Since disbanding Makeout Videotape and going it alone, Edmonton/Vancouver-bred, Montreal-based singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco has made considerable progress with the groundwork his band laid out. Signing to Captured Tracks, he released the Rock and Roll Night Club mini-album earlier this year, which carried on the lo-fi crooning over some lip-smacking, hook-filled outsider pop and a fake radio show. For his solo debut album proper, he's dropped the glam shtick and adopted a much blither perspective of jangly, minimal rock'n'roll. In boosting the production quality, which no longer sounds so perverse, Mac's also brought sincerity to his tunes while showcasing his delightfully warped guitar playing. Mac DeMarco may assume a trashy façade, but beneath that lies a genuinely talented songwriter who writes what he knows and keeps us entertained.
There's a sizeable difference in the sound between Rock and Roll Night Club and 2. Why is that?
I guess I was actually trying to record an album with 2. I tried to write nice songs, instead of writing jokey rock'n'roll jammy wammies.
Rock and Roll Night Club sounds a lot like Makeout Videotape. How conscious was the decision to move away from your old band?
The name just changed. Makeout Videotape was always me recording at home, for the most part, anyway, sometimes my friend Alex would do some recording, but he was back in Edmonton and I was in Montreal. I just figured I might as well switch the name up.
Your shows are known for being raunchfests, yet the songs aren't very reflective of that. How different is Mac on stage from in the studio?
On stage, we usually get pretty goofy. I think it's good though. If we're getting all loose and goofy, the crowd usually lightens up and starts having a funkier time. In the studio, I just sit around in my stinky underwear in my living room for a couple weeks. I guess the difference is the clothing.
Even the promo pics for 2 show quite a change. What type of persona were you looking for glamming it up for the first record?
All those glam photos are from Halloween a couple years ago. It was pretty funny, with all the press people using these photos of me all over, but it gets a little old after a while.
A mini-album and a full-length in one year are impressive. How committed to this prolific work ethic are you?
Now that people are listening to my music, more and more it makes me want to make more and more music. I like pumping them out like this; it makes me feel like I'm actually doing something with my time.
Jizz jazz: how dedicated are you to making it a legit subgenre?
I'm going to pump the world's ass full of jizz jazz.
When you're performing, is there any conscience stopping you from sticking you finger in your butt and then in your mouth? And how many mornings after have you said, "That may not have been the best idea"?
Pretty much every time I get really drunk I wake up feeling like that.
Because of your live antics, I'm sure people come to see Mac DeMarco expecting some crazy stuff to happen. How do you feel about having those expectations?
Usually when people roll up with those expectations, I try my hardest to keep it clean. It's sort of annoying, I guess, but it's definitely my own fault [laughs].
You relocated to Montreal from Vancouver last year. What forced the move and would you say it's been beneficial?
Nothing really forced the move, I just wanted to try out another place. I've liked it okay so far — not really sure if it's beneficial in any way. It's pretty cheap to live there, so I guess that's a bonus. I don't have to work, really ,and can work on music way more.
I YouTubed you and on the side was a video called "Creepiest Pedophile of ALL Time." What do you know about that video?
That's my friend Gary in the video. He's whipping up some tasty poo poo caca and dirtying his pump piece with caca chicken wipes.
Why Viceroys? Why not one of those dirty Quebec brands of smokes?
I've tried those Galouises or whatever they're called. They suck ass.
Everyone in Canada loves shopping at Target. What kind of discount do you get from the chain after they used your song "Baby's Wearin' Blue Jeans."
Target gave me a lifetime supply of rooster caca.