I was Patient Zero, essentially. But I got back to Vancouver, lubed up and felt great after that. Is it fair to say you took on a persona for Rock and Roll Nightclub? Is there a character behind it? I guess so. The story is that I was trying to record a new Makeout Videotape album and I wanted to do a bunch of power-pop Ramones songs with really fast power chords. When I listened back, it sounded so bad, but then I slowed it down a bit and it sounded way sweeter!
I sang over it kind of funny and slowed that down a bit too. Plus I had tonsillitis at the time, so my voice was super weird. Is it also fair to say that your main motivation is making yourself and your friends laugh?
OK, this is the evolution of me smoking cigarettes. I had a roommate named Ira, and he would give me a smoke every once in a while, and they were Belmonts. My sperm count is probably up. You want to peg him as a stoner? A clown?
A joke? He chose to quit and start his own bands when he sensed that his teacher, having noticed his early potential, was trying to turn him into a jazz-fusion guitarist. His first groups were overtly novelty acts; I suspect as a defence mechanism that he still has in place today, in part, at least. At his shows today, his encores — where he and his band play a medley of ridiculous covers, including tracks by Neil Young, Limp Bizkit and Metallica — have become a draw of their own.
Mac DeMarco Is On An Enchanting Adventure - Noisey
It was weird. Some people take that so seriously — my label was very bummed out. Who gives a fuck!? If kids want to hear it that badly, I find that cute. Momentarily, he thinks about politely saying he remembers it. It was a touching moment of genuine affection. Normal service had resumed. Mac DeMarco is an anomaly — a DIY hipster with more than a handful of actual songs; the most overly qualified chancer in Brooklyn. He stretches his arms out over the water and steps up onto the railings.
The passengers below wave and take photos of their own. There aren't any windows. A month previous, after returning to New York from an extensive tour behind his breakout album 2 , which included some arena gigs opening for Phoenix, DeMarco went to the store to stock up on everything he needed so he wouldn't have to leave this room.
Fruit flies hover around a full Viceroy-brand ashtray. For the past few weeks, he's been toiling on his third solo record in this space, recording every instrument on the record while chain smoking about two packs a day with the door closed. To understand why this grubby, gap-toothed kid has seized a strong following over the last few years, consider the other festival-friendly indie rock outfits currently in his sphere. It's no wonder he recently found a kindred spirit in shit-stirrer extraordinaire Tyler, the Creator, who tweeted: But DeMarco's not just some volatile loose cannon.
There's a warmth and approachability about him; he recently covered Jonathan Richman live, and he talks about Steely Dan records with authority.
Loud And Quiet
His home-recorded love songs—near yacht rock-ian in their smoothness—contain widely universal sentiments. They're feel-good affairs performed with a deep-voiced croon and a warbly guitar tone that's distinctly his own. He's telling stories with a smile, crafting breezy songs that sound good at outdoor stages. In person, he smiles and makes you feel like you're in on his jokes, however bizarre or disgusting they may be. He's the friend who actively looks for the party, drinks way too much when he gets there, and is eventually found passed out in the closet. He's an auteur with a lampshade on his head.
A punk kid with moon eyes. An unwashed chain-smoker from the Canadian flatlands who keeps coughing between sentences. It's time to record. DeMarco lights a cigarette, grabs his junky electric guitar—which is tricked-out with a pickguard made from house siding and a Pabst bottlecap around the input jack—and finds the right place to stand so the amp doesn't buzz.
When he starts playing, he wiggles his head around in a circle and bobs his knees. Sometimes, his entire body heaves, on the beat, from side to side. DeMarco's got just a few more days to finish three more songs for what will be his most scrutinized album yet, Salad Days.
When he talks about what he's got left to do, he runs his hand through his hair which then sticks directly up , his eyes glaze over a little, and he sounds exhausted.
His slumped-over presence is a sharp contrast to his public persona, though he's not humorless. Key lyric: He sounds beleaguered as he talks about his fanbase, which ballooned over the past year. Before 2 came out in late , DeMarco was playing sparsely-attended shows in person capacity rooms, but he just sold-out an upcoming set at Manhattan's Webster Hall—that's 1, tickets.
He's concerned that his new songs, which he describes as negative, may put off some fans.
Agnes doesn't remember that. DeMarco's year-old brother Hank, who's currently studying ballet in Calgary, says that whenever he took a bath between the ages of 8 and 17, Mac would unhinge the lock and come into the bathroom to annoy him. When I speak to DeMarco's friends, they struggle to offer specific childhood stories—there are just too many. Still, Alex Calder, a member of DeMarco's old band Makeout Videotape, can't help but recall one of the many times when he woke up with Mac's bare penis resting on his face.
When DeMarco was in high school, he and his friends would hang out in Agnes' garage and play blues jams, which eventually led to his first joke bands. There was the Gories-style shit-fi group the Meat Cleavers, who nabbed a few gigs after sending local promoters threatening emails: He pissed off a lot of girls with that band. But everyone always just called him Mac.
The money never came. There's a video on YouTube where they meet up in a parking lot before a show in Santa Ana, California, last year.