Never Ending Math Equation

Modest Mouse

About Never Ending Math Equation

"Never Ending Math Equation" is a two sided single by indie rock band Modest Mouse. On its B-side it features "Workin' on Leavin' the Livin'", and both of which later appeared on their Building Nothing Out of Something compilation album. The 7" was originally released as part of the Sub Pop singles club. Since that release, the featured song "Never Ending Math Equation" has received some mainstream success and as a result of such, Modest Mouse have frequently played the song at their live performances. On the inside of the sleeve there is information about the second run of the Sub Pop singles club and a subscription form from 1998. 


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I'm the same as I was when I was 6 years old
And oh my God I feel so damn old
I don't really feel anything
On a plane, I can see the tiny lights below

And oh my God, they look so alone
Do they really feel anything?
Oh my God, I've gotta gotta gotta gotta move on
Where do you move when what you're moving from

Is yourself?
The universe works on a math equation
that never even ever really ends in the end
Infinity spirals out creation

We're on the tip of its tongue, and it is saying
We ain't sure where you stand
You ain't machines and you ain't land
And the plants and the animals, they are linked

And the plants and the animals eat each other
Oh my God and oh my cat
I told my Dad what I need
Well I know what I have and want

But I don't know what I need
Well, he said he said he said he said
"Where we're going I'm dead."

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Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band who were formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, their lineup has centered around Brock, Green and Judy. Guitarist Johnny Marr (formerly of The Smiths) joined the band in May 2006, along with percussionist Joe Plummer (formerly of the Black Heart Procession) and multi-instrumentalist Tom Peloso, to work on the album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Guitarist Jim Fairchild joined the band in February 2009. Their name is derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story "The Mark on the Wall" which reads, "I wish I could hit upon … more »

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Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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12 facts about this song

Album Release
"Never Ending Math Equation" is a song by Modest Mouse, released on their 1999 album "Building Nothing Out of Something."
Lyrics and Theme
The lyrics showcase the band's unique blend of emotional introspection and existential philosophy. They signal a sense of confusion or frustration with the complexity of life, which feels like a "never-ending math equation."
Radio Debut
Before its official release, "Never Ending Math Equation" made its debut on the radio. It was one of the first Modest Mouse songs to gain traction on independent radio stations.
Music Style
The song exhibits Modest Mouse’s iconic indie rock style, featuring a formidable rhythm section and raw, driving guitar sections complemented by Isaac Brock's distinct vocal delivery.
Compilation Album
"Building Nothing Out of Something", the album that features "Never Ending Math Equation," is a compilation album of the band's earlier works, including music cut from their previous albums or EPs, as well as singles and rarities.
Band Formation
Modest Mouse was formed in 1992 by singer/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy.
Major Influence
This song, like most Modest Mouse songs, demonstrates the band's major influence on the late '90s and early 2000s indie rock scene.
Video Release
An official music video for "Never Ending Math Equation" was released and features the band members performing the song in a desert background, consistent with their abstract and minimalistic visual style.
Song Cover
The song has been covered by multiple artists over the years, showcasing its enduring influence and popularity in the indie rock world.
Live Performances
"Never Ending Math Equation" remains a fan favorite and is often included in the band’s live performances, showcasing its lasting influence.
Brock’s Lyrics
Isaac Brock, known for his lyrical creativity, came up with the whole concept of life seeming like a never-ending math equation, which has sparked many interpretations among fans and critics alike.
Indie Rock Icon
The song's popularity and distinctive sound further cemented Modest Mouse's status as an icon of the indie rock genre.

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