The bad news is that bassist Laura Ballance, who co-founded the label along with frontman Mac McCaughan, will no longer be playing in Superchunk's live performances. According to a note she penned for the band's official site, she's suffering from hearing loss and ringing (a condition called hyperacusis) and could no longer subject herself to noisy playing environments. She played bass on the new album, though, so she's not leaving the band's studio lineup anytime soon. Jason Narducy will replace Ballance for live gigs.
On the departure, Ballance wrote, "It's not because I hate music. And it's not because I am too old. You know, that thing about if it's too loud you are too old? That keeps running through my head, dammit."
Another statement on the official site also called "I Hate Music" the "dark twin" of Superchunk's previous effort, 2010's "Majesty Sherdding," as well as "similarly aggressive" and "every bit as energetic." On the curious title, the band says:
"That title isn't tongue-in-cheek, but it's really more a question than a statement: When you're 20, lazy co-workers and romantic missteps number among your biggest worries; two decades later, life's bigger questions knock louder and louder, demanding answers."
Since forming Merge as a platform for releasing their own work, the Superchunk members have released highly successful albums from artists like Arcade Fire, Spoon, She & Him, and Wild Flag.
Here are Superchunk's upcoming tour dates:
June 20: Calgary, Alberta (Sled Island @ Republik)
Aug. 22: Atlanta, GA (Terminal West)
Aug. 23: Asheville, NC (The Grey Eagle)
Aug. 24: Carrboro, NC (Cat's Cradle)
Sept. 2: Seattle, WA (Bumbershoot)
Sept. 3: San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore)
Sept. 4: Los Angeles, CA (El Rey Theatre)
Sept. 6: Portland, OR (MFNW @ Crystal Ballroom)
Sept. 23: Charlottesville, VA (Jefferson Theater)
Sept. 24: Philadelphia, PA (Union Transfer)
Sept. 26: Boston, MA (Paradise Rock Club)
Sept. 27: New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)
Sept. 28: New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)
Sept. 29: Washington, DC (9:30 Club)