• Mac DeMarco :: Interview with Chris Twite

Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco released his third full-length album,†This Old Dog, only a few days ago. Chris Twite spoke to the man behind indie rock’s favourite†gap-toothed grin about†moving to LA, writing the new record and†why he’s never owned†a dog.
Chris Twite: From album of the week for Salad Days in 2014 to an interview alongside his mum for†Laneway Festival in 2015, Mac DeMarco is no stranger here at FBi. Weíre currently joined by the man himself to chat about his upcoming third album, This Old Dog, due for release this May. Mac, thank you so much for having a chat.

Mac Demarco: My pleasure.

You were on tour last time with your mum.† You managed to come out on Laneway Festival, that was a big moment for Australian audiences. What was it like going on tour with your mum?

It was cool, I think she had a blast. Sheíd never been down there before, it wasnít even my idea it was the guys from Laneway. She was quite happy I think.

We†thought ahead of chatting to you that we would reach out to your mum and ask if there were any messages that she wanted to pass on to you, and she very willingly sent through some stuff. So this is what she had to say: ďAsk him to send me the link for the album, he said that it had already leaked but itís been taken down, I want to hear ĎSisterí. Oh and also tell him that I love himĒ. Does your mum regularly pirate your music?

I think I told her to because I donít have a link for it, like I didnít even have it for a while so I figured there it is, and sheís been asking me for it. But Iíve got a lot of stuff going on in the next couple weeks so figured itíd just be the quickest way, you know.

Tell us about that track ĎSisterí. What can you tell us about the record, are there tracks like that one that we should be listening out for?

I mean itís