We chat with garage-rock heartthrob Mac DeMarco about the creamy insides of “Jizz-Jazz”, getting punched in the face by a hooker in his home town of Montreal, and his uncharacteristically “coherent” new record, 2.
You’ve described your music as “Jizz-Jazz”. What’s the exact definition?
Jizz is the white creme that drips out of your weenie when you shake it around, and Jazz is a style of music that is played by people wearing small black skull cap like hats that sit on the crown of their skull. I’ve been working for the better part of my life to craft a sound that encapsulates the essence of both of these.
You used to go by the name Makeout Videotape. What’s the main difference between Makeout Videotape and Mac DeMarco? Why did you decide to ditch the moniker and start fresh?
There isn’t that much of a difference between Makeout Videotape and my new stuff I guess. I’ve always just recorded songs and put them out from my bedroom or living room or wherever. I had never really made anything that sounded like ‘Rock and Roll Night Club‘ before, so when it turned out Captured Tracks wanted to put it out it felt like a good point to drop the weird name and just start jamming my own.
During a recent performance at CMJ you jumped into the crowd and proceeded to make-out with a girl from the audience. Are random hook-ups a daily occurrence for you?
I’ve actually been dating the girl I was kissing for almost three years now. I hadn’t seen her since August, so sometimes you gotta get a little sweet on your sweetheart. Don’t think random hookups have really ever been a daily occurrence for me.
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you at a show?
A hooker punched me in the face at a house show in Montreal while I was playing a little while back. Punched my friend Chris and my friend Corbin too. Right in the kisser.
You just dropped a new album called 2. What are the main differences between 2 and your previous release, Rock and Roll Night Club?
On ’2′, I stopped singing like Elvis, and actually took a little more than 15 minutes to record each of the songs, tried to make it sound a little nicer. On ‘Rock and Roll Night Club’ some of the songs were older, so I did those radio interludes to patch together two halves of an album that didn’t really sound alike, on ’2′ I just tried to make a more coherent, actual album.
Lyrically speaking, what do you tend to write about? Do 2 and Rock and Roll Night Club have similar themes?
The themes are a little bit different on the albums I guess, for the most part on ‘R&R Night Club’ I was just writing make believe story-song rock and roll fantasy weirdo shit, just having a funky time making weird songs. On ’2′ I went back to the way I used to write songs, just about my life generally, and my family, and just however I was feeling that month I spent recording in my undies.
Pavement, Dirty Beaches, and Lou Reed come to mind when listening to your recordings. Who inspires you musically?
I’m definitely a fan of all those bands. I’ve known Alex from Dirty Beaches personally for a number of years now, his music is amazing, and he’s really inspiring as a person, extreme quality dude. I think at heart I’m just a classic rock kid, I love The Beatles, Harry Nilsson, The Band, stuff like that, nice pop song stuff. Not into anything too rocking, or too folky weird songwritery, just good simple music with good melodies.
How’s your tour going? Any memorable gigs?
Well, tour’s all done now, but there was definitely a tonne of memorable stuff. The show’s usually seem to blend together for the most part, unless we really fucked a set up, but for me it’s usually the kids we meet in each town that leave the impression. Met a lot of very fresh dogs out on the road this time around.
If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you want to be?
Courtesy of Portals.