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Isaac Brock
Born July 9, 1975 (1975-07-09) (age 34)
Genres Indie rock
Instruments Vocals
Guitar
Ukulele
Piano
Banjo
Years active 1993 – Present
Labels Epic, Sub Pop
Associated acts Modest Mouse
Ugly Casanova

Isaac Brock (born on 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 singer he is easily distinguished by his slightly lisp-tinged voice, vocal pitching, and shouting. As a guitarist he shows an aptitude for harmonics, bends, and the combination of the two (which can be described as guitar scratching), as well as palm muting and tremolo and reverb effects. [1] In addition to that, Isaac Brock is also notable for screaming into his guitar pickups. As a songwriter he is noted for his very clever wordplay and frequent use of metaphors, philosophical lyrics, themes of oppressive urban lifestyles, and certain phrases and sayings commonly used in the early- to mid-20th century and in blue collar environments. [2][3][citation needed].

Contents

Early life

During his childhood, Brock and his mother moved around in different offshoot circles throughout the Pacific Northwest. Around this time, Brock's mother left his father for his father's brother. Brock was home-schooled for part of his school career.[4] When his mother's house flooded she was forced to move in to her new husband's trailer where there was no room for Brock, so he stayed behind. He lived on the second floor of the flooded home until he was evicted by the police. After a period of living in a friend's basement, he moved into a shed he built on the land next to his mother and stepfather's trailer. It was there that he, Eric Judy (bass) and Jeremiah Green (drums) first started practicing music together.

Personal life

Although many of his songs use religious themes, Brock describes himself as "not really religious at all," adding that "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."[5]

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."[5]

Brock is a former A&R man for the record label Sub Pop; his most notable accomplishment with them was signing Wolf Parade in 2004.[6]

Equipment

Isaac's main guitar is custom made by Wicks Guitars.[7] His amps are custom made by Soursound, based on a Fender SuperSix, but are highly modified.[8]

Glacial Pace

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, Mimicking Birds and Morning Teleportation.

Accusation of rape

In the mid 1990's Isaac had been accused of rape by an Oregon woman, but no charges were filed. In March, 1999, a 19-year-old woman filed a police report accusing Brock of rape. The allegations started right before Modest Mouse was to begin a nationwide tour was about to begin with Seattle garage punk band Murder City Devils. The allegations lead to an alleged fist fight between members of the Murder City Devils and Isaac Brock, after which Isaac reportedly moved to Florida. Isaac's mother defended her son over the allegations calling local radio stations that were reporting the allegations and even threatened legal action against any media outlet that reported the allegations that put her son in a negative light.[9] Charges were never pressed, and Brock maintains his innocence.[5] In an interview with The A.V. Club,[5] he claimed:

It's an allegation that was withdrawn, and of course that didn't get any press. It was complete and utter bullshit, and the whole situation was so complicated that it's hard for me to go into lots of detail. At the time, I figured I'd just shut up and give this young lady enough rope to hang herself, you know? It fucked up my life once, and I'd prefer to just let it go.... Before this all happened, I never believed that anyone would lie about rape. That was my stance: No one lies about this shit. It really made me have to adjust my entire view of people, politics, and my own personal politics. I used to be like, "Kill rapists!" And all of a sudden I have this false allegation against me. I remember totally writing people off that I'd heard had even been in just awkward sexual situations with girls, like "That guy's a fucking prick, I'll never talk to him again." It was weird being on the receiving end of that. A friend of mine who's actually friends with that girl recently told me that she had totally withdrawn having said anything. I only just found out about that myself in the last six months. I knew that basically everyone, up to and including the police, was like, "This is bullshit." This person changed her story depending on who she was talking to. It was really just this fucked-up, weird thing.

—Isaac Brock, The A.V. Club

DUI, attempted murder charge, jail time

In various interviews Brock stated that he served a 10 day stint in jail in Niagara County, New York on an attempted murder charge related to a DUI incident in Oregon. According to Brock, he was driving when he was passed a whippet of nitrous oxide. When he tried to inhale some, he lost control of the car and crashed. During the crash his friend dislocated her thumb, which meant, under Oregon law, that because the injury was sustained due to a DUI, the charge was elevated to attempted murder, "which looks pretty bad on paper."[10][11]

In his interview with The A.V. Club, Brock described his short jail time:

I had some late-40s, freaky, child-molester-looking dude basically saying that he was going to rape me. I sat down and played chess with him, and he was making all these creepy comments, so I was like, "OK, we're done playing this game."

—Isaac Brock, The A.V. Club

References

  1. ^ List of Brock's guitar techniques. "[1]" Retrieved April 7, 2006.
  2. ^ Houchins, Palmer. "[2]," Paste Magazine. Retrieved June 14, 2005.
  3. ^ Bowers, William. "[3]," Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 17, 2003.
  4. ^ Doran, Bob. "A Conversation with Isaac Brock," Panache Magazine. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d Modell, Josh (April 7, 2004). "Modest Mouse interview". The A.V. Club (The Onion). http://avclub.com/content/node/23015. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Apologies to the Queen Mary". Sub Pop. http://www.subpop.com/bands/wolf_parade/apologies/. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  7. ^ "Wicks Guitars - Custom". http://www.wicksguitars.com. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  8. ^ "Custom Amp for Isaac Brock". http://www.soursound.com/index.php/custom-work/custom-amp-for-issac-brock-from-modest-mouse/. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  9. ^ Shapiro, Samantha M. (1999-06-24). "Rape Case in Limbo". The Stranger. http://cgi.thestranger.com/1999-06-24/city2.html. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  10. ^ Fine, Jason (July 14, 2004). "Modest Mouse Roar". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6298112/modest_mouse_roar. Retrieved 2006-01-02. 
  11. ^ "Wanted: one world-famous guitarist". The Guardian. 9 March 2007. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2029089,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

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