A.C. Newman began his career as Carl Newman, playing in the grunge/pop group Superconducter through most of the 90s. He was the leader of Thee Crusaders as well. He also co-founded Zumpano, staying in the band until they broke up in 1996. In 1997 he founded the indie/pop supergroup The New Pornographers, for whom he is the primary songwriter, vocalist and musician.
After starting his solo career under the monicker of A.C. Newman in 2004, he has since continued to use this name to credit his involvement on other releases, claiming that he prefers the way that it sounds.
His wife, Christy Simpson, is the marketing manager for Matador Records to whom The New Pornographers are signed.