SPIN’s cover story for April traces the romantic story of when Johnny met Isaac. After reading Marr’s words, all we can say is … Brock’s got balls.
SPIN: So Isaac Brock just called you out of the blue?
MARR: Someone from his record company had contacted my manager first.
And then I bumped into Franz Ferdinand’s manager, who said, “I hear you’ve joined Modest Mouse.” And I said, “‘Scuse me? I’ve never spoken to them in my life!” Then Isaac called and asked me if I wanted to join.
MARR: That’s what he said, pretty much — he was talking about me moving to Portland and getting an apartment. So I knew the guy was serious.
SPIN: Did you know his music?
MARR: I had some songs on my iPod. “Dramamine.” “Float On,” of course. “Satin in a Coffin.” And I really liked him, just from talking on the phone. So I did a little research, asked some folks about him — which I don’t know if he knows about. And in spite of that…[Laughs] Ah, just kidding!
Bet he’s not kidding. Turns out “Dashboard” was born out of Isaac and Johnny’s first jam session, “throwing guitar riffs back and forth while Brock freestyled lyrics (‘Like nothing I’ve ever seen,’ Marr notes.)” — a songwriting style that stands in stark contrast to the Smiths approach: Marr submitted a cassette demo of a finished song, Moz added the Moz.
What does the guitarist think of We Were Dead…? He puts it with The Queen Is Dead and Mindbomb by the The as records he’s done that “hit the ceiling creatively.” Johnny also reveals that, despite appearances to the contrary, he is not “officially” a Modest Mouse member (they haven’t asked him yet!) — but he’ll take a cut of the songwriting proceeds. Should be a tidy sum. Now he can finally afford to buy that apartment in Portland!
[Pic from Modest Mouse @ Webster Hall 11/14/06.]