Rockin' urge from Superchunk singer and Merge Records boss Mac McCaughan
For much of the ’90s, Superchunk seemed to be on the verge of becoming the next big thing.
The band’s upbeat, melodic punk rock would have fit perfectly on the radio alongside bands such as Weezer and Green Day.
But rather than go the major-label route, Super-chunk stayed with Merge Records, a label two of its members started. Eventually Merge — now home to indie-rock luminaries such as Spoon and Arcade Fire — became a full-time job and Superchunk went on hiatus.
Flash forward nine years and the band is back with its long-awaited new album, “Majesty Shredding.”
amNewYork spoke with singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan.
Why put out an album now? When we stopped touring and making records in 2002, the main factor was burnout. We still played a few shows every year and ... thought it would be great to have new songs to play.
Was it difficult to recapture the band’s spirit after the time off? If we’re going to make a record for the first time in nine years, people shouldn’t say, “They waited nine years to do this?” I wanted the album to have a lot of energy ... and have songs that would be fun to play live.
What’s the biggest difference between the band today and in the ’90s? In 1995 or ’96, we had quit our day jobs to play in the band. We had Merge, but it was a hobby. That sort of flip-flopped. Now, we don’t have to do this; we do it by choice.
What are your favorite places to visit in New York? I went to school at Columbia, so I’ve spent a lot of time in New York. I mainly get excited about going to restaurants and places like MoMA, the Whitney or galleries in Chelsea. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t do in North Carolina.
Superchunk will be performing sold-out shows at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday at 8 p.m.