We got pretty involved in making this a really nice place and sometimes got distracted from actually making a record because we were remodeling this new home."

But because of this involvement, it seems like you might be more connected to the end product that you've created?

"Even building the place was part of making the songs and things. They're all tied together."

If you'd like to hear the entire conversation, check out the interview attached to the segment above.