indieberlin talks to: Mac DeMarco


 In the past year Mac DeMarco and his band have become some of the most beloved artists to come of out Canada. His smooth lyrics and saucy on stage presence has made girls (and boys) swoon, while his and his goofy personality has done nothing but improve his popularity. Other than that, he has an awesome band who are equally as hilarious and talented, and they have been touring almost solid since last year. His most recent album (Mac DeMarco 2) has been on almost every music blog from here to Vancouver, yet all this attention hasn’t gone to his head. During his recent performance at Privatclub he was accompanied by Canadian crooner Sean Nicholas Savage, and featured an on-stage ballad dedicated to his girlfriend that made my heart melt. I caught up with him to chat about his experiences on tour, favourite artists and lady watching..

IB: So you’ve come a long way in the past year. What’s been your proudest moment so far?

MAC: I’d say the coolest show in that respect is when we played the Music Hall Williamsburg in New York and headlined it, and sold it out in advance. You know, our label is from there and that’s where we started playing shows as Mac DeMarco band, and everyone was just kind of like, ‘Yeah you did it Mac!’

IB: What’s been your worst experience?

MAC: Well.. we played a show in Kansas right after SXSW and I think I still had the SX madness because we played like 16 shows. Then by the time we got to Kansas the sound was terrible and we weren’t playing very well..eventually I was just like, ‘Fuck this!’ and just dropped the mic and I went outside for a song, and then came back and showed everyone my gentials. It was just a dark, dark moment.. 

IB: Yeah, I heard about that. I guess there’s always good and bad moments. I have a couple questions about songs.. Robson girl, who’s that song about?

MAC: It’s about Robson St. in Vancouver.. essentially Japanese and Korean girls. I always wanted a Japanese or Korean girlfriend when I lived there, but they never liked me. I mean, I dont blame them. I look like a bum most of the time anyways..but yeah, that was the street to go lady watching.

IB: Where is European Vegas?

MAC: Montreal. It’s like a greasy version of a European city. It’s like a Vegas version-it’s not a European city.

IB: When’s your next album coming out?

MAC: I was hoping to do an EP and an album this year, but it turned out that we toured the entire time. After July we have a couple months off so that’s when I’ll be working on the new album.

IB: You’ve mentioned before that you’ve had some pretty shitty jobs. Where do you think you would be if you didn’t get to where you are now?

MAC: I’d probably still be making music, but I think my spirits probably would’ve broken by now. I’d probably be working some shit job somewhere. I always got the really shitty jobs because I knew they wouldn’t last. I was making music and knew the job wouldn’t last forever. 

IB: Who influenced you to start making music?

MAC: I love Jonathan Richman, I want to be like that guy, he’s cool. I don’t know, I guess there were bands that made me realise I could start a band and I don’t have to be like Joe Satriani or Eddie Van Halen on guitar, I can be good at singing. I was listening to like Beat Happening and The Gories, and there were a bunch of bands from my hometown that were really sketchy but they were sweet, so it didn’t matter that they were sketchy. After seeing that you realise it’s way cooler than so-and-so indie band that are just a bunch of dickheads.. you just get the confidence to write songs and you dont give a shit about what anybody thinks.. if they like it they like it, and if they don’t then fuck them anyways.

IB: So I guess you wouldn’t be into sharing some (lesser known) favourite bands of yours..?

MAC: Oh for sure! This band from Montreal called Each Other, and my friend Alex Calder who played with me in my old band- he’s also on Captured Tracks now too- he’s great. Naomi Punks from Seattle, Run DMT from Baltimore, Sean Nicholas Savage who’s on tour with us..

IB: Whats’ your favourite childhood cartoon?

MAC: Fuck, I watched a lot of cartoons. I liked Ren and Stimpy, Rocco’s Modern Life, and Samurai Pizza Cats was a great one. I loved Dragon Ball Z. I liked Sailor Moon too. I was pretty into Mighty Max, I barely really remember it because I was like  four or five, but I had all the toys. They were like Polly Pocket for has all the miniture parts which are extreme choking hazard for kids.. but I loved ’em.