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.
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