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MC Lars

Background information
Birth name Andrew Robert Nielsen
Born October 6, 1982 (1982-10-06) (age 27)
Origin Berkeley, California, U.S.
Genres Nerdcore hip hop, rap rock, Comedy rap
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1999–present
Labels Horris Records
Website Official Site MySpace
MC Lars
Damondrick Jack
Jon Thatcher Longley
Joe Oliger
Rob Piccininni Jr.
Mike Russo
Josh White
Former members
Chris Ayer
Steve Connolly
Mike Love
Jon Shiffman

Andrew Robert Nielsen (born October 6, 1982) is an American rapper, known by his stage name MC Lars. He is the self-proclaimed originator of "post-punk laptop rap". He has collaborated with many different artists, including Non Phixion/La Coka Nostra's Ill Bill and nerd core rapper mc chris, and was one of the first underground rappers to sample and reference post-punk and emo bands. John Mayer has credited Lars with coining the phrase "iGeneraton", a term used to describe kids born from 1982-2000.[1]



He has recorded for Truck Records in the UK, Sidecho Records in the USA, Big Mouth Records in Japan, and Shock Records in Australia. He was formerly known as MC Lars Horris but changed his pseudonym to MC Lars in 2004 for purposes of simplicity. MC Lars currently resides in California.

In 2006, he released the single "Download This Song" with it entering the Australian Singles Chart at number 29.

Nielsen has toured and done one-off performances with many different bands and rappers, including The Matches, Lupe Fiasco, Nas, Something With Numbers, Simple Plan, Bowling for Soup, Army of Freshmen, Gym Class Heroes, Say Anything, Streetlight Manifesto, Suburban Legends, Test Icicles, Jack's Mannequin, Patent Pending, Bayside, Fightstar, Make It Better Later, MC Frontalot, Wheatus, The Aquabats, Ludacris, YT Cracker, T-Pain, Yung Joc, Cartel and Zebrahead. Some of these bands play the part of Hearts That Hate for the song "Signing Emo" at live shows.

Nielsen appeared in the 2008 independent film Community College as MC Lars.

Nielsen was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.[2][3]


Lars was born in Berkeley and grew up in the Oakland hills. He attended the Head-Royce School before his family moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1993.

He then attended Stevenson School and was the co-founder of the Monterey Bay Area punk rock band Amphoteric.[4] He would later leave and the group would switch directions and gain a progressive metal following (especially amongst Internet listeners). Although the line-up has changed entirely, the group still resides in central California and continues to release albums independently. While at Stevenson he had a morning radio show through the school's radio station, KSPB. The show was called "Morning Madness", which featured Andrew and his co-host, Chris Gates.

Lars moved on as an English studies-major student of Stanford University in California who went on international study at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University in England.[4] During his time at Stanford, MC Lars and fellow band member and Stanford student, Mike Love, co-created and appeared in Good Morning Tresidder Union[5] which appeared on Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting Network (SCBN). While at Stanford, Lars drew a comic strip called 27th Street for the Stanford Daily This was partly due to motivation from a scottish friend of his youngdarrin. Following his graduation in 2005, it became a webcomic.[6] He had a radio show on Stanford's radio station KZSU, playing nerdcore hip hop and old school rap, prior to being discovered by Truck Records.

Style and culture

Originally releasing tracks under the name Lars Horris, he eventually dropped Horris which later became the name of his record label, in order to become MC Lars. In the past, MC Lars was backed by a single friend who handled laptop duties. However, today's MC Lars live experience is very different. With a punk rock band set to back him up, MC Lars plays a hip-hop set to a true punk rock background (a joining which he refers to as "post-punk laptop rap"). His band mates play live over the samples and loops contained in his recorded music - all stored on his laptop computer.

As with many other rap and Hip-Hop acts, samples play a key role in MC Lars' music. But, with intent to preserve his rock roots, MC Lars chooses to sample alternative bands such as the British band Supergrass, Long Island, New York's Brand New, as well as Fugazi, and Iggy Pop.

MC Lars has also shown an interest in using lyrics and song titles based on English and American literature. "Rapbeth" references William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, whilst "Mr. Raven" is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." Also, the song "Ahab", which is featured on one of his newer albums, The Graduate, sees Lars rapping about the novel Moby Dick while "Hey There Ophelia" on This Gigantic Robot Kills retells the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

The term iGeneration, used to describe the generation born primarily in the mid-to-late 1980s, was not actually coined by MC Lars, but it was used in his song of the same name, which was given out for free to Facebook users in August 2006 in conjunction with iTunes.

MC Lars' MySpace profile includes exclusive tracks related to the MySpace social scene of the iGeneration: "Internet Relationships", "Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock", "Download This Song" and "Signing Emo". Hearts That Hate, whose song "Cry Tonight" is sampled in Lars' "Signing Emo", is a fictional group created by the rapper. The Grammy-nominated Texan band Bowling for Soup performed as Hearts That Hate when MC Lars has supported them on tour. A full version of "Cry Tonight" is available as a B-side to the UK "Signing Emo" single.

In early 2006, his song "Download This Song" was featured on the pop-culture CBC Radio show, Definitely Not The Opera, during an exposé on geeks.

