It’s been more than eight months since Modest Mouse’s fifth album, “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. But it’s still a sweet memory for bassist Eric Judy.
“It was an exciting day to see that happen,” says Judy, 32, who co-founded the indie rock group in 1993 in Issaquah, Wash. “My wife and I went out for a little celebration the night after we heard the news. It felt good.
“And, of course, your family really likes to hear about that kind of stuff. There’s a big difference between, ‘Oh, he has a new album out’ and ‘Oh, his new album is No. 1.’ Everybody was very proud, I think.”
Judy and his bandmates were excited about “We Were Dead ...” even before it came out, however. The album marks the addition of a sixth member of Modest Mouse — former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, a rock icon who was brought in at the suggestion of frontman Isaac Bruce.
“I think the original idea was just to have (Marr) come out as a guest on the album, just work on a couple of songs,” Judy says. “We all really hit it off and things clicked well. We liked him and we liked playing with him, and we had written so many songs together he felt like he wanted to be in the band and go out and play those songs — and the old songs, too.
“Maybe there was a couple shows where I was like, ‘Wow, I’m playing onstage next to Johnny Marr!’ But by that time he’d already been in the band for awhile, and now he’s just another guy I play music with, like everyone else in the band.”
Modest Mouse performs at 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 1) at the Masonic Temple Theatre, 500 Temple Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $35. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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