King Rat (song)

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"King Rat"
Single by Modest Mouse
from the album No One's First and You're Next
Released March 20, 2007
Format 7" Vinyl
Genre Indie rock
Length 5:27
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Isaac Brock (musician), Modest Mouse
Producer(s) Dennis Herring
Modest Mouse singles chronology
"Dashboard"
(2007)
"King Rat"
(2007)
"Missed the Boat"
(2007)

"King Rat" is a song by indie rock band Modest Mouse and appears as the title track to their fifth promotional single, following "The World At Large". The single was later released on the band's 2009 EP No One's First and You're Next. The promo also features the song "Fire It Up" from their 2007 album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

The promo was given away through multiple online music stores when the individual purchased a pre-order of We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. The promo features the track "King Rat", later included on the "Dashboard" single, on the A-side, and "Fire It Up" on the B-side, although some discs are mislabeled, with Side A having "Fire It Up" and Side B having "King Rat" instead.

Isaac Brock had stated in an interview published on 10 April 2007 that the band intended to release the song on an EP at a later date, along with other tracks that did not make the album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.[1]

Music video[edit]

During a boat trip with family and friends while on a visit to his native Australia in January 2007, actor Heath Ledger outlined a music video idea for the then unreleased song to frontman Isaac Brock and other band members.[2][3] Modest Mouse, who had befriended Ledger through their tour manager,[1] were touring Australia at the time.[4]

The animated video which was "fully conceived down to the last detail but unfinished"[3] when Ledger died in January 2008, it was completed by members of Los Angeles art collective/production company The Masses, namely Daniel Auber (co-director and illustrator), Norris Houk (lead animator), Jade Taglioli (animator) and Sara Cline (producer). Ledger who had also been part of The Masses, received a director's credit. Earlier media reports[1][2][5] claiming that Terry Gilliam would handle the animation work did not prove to be true.[6][7]

The video debuted on 4 August 2009—the same day the EP No One's First and You're Next was released—on MySpace[8] and The Masses' website.[9]

Ledger, who was opposing "the illegal commercial whale hunts taking place off the coast of Australia each year," intended the video—which depicts whales poaching humans to make pet food-- "to raise awareness on modern whaling practices."[3] Furthermore, proceeds from iTunes purchases of the song, in its first month on iTunes, were donated to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who actively intervene with whale hunting.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Side A: "King Rat" – 5:27
Side B: "Fire It Up" – 4:35

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Heather Adler (2007-04-10). "(Not So) Modest Mouse Speaks". Dose.ca (Canwest Publishing). Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Exclusive: Modest Mouse Frontman Talks Cutting Self, Heath Ledger Collab". VH1. 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  3. ^ a b c "King Rat Video directed by Heath Ledger to premiere on MySpace Music starting 8/4". MySpace. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-05. "Modest Mouse 'King Rat' Directed by Heath Ledger". The Masses. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-05. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Modest Mouse". The Frontier Touring Company. 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  5. ^ William Goodman (2009-03-13). "Modest Mouse to Release Heath Ledger Video". Spin. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  6. ^ Cara Alwill (2009-03-18). "Modest Mouse's Heath Ledger-Directed Video: The Facts". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  7. ^ Note that Los Angeles-based concept designer Daniel Auber has worked on three of Gilliam's feature films: The Brothers Grimm, Tideland (both 2005) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).
  8. ^ "Video Modest Mouse - King Rat van Modest Mouse - MySpace Video". Vids.myspace.com. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  9. ^ "Modest Mouse "King Rat"". We Are The Masses. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  10. ^ ""King Rat" Modest Mouse Video Directed by Heath Ledger Supports". Sea Shepherd. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2010-03-26.