Mac McCaughan (Superchunk) Talks with Laura Cantrell for the Talkhouse Music Podcast

These two ex-bandmates have gone different musical ways — country music and anthemic indie-rock — but they still have some important things in common.

Back when they were in college in the late ’80s, Laura Cantrell and Mac McCaughan were in a band called Bricks. That band didn’t get very far, but Laura went on to become an acclaimed country singer-songwriter hailed by the likes of Elvis Costello and legendary BBC DJ John Peel. Mac soon founded Superchunk, who went on to 26 years (and counting) of indie-rock glory, as well as co-founding the phenomenally successful Merge Records.

Even though Laura and Mac have taken different musical paths, they’ve not just maintained their long friendship, they’ve both stayed true to themselves and to their art, and carved out respected, sustainable careers. They actually still have a lot in common. So we figured we’d put them together for a Talkhouse Music Podcast and have them catch up, reminisce, compare notes and share a little wisdom.

Mac McCaughan is the co-founder of Durham, NC, independent label Merge Records and the band Superchunk. He recently released Non-Believers, his first solo album under his own name. Additionally, McCaughan co-authored the book Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records (Algonquin, 2009). Keep up with Superchunk and Mac McCaughan + the Non-Believers here.

Laura Cantrell is a Nashville-born, New York City-based country artist with five critically acclaimed albums; the most recent, No Way There From Here (Thrift Shop Recordings), was described by The New Yorker as “…a set of timeless originals…” She is playing some shows in the northeastern U.S. in November (see itinerary here) and finalizing a compilation of her BBC Sessions for release in 2016. In January, she released her first music video, “All the Girls Are Complicated.”

(photo credit: Lissa Gotwals)