Ralph Lee "Mac" McCaughan (born July 12, 1967) is an American musician and record label owner, based in North Carolina. His main musical projects have been Superchunk since 1989 and Portastatic since the early 1990s. In 1989 he founded the independent record label Merge Records with Superchunk bandmate Laura Balance.
McCaughan was a founding member of the rock band Superchunk. Formed in 1989, they were one of the bands that helped define the Chapel Hill music scene of the 1990s. Their energetic, high-velocity style and do-it-yourself ethics were influenced by punk rock. The band released a string of full-length albums and compilations throughout the 90’s. After releasing their eighth studio album in 2001, the band went into a period of reduced activity. In 2010, the band released a new studio album Majesty Shredding and followed it up in 2013 with their tenth studio album, I Hate Music.
He also heads the band Portastatic, which began as a lo-fi side project from Superchunk and has blossomed into his main musical project.Prior to this, he was the head of another lo-fi band named Bricks with Andrew Webster of Tsunami, Josh Phillips and Laura Cantrell. Other early bands he played with include Wwax and Slushpuppies.
In the early 1990s he was also the original drummer in the band Seam, which was formed in 1991 with former Bitch Magnet front man Sooyoung Park. He played on their debut album Headsparks and the Kernel EP.
In 2002, McCaughan teamed up with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices to form the group Go Back Snowball. The duo recorded and released an album in 2002, titled Calling Zero.
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