Johnny Marr pays tribute to “beautiful” Modest Mouse bandmate Jeremiah Green

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr has paid tribute to his “beautiful” Modest Mouse bandmate Jeremiah Green, who died of cancer last week.

The drummer was diagnosed with stage four cancer in December, his mother shared on Facebook on Christmas Day 2022, with Modest Mouse then confirming his passing on December 31.

The band told fans: “I don’t know a way to ease into this: Today we lost our dear friend Jeremiah.”

They continued: “He laid down to rest and simply faded out. I’d like to say a bunch of pretty words right now, but it just isn’t the time. These will come later, and from many people.”

Taking to Instagram, Marr – who played in the band with Green from 2006-2008 – hailed “the great Jeremiah Green. My friend, bandmate, and the most creative musician I ever met”.

In a separate post, Marr told stories of Green on tour, writing: “One of my favourite ever things to do in Modest Mouse was to go out shopping with Jeremiah. The whole band were the most acquisitive people I’d ever come across in my life, and each gas station we stopped at was an opportunity to stock up on hats, 3D sunglasses, and fishing nets.

“Being in the Walmart in Mississippi at 3 a.m. with Jeremiah was an education and a treat, as he would saunter around, picking out an array of objects from children’s toys to garden tools with the casual air of a consummate expert, and I would marvel at the man’s aesthetic diversity. Things to make signs, things to make things, and things to stick on top of other things: they would all be launched into the basket.”

Marr added: “When we’d get back to the studio, he’d disappear with his haul and then reappear days later, having made some amazingly crafted item. One morning I went into his room and noticed something unusual. All the furniture had been sprayed gold…the rugs, the lampshades…everything. Everything was sprayed gold. Jeremiah lived in his own lane. His own beautiful lane.”

Last week, Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock confirmed the news of Green’s cancer diagnosis to fans but said that Green’s treatment was “going smoothly and making a positive difference”.

Green, who grew up in the Seattle area, co-founded Modest Mouse with Brock and bassist Eric Judy in 1993. He later quit the band in 2003 when he suffered a nervous breakdown, telling NME in 2021: “I felt like something bad came into me – not bad, but like a spirit… I started acting really rebellious… I was out for trouble. I was really anti-war and if [other people] weren’t down, I would just go nuts – weird revolutionary type stuff. I was like, ‘I’m gonna do something about this Afghanistan war! It’s bullshit!’”

He rejoined the group in 2004 but his absence meant he did not appear on the band’s most successful album, ‘Good News For People Who Love Bad News’.

Green featured on all other Modest Mouse records, helping steer their sound with his acclaimed style. He is often considered one of the best drummers in modern indie and was named one of the Top 50 sticksmen in rock by Stylus Magazine in 2007.

The drummer had been taking part in Modest Mouse’s tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their breakthrough second album ‘The Lonesome Crowded West’ but had had to leave the dates before their end due to his diagnosis.

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