aliens in america

Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock Has an Alien Story, and a Semi-Related Single

Isaac Brock. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio

Remember when Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge claimed he had an alien encounter? Well, maybe it’s a rock-and-roll trend: While discussing a single from Modest Mouse’s forthcoming album Strangers to Ourselves (out March 17), front man Isaac Brock told Studio 360 he might have endured something similar. Brock recalled being stuck in a plane in a holding pattern while flying from Montana to Arizona in 1997. At the time he had no idea what was going on, but he essentially sat through the infamous Phoenix Lights sighting, in which Arizonans claimed they saw a V-shaped object, polka-dotted with lights, fly silently through the night sky. Brock said that for years he told no one but his mom and a close friend. “I didn’t want to be that dude with the alien, with the UFO,” he explained.

The purported aliens didn’t inspire anything directly (because Brock wouldn’t have seen them), but Modest Mouse’s single “The Best Room” is colored with tinges of what happened after Brock got off the plane: He checked into a hotel, which was ensnared with police tape … and had a boring, frustrating, odd night. He calls the song an amalgam of different stories from the last 20 years or so, but its lyrics (“The bathroom’s outside / Police tape is tied / To the doorknobs for rooms / Nine through thirty-two“) tip a specific hat to the Phoenix Lights.

Here’s the interview and song:

Modest Mouse Has Alien Story, Related Single