For a guy that’s been tagged as being the face of the so-called “slacker-rock” genre, you’d be hard pressed to find someone that’s spent more time working on their craft than Mac DeMarco. Despite an endless tour schedule that’s taken him across the globe, he used a brief road hiatus last year to write and record the recently released mini-LP, Another One. We caught up with Mac in Vancouver to talk about the new album and finding the time to write.
G— You wrote and recorded Another One following an Australian tour last year. Did you have a clear idea coming off the road as to what you wanted to do in the studio?
Mac DeMarco— I had a couple scratch demoes, but nothing really. For me, when I decide that I want to do that kind of thing, I’ll just sit down; and if it works, it does, and if it doesn’t, I’ll give up.
G— I’d read that part of the motivation for writing the album was that you felt like you didn’t want to go too long without releasing new material.
MD— The release part doesn’t really matter to me. The amount that we toured and played Salad Days felt like beating a dog to death. So, by the time I went to go and record Another One, it was nice to know the band would have some new stuff to play. I feel like putting out one album or EP a year isn’t super crazy nowadays.
G— Being on tour so much, do you find yourself having to make time to write?
MD—I never really have time to do it when we’re out. I don’t write in hotel rooms or the van or anything. So, when I get home it’s the time to just do that stuff. It’s kind of nice. I’ll wake up, have a cup of coffee, and then I’ll go down and sit at the keyboard. It’s like a meditation period for me.
G— You’ve recorded all the instruments on your albums yourself. Is that an important part of the process for you?
MD— It’s just the way I know how to do it. I’m not opposed to collaborating with people, I’ve always done it on my own. I don’t have to bounce ideas off people or be like could you do it this way, y’know? Things progress in a slow way because I can only do so much on each instrument. But, I get better at recording. It’s like an arts-and-crafts-fun-time for me.
G— You also recently did a vinyl reissue of Makeout Videotape’s Jizz Jazz.
MD— Yeah, my friend from Toronto pressed 1,200 copies. Those went pretty fast, so they’re out there now. It’s really nice to see people give a shit about something released that far back.
G— Does it feel good that you can now give that album a bigger platform?
MD— In a way, yeah. I always kept the album up on Bandcamp where you could download it, along with all the other old recordings. I think that the kids who were interested in it, probably already had it. It’s funny though, I only wanted to do a really small run. People ask me why we didn’t press more, but I thought nah, let’s wait a couple years for that.
G— Your bandmates – past and present – have all been active in their own music projects.
MD— I think it’s cool that everyone’s got their own shit going on, it keeps everybody sane. If I was just like you belong to me, that might be fucked up. (laughs)
G— Has surrounding yourself with creative people played a role in your approach to writing music?
MD—I like to be around them when I’m out and about doing stuff, because it can give you that little spark where you go oh, I’ve got get home and do this. Seeing bands gives me that same feeling. But, when I get home, I won’t want to see anybody for a month.
A few years ago, Danielle McTaggart was ready to throw in the towel on her music career. Now she and her husband, Drew, make up the powerhouse duo known as Dear Rouge and have two full-length albums and a Juno to their name. Known for their hook-driven tracks—and being “the nicest couple in Canadian music”—Dear Rouge just dropped their sophomore LP, Phases. The record recounts a season of emotional extremes for the couple, including winning the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, and losing a loved one. We caught up with Danielle over the phone to talk about finding joy in music again, and the personal and public significance of Phases. G—On your website, you describe your style as “sinewy, hook-driven indie rock”. Where did that particular style evolve from? DM—I was always very into hook-y music with beautiful melodies. I grew up listening to The Carpenters and they have beautiful melodic parts, but I also always loved harder music and really rock-driven music. Bands like Metric or Yeah Yeah Yeahs or St. Vincent were hugely motivating for me, and I loved that these frontwomen were powerhouses. They’re very confident and trying to push the boundaries while
What do you get when you combine the start of a worldwide tour and the release of a highly-anticipated album on the same day? Ask Lord Huron’s founder and frontman, Ben Schneider, and he’ll say a pretty damn exciting journey ahead. The band’s third album, Vide Noir, released April 20, is already receiving accolades for its raw, lyrical storytelling from songs like “Wait by the River” and “When the Night is Over”. To engage fans at a deeper level, the band plans on creating immersive experiences that elevate the album’s narratives. Lord Huron’s tour includes a stop at Toronto’s Sony Centre on July 25, and at Osheaga in Montreal on August 4. Schneider spoke to us about his love of storytelling, Raymond Chandler influences, and what it was like working with Flaming Lips’ producer David Fridmann. G—You grew up in Michigan. Is that where your interest in music began? BS—There was always music on at our house, and I remember imagining the people the songs were about. The storytelling of songs is what’s always captured me most. As time went on, I was able to convince my parents to let me play bass in the orchestra, which led to me
Morgan Saint was born into a creative life. Upon growing up in Mattituck, NY with a family of musicians on her mother’s side and parents who worked in interior design, Saint graduated from Parsons School of Design in Manhattan, where she has lived for the past six years. With a major in illustration and a focus on photography and graphic design, Saint has executed a clear vision of her musical artistry. In 2017, at the age of 23, Saint released her debut EP, 17 Hero, on Epic Records. She is a storyteller at heart, combining all of her talents to reveal her narrative as truthfully as possible, one vignette at a time, as seen in all three of the EP’s videos, “Glass House”, “You”, and “Just Friends”. She co-produced each glossy, beautifully choreographed, and high-definition clip with Nathan Crooker, but the lyrics are all hers. They come from personal places yet are vague enough to be relatable. Her electronic pop is lo-fi, but you’ll most likely find yourself snapping your fingers to it. As Saint prepared for a sold-out show supporting Missio in Austin, Texas, Georgie connected with her to discuss coming into her own as a songwriter and