Interstate 8

"Interstate 8" (Modest Mouse, 1996)
Northwest indie band Modest Mouse speaks to a generation that came of age when ephedrine was sold at filling stations, and the change scrounged from their seat cushions could buy enough gas for a road trip everywhere and nowhere. Relying on ironic lyrics, Modest Mouse’s road songs are about not just a physical journey but also a mental journey into intoxication, mental illness, boredom, and frustration caused by economic hardship and depression in a superficial world. So, when lead singer and songwriter Issac Brock licensed “Gravity Rides Everything” to Nissan for a Quest minivan commercial, many fans criticized him for selling out. But Brock responded, “People who don’t have to make their living playing music can bitch about my principles while they spend their parents’ money or wash dishes for some asshole.” As nearly all Modest Mouse’s albums and compilations have a road song, it’s difficult to pick just one, but “Interstate 8” is perhaps their most quintessential.

Songs worth mentioning include: 

  • “Ohio” (This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, 1996)
  • “Karma’s Payment” (The Fruit that Ate Itself, 1997) 
  • “Out of Gas” (The Lonesome Crowded West, 1997)
  • “Trucker’s Atlas” (Lonesome Crowded West 1997)
  • “A Life of Arctic Sounds” (Building Something out of Nothing, 1999)
  • “Every Penny Fed Car” (Sad Sappy Sucker, 2001)