An exuberant force of Canadian rock and roll, Mac DeMarco has proven to be a consistent and evolutionary songwriter with last album Salad Days swiftly followed by mini-LP Another One, blazing a trail globally with raucous live showings. Ahead of his return to Australia for the New Year period, Mac speaks on his approach, inviting fans to his home, and how he would change the world.
Do you feel like an actor when you’re recording or performing?
The recording – definitely no, I mean I'm at home doing it, it's kind of like a very personal thing for me, so that is definitely – and I mean I try not to think about what people are gonna think like 'oh, I should try and write about this kinda song', I don't really think that way while I'm doing it, so that's definitely like pretty straight up. With the shows, it can be a little bit different I guess, 'cause you know, people are coming out, you wanna try and y'know, please people every night, but you know if I'm having a weird time or if the crowd is being weird, then the mood may shift, you never know. But I try not to – I mean I think a lot of certain aspects of my personality are like blown way out of proportion, you know, I'm kind of like an internet meme or something at this point, but you know, I try and stay true to myself. I think it's the only way I can really stay sane doing this. But I try and keep it parallel with the outward persona or whatever that people dig into or whatever.
Even with Andy joining the band a little over a year ago, there seems to be a natural trust and dynamic with the band. Did that come about instantly?
I think it just kind of, I mean it probably came while we were touring I guess. But it's kinda been that way for so long now that, and even when Andy [guitar] joined the band he was a little bit, you know, quieter at first, but he'd seen us play a bajillion times before he joined, but it's just kind of, yeah, I mean I give them microphones, they only sing backup vocals on a couple songs, so they can say whatever they want. It's kind of, you know, it keeps them sane as well, 'cause if they were doing this like robotic 'gotta play perfectly exactly the same every night' I think it's boring. I let them do their own solos, I let them do whatever they want, really, as long as the songs come across – and I'm not super concerned with them being like, 'super-tight musicians' or anything, 'cause none of us are, it's honestly just another day of us hanging out, but this time we're hanging out with a whole bunch of people in a club or at a festival on a stage. It's a little bit of a different dynamic but yeah, it keeps it comfortable for me.
Are you happy where you’re at currently in terms of touring and output?
I don't know. I mean, I know I'm gonna keep making records and I'll keep touring if people wanna see us, but I don't know. For the immediate future I know that we're gonna be touring a lot and I know I'm gonna do another record probably early next year or maybe early in the winter or something, but yeah, I don't know. I've kind of fallen into this thing where I don't, I mean I never really have any goals or expectations, like I wanna play shows and you know I'm having a good time doing what I'm doing, but it's always just kinda been for me like, yeah, you make a record, that's what you do, that's what your life's about, you make songs, you play music, so it's not, I don't like 'I wanna play Madison Square Garden' or like 'sell a million records' – I don't care about that. I just do what I do, and it's crazy that people pay attention to it.
Have you got to a stage of certain freedom?
I guess I have kind of always - I mean for me, playing music and playing shows and getting paid to do this kind of thing and like going around the country, it's not work, it's not a job. For me music was always freedom from like the 9-to-5 job or freedom from the grocery store shift or whatever, it is crazy now that it is my full, full gig. For me it's just the small things that really make the difference, as far as like keeping it the way I want it to be. I don't wanna take tour buses, I don't wanna do any of that kinda crazy stuff. Even playing big venues, we've gotten to a certain point where we're able to play like 3000-person venues in some cities, and that's kind of like pushing it a little bit, and I'd rather do a couple smaller shows than like a big one. I don't wanna disconnect from what I'm doing. I wanna keep it as down to earth as I can.
Mac Demarco will be performing as part of the Falls Music and Arts Festival.