The Graduate

In 2006, Lars worked with the Canadian independent record label Nettwerk Records to release The Graduate. Following this release, Lars toured extensively throughout the U.S. doing nothing, then he moved to the UK and did shows in Japan,[4] and Australia. Not long after the album was released on iTunes, Lars received an e-mail from a 15-year-old fan Elisa Greubel on his web forum saying she identified with "Download This Song" since her family was one of many being sued by the Recording Industry Association of America. This led to Nettwerk executive Terry McBride and a team of major-label artists managed by Nettwerk to support the Greubels with their case.

MC Lars returned to the UK in October 2006, due to popular demand, to play more shows in support of his "Ahab" single and video.

This Gigantic Robot Kills

MC Lars performing with Australian band Wherewolves at Bang! Nightclub in Melbourne, May 2009.

In April 2007, MC Lars and Nettwerk made the component tracks for his single "White Kids Aren't Hyphy" available for remix under a by-nc-sa Creative Commons license on the Jamglue online mixing site as a contest.[7] In May, MC Lars toured the UK on the third installment of the Good To Go Tour, making friends with Wheatus front man Brendan B. Brown. In July Lars and Brendan recorded a bunch of new songs, two of which would later appear on This Gigantic Robot Kills. In November, Lars returned to the UK on tour with pop-punk band Last Letter Read who performed their own set and then on stage with Lars, debuting Lars' new song "Hey There Ophelia".

In 2008 and 2009, Lars worked with "Weird Al" Yankovic, the Rondo Brothers, Nick Rowe and Mike Kennedy of Bloodsimple, Daniel Dart of Time Again, Donal Finn of Flash Bastard, Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan, MC Bat Commander of The Aquabats, Suburban Legends, Worm Quartet, Gabriel Saporta of Cobra Starship, Brett Anderson of The Donnas, MC Frontalot, Jesse Dangerously, Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup, Adil Omar, Linus Dotson of Size 14, Parry Gripp of Nerf Herder, Salvation, Jonathan Coulton, Aesias Finale, Sebastian Reynolds, Joe Ragosta of Patent Pending and classical musician Walt Ribeiro to complete his album "This Gigantic Robot Kills".

B-sides and Rarities

Some demos of songs Lars finished but will not be releasing include "Dharma Police", "You Might Be Stoner", "Coming Up Short", "Ana's Song", "Wikipedia Song", "I Flow Econo", "Dudes Don't Text Dudes", "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Religion I Learned from Daniel Johnston", "Pop Life", "Don't Fear the Ice Cream Monster."

Record Label

MC Lars has his own record label, Horris Records. In 2008 Lars signed a two-record distribution deal with Crappy Records, founded by Jaret Reddick, from the American Rock band Bowling For Soup.[8]


Albums and EPs


  • "iGeneration" (Horris Records, 2005)
  • "Signing Emo" (Horris Records, 2005)
  • "Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock", (Horris Records, 2006)
  • "Download This Song" (Horris Records, 2006) #29 Australia
  • "Ahab" (Horris Records, 2006)
  • "Hipster Girl" (Horris Records, 2006)
  • "White Kids Aren't Hyphy", (Horris Records, 2007)
  • "Guitar Hero Hero (Beating Guitar Hero Doesn't Make You Slash)", (Horris Records/Oglio, 2009)


  • "Geeked Out" from Greetings from Nor-Cal, 2006
  • "Gary" from A Santa Cause 2, 2006
  • "Gopher Guts" from The Simple Life 2, 2007
  • "The Lint Song" from For the Kids Too, 2007


  • Ubernators featuring MC Lars - "Do the Joker", 2005
  • Test Icicles - "Circle Square Triangle (MC Lars Remix)", 2005
  • The Scribes featuring MC Lars - "Two Minutes of Hate", 2007
  • Smilex featuring MC Lars - "Dead Horses", 2007
  • My Awesome Compilation - "Put Up a Fight (MC Lars Remix)", 2008
  • Wheatus featuring MC Lars - "Change The World (Black Precedent)", 2008
  • funky49 featuring MC Lars - "Adoption", 2008
  • J-Byn featuring MC Lars & Jesus Disciple - "The Case for Christ", 2009
  • Alan Lastufka and Tom Milsom - "Can't (MC Lars' Running Game Remix)", 2010



  • 27th Street: A Book of Cartoons by MC Lars (Horris Books, 2006)
  • Bukowski in Love: A Book of Poems by MC Lars (Horris Books, 2007)


  • Hey That's Me (2003) (Steve Dawson, director)
  • iGeneration (2004) (Stewart Hendler, director)
  • Signing Emo (2004) (Kurt St. Thomas, director)
  • Download This Song (2005) (Frank Borin, director)
  • Ahab (2006) (Sean Donnelly, director)
  • If I Had a Time Machine, That Would Be Fresh (2006) (Richard Barham, director)
  • Hipster Girl (2007) (Tommy Avallone, co-director)
  • Scientology=WTF? (2007) (Richard Barham, director)
  • White Kids Aren't Hyphy (2008) (Tim Thompson and Odin Wadleigh, co-directors)
  • I Want My Guns N' Roses (2008) (Richard Barham, director)
  • Manifest Destiny (with YTCracker) (2008) (Irina Slutsky, director)
  • I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas (2008) (Richard Barham, director)
  • MC Lars's Facebook Friend Count > Your Facebook Friend Count (with Dr. Popular) (2008) (Tim Thompson and Odin Wadleigh, co-directors)
  • Guitar Hero Hero (Beating Guitar Hero Doesn't Make You Slash) (2009) (Sean Donnelly, director)
  • OG (Original Gamer) (2009) (nYgel, director)



External links

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