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Posted: 2009 10-02


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Modest Mouse's official music video for 'King Rat'. Click to listen to Modest Mouse on Spotify:

As featured on No One's First, and You're Next. Click to buy the track or album via iTunes:
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We spun like birds on fire right down towards the residence and I
I took all that I desired, even crooks have to pay the rent
We swam like rats on fire right, right down the reservoir
We took all that we could carry but we tried to carry more

And you know you know you know it all went wrong
And you know you know you know it was all wrong

We choked on street tap water well I'm gonna have to try the real thing
I took your laugh by the collar and it knew not to swing
Anytime I tried an honest job well the till had a hole and ha-ha
We laughed about payin' rent 'cause the county jails they're free

And you know you know you know it all went wrong
And you know you know you know it was all wrong

Deep water, deep water
Senseless denial
I went down like a rag doll as you would, child
Deep water, deep water
Senseless denial
I went down like a rag doll as you would, child

Oh, lucky lucky lucky lucky me again
I said it looks like I've got to use my feet again
Well I just spent my last one-hundred dollars
God I'll pay my bill again

Oh, I don't care
Oh, how I just don't care

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
King Rat on Wikipedia
"King Rat"
King rat.JPG
Single by Modest Mouse
from the album No One's First, and You're Next
ReleasedMarch 20, 2007
Format7" Vinyl
LabelEpic Records
Writer(s)Isaac Brock, Jeremiah Green, Eric Judy, Joe Plummer, Johnny Marr, Tom Peloso
Producer(s)Dennis Herring
Modest Mouse singles chronology

"King Rat" is a song by indie rock band Modest Mouse and appears as the title track to their fifth promotional single, following "The World At Large". The single was later released on the band's 2009 EP No One's First, and You're Next. The promo also features the song "Fire It Up" from their 2007 album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

The promo was given away through multiple online music stores when the individual purchased a pre-order of We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. The promo features the track "King Rat", later included on the "Dashboard" single, on the A-side, and "Fire It Up" on the B-side, although some discs are mislabeled, with Side A having "Fire It Up" and Side B having "King Rat" instead.

Isaac Brock had stated in an interview published on 10 April 2007 that the band intended to release the song on an EP at a later date, along with other tracks that did not make the album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.[1]

Music video

During a boat trip with family and friends while on a visit to his native Australia in January 2007, actor Heath Ledger outlined a music video idea for the then unreleased song to frontman Isaac Brock and other band members.[2][3] Modest Mouse, who had befriended Ledger through their tour manager,[1] were touring Australia at the time.[4]

The animated video which was "fully conceived down to the last detail but unfinished"[3] when Ledger died in January 2008, it was completed by members of Los Angeles art collective/production company The Masses, namely Daniel Auber (co-director and illustrator), Norris Houk (lead animator), Jade Taglioli (animator) and Sara Cline (producer). Ledger who had also been part of The Masses, received a director's credit. Earlier media reports[1][2][5] claiming that Terry Gilliam would handle the animation work did not prove to be true.[6][7]

The video debuted on 4 August 2009—the same day the EP No One's First and You're Next was released—on MySpace[8] and The Masses' website.[9]

Ledger, who was opposing "the illegal commercial whale hunts taking place off the coast of Australia each year," intended the video—which depicts whales poaching humans to make pet food - "to raise awareness on modern whaling practices."[3] Furthermore, proceeds from iTunes purchases of the song, in its first month on iTunes, were donated to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who actively intervene with whale hunting.[10]

Track listing

Side A: "King Rat" – 5:27
Side B: "Fire It Up" – 4:35


  1. ^ a b c Heather Adler (2007-04-10). "(Not So) Modest Mouse Speaks". Canwest Publishing. Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Exclusive: Modest Mouse Frontman Talks Cutting Self, Heath Ledger Collab". VH1. 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  3. ^ a b c "King Rat Video directed by Heath Ledger to premiere on MySpace Music starting 8/4". MySpace. 2009-08-03. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-05. —"Modest Mouse 'King Rat' Directed by Heath Ledger". 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Modest Mouse". The Frontier Touring Company. 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  5. ^ William Goodman (2009-03-13). "Modest Mouse to Release Heath Ledger Video". Spin. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  6. ^ Cara Alwill (2009-03-18). "Modest Mouse's Heath Ledger-Directed Video: The Facts". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  7. ^ Note that Los Angeles-based concept designer Daniel Auber has worked on three of Gilliam's feature films: The Brothers Grimm, Tideland (both 2005) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).
  8. ^ "Video Modest Mouse - King Rat van Modest Mouse - MySpace Video". Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  9. ^ "Modest Mouse "King Rat"". We Are The Masses. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  10. ^ ""King Rat" Modest Mouse Video Directed by Heath Ledger Supports". Sea Shepherd. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 

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