Isaac Brock (musician)
|Birth name||Isaac Kristofer Brock|
July 9, 1975 |
|Genres||Indie rock, indie folk, punk rock, experimental music|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano, banjo|
|Labels||Epic, Sub Pop, Up Records, K Records|
|Associated acts||Modest Mouse, Ugly Casanova, Wolf Parade, Mimicking Birds|
Isaac Kristofer Brock (born July 9, 1975) is the lead singer, guitarist, banjoist, and songwriter for the American indie rock band Modest Mouse, as well as his side project band, Ugly Casanova. As a songwriter he is noted for wordplay and frequent use of metaphors, philosophical lyrics, themes of oppressive rural lifestyles, and certain phrases and sayings commonly used in the early to mid-20th century and in blue collar environments.
Brock was born in Helena, Montana. During his childhood, he lived with his mother and sister in Montana and Oregon in hippie communes and churches before moving to Issaquah, Washington when he was 11 years old. Brock was home-schooled for part of his school career. When his mother's house flooded three times, she was forced to move into her future husband's trailer. Brock asked to stay behind in his own room until the new home was completed. He lived in the flooded home until the house was sold. After a short period of living in a friend's basement, he moved into the "Shed" built on the land next to his mother and stepfather's trailer.
As a young boy he was raised in a Christian religious sect called the Grace Gospel Church. He told an interviewer from The Guardian that he was asked to speak in tongues when he was six: "I didn't feel the spirit of the fucking Lord rushing through me," he says. "I definitely felt awkward. I thought. 'What's the best way to make this stop?' So I ripped off some words from Mary Poppins and said them fast, and the deacons are going, 'Yeah, all right!'"
In 1992, when he was sixteen, Brock moved to Washington, D.C. for the summer where he met his girlfriend. Brock traveled back and forth from the East Coast to Issaquah, where he took a community-college course to get his high school diploma before moving back to D.C., to New York's East Village, and then the Seattle area. It was there that he, Eric Judy (bass) and Jeremiah Green (drums) first started practicing music together in the Shed.
Although many of his songs use religious themes, Brock describes himself as "not really religious at all," adding "I'm 100 percent on the whole Christianity thing being a crock of shit, pretty much." He claims to "toy around with the whole Biblical thing," because it "just has amazing characters" and also identifies himself as "pretty much" an atheist. The songs, Lampshades on Fire and Coyotes, from the latest album "Strangers to Ourselves" suggest that Brock has concerns about climate change and the destruction of wildlife.
He has talked about the DUIs he has gotten and cutting himself onstage with a pocket knife. His songs have also addressed his substance abuse, as in "The Good Times Are Killing Me." Brock admits to past drug use, and now says that drugs are "just something I kind of have to fight... I just try and make sure that it's not around, or I'm not around it." In a 2003 interview with Salut Les Copains Magazine, Isaac explained how the decision to quit drugs was influenced by his experiences. "'...I was laying down in this aisle, at Powell's Books, reading an atlas when this meth-head tripped over me.'" Isaac said, "'He called me a faggot and mumbled as he wandered off. I saw a reflection of myself and didn't want to be seen like that.'" 
Brock made a cameo appearance in season two of the sketch comedy show Portlandia. His character was shown donating records to a pre-school library.
After having signed Lisa Molinaro to his Glacial Pace label in 2010, with her band Talkdemonic, the pair soon entered into a relationship. Molinaro joined Modest Mouse as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in 2011. Brock lives in Portland, Oregon in a house with several taxidermied animals.
Brock's main guitars are custom made by Wicks Guitars. Prior to his customs, Brock mainly used a Westone Corsair XA1420. He is also known to use various other guitars made by companies such as Peavey, Fender, and Gibson. His amps are custom made by Soursound, based on a Fender SuperSix, but are highly modified.
In October 2005, Brock started his own record label called Glacial Pace. The label used to be a subsidiary of Epic Records, but is now independent. Its first signee was Minnesota songwriter Mason Jennings, followed by Love As Laughter, Marcellus Hall, Mimicking Birds, Morning Teleportation, Talkdemonic, Survival Knife, Nocturnal Habitats and Mattress.
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- Tom Breihan (2010-06-21). "Isaac Brock Talks 180° South, Modest Mouse, Portland Mayor Portrait". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
- "Q&A: ISAAC BROCK of Modest Mouse (Excerpt) :: Stop Smiling Magazine". Stopsmilingonline.com. 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
- Tom Breihan (2010-06-04). "Portrait of Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock Hangs in Portland Mayor's Office". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
- "Buzzfeed - Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock wants to be more than a myth". Retrieved 2015-05-28.
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- "Wicks Guitars - Custom". Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- "Custom Amp for Isaac Brock". Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-15.