Mac McCaughan of Superchunk

8th October 2021

In 1989, Mac McCaughan co-founded the band Superchunk. The band was abrasive and vulnerable; Guitars dominated their sound, with Mac’s voice sitting low in the mix. The band caught on and became huge. So big, they helped coin the Gen X term “Slacker” with their 1990 hit “Slack Motherf–ker.” To release Superchunk’s albums, Mac and his bandmates started their own label: Merge Records. Mac is also a solo artist. He’s released a handful of albums and EPs under his own name, in a broad range of genres. He’s made everything from folk rock to ambient music. His latest record is called The Sound of Yourself. It’s a fun pop record that caught the ear of our friend Jordan Morris. They talk about recording an album during lockdown, using samples in songwriting, and what makes a good sax solo on a pop record.

Episode notes

(Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Coachella)

In 1989, Mac McCaughan co-founded the band Superchunk.

Superchunk was abrasive and vulnerable. Guitars dominated their sound, with Mac’s voice sitting low in the mix. The band caught on and became huge. So big, they helped coin the Gen X term “Slacker” with their 1990 hit “Slack Motherf–ker.”

To release Superchunk’s albums, Mac and his bandmates started their own label: Merge Records. Merge quickly became more than just a run-of-the-mill indie label. Over its 30+ years of existence, Merge released albums like Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Spoon’s Kill The Moonlight and Funeral, the breakthrough debut by Arcade Fire.

Mac is also a solo artist. He’s released a handful of albums and EPs under his own name, in a broad range of genres. He’s made everything from folk rock to ambient music.

His latest record is called The Sound of Yourself. It’s a fun pop record that caught the ear of our friend Jordan Morris. Along with doing Bullseye interviews, Jordan’s also a comedy writer and the co-host of another Maximum Fun podcast, Jordan, Jesse, Go!. They talk about recording an album during lockdown, using samples in songwriting, and what makes a good sax solo on a pop record.

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • Mac McCaughan

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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