Mac McCaughan (second from left) can’t grow a play-off beard.
When a band like Superchunk—a band that has existed for more than two decades and is partly composed of a couple that also runs the beloved Merge Records—names their album I Hate Music, of course the assumption is that they're being ironic. They don't hate music; they are music! But singer Mac McCaughan assures me the title of their new album isn't completely a joke. "People keep saying that [the album title] is ironic, and I don't think that it is. It's a real feeling—it may be a passing feeling, it may be something that's fleeting, it's probably not a feeling that I would've said that I ever had 15 or 20 years ago, but as I get older, it's something I feel occasionally."
So instead of talking about music, because honestly, I can hate music too sometimes, I took advantage of the very rare opportunity to do a band interview and talk about something else I love very much: hockey. McCaughan is a longtime Carolina Hurricanes fan, something he often tweets about during hockey season, and I was hoping he hated the Vancouver Canucks as much as I do.
I'm really excited to talk to you because I am also a hockey fan.
Oh really, so are you a Vancouver fan? Or who's your team?
Oh, no. I hate the Canucks. I married a Nashvillian, so I'm a fan of the Nashville Predators.
You and Kurt Wagner [of Lambchop]. I text with Kurt during the hockey season about our various ups and downs.
In those moments when you are frustrated with music, or burned out, what are some of the other things you turn to? Hockey is obviously one of them.
I love hockey. It doesn't replace music for me, but since we got an NHL team [in North Carolina], that rekindled my interest in hockey that I had as a kid. I think it's awesome having the team here—I hope they stay here, even though they've had some not-great years recently.