Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse has inspired countless artists throughout the years with his masterful songwriting and lyrics. What inspires one of music’s great lyricists? Well, that’s an answer you have to get straight from the source.
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Brock ran through several lyricists before mentioning Bob Dylan as a favorite. At the same time, Brock had a tiny issue with the iconic songwriter as he said Dylan occasionally will just try to find words that rhyme with one another and then leave it up to the listener to figure it out. Of course, this was all said with a laugh as Brock has deep admiration for Dylan.
He offered up a simple reason though for why he’s drawn to a strong lyricist. “They get deep into your head,” he said.
“They find ways to access parts of my brain that I haven’t. It’s there, it’s been sitting there dormant. Whatever it is they say wakes it up. All of the sudden I have a whole lot more information that was already there.”
Modest Mouse released their seventh studio album The Golden Casket this past summer, an album that was created because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not necessarily because of the events and emotions of the pandemic, but because Brock found himself with a lot of free time on his hands.
“I can’t assume what’s going on for other people,” Brock explained about the meaning behind the songs on The Golden Casket. “It wasn’t a pandemic-specific record. I specifically tried steering clear of that because everyone else was doing a pretty good job covering, and worrying, and wringing hands over this.”
“If I find myself getting negative or dark in a song, I’d be like, ‘this isn’t what people need,’” he added. “That’s how the pandemic affected this record… I can wait to be a d***head until later,” he said.
Alvarez followed up by asking Brock if he’s an optimist or a pessimist. “Honestly, I feel pretty optimistic… And things are going to get terrible,” he said with a laugh.
Before their conversation wrapped, Alvarez noted that Brock had stitches on his left hand. He went into detail on his injury and what led to it. In short, it was an epsom salt bath that caused it.
Brock had begun exercising to get in shape for the tour and decided to take an epsom salt bath for his post-workout recovery. He had a bag of epsom salt and began to bang it on the corner of a counter in order to break it up.
“It just explodes and stabs me,” Brock said. “I dropped to a knee and blood starts spurting out like ‘ahhhhh!!!!’” Like the true badass he is, Brock said he “knew I needed stitches, but I was going to take this damn bath.”
Here’s to a speedy recovery Mr. Brock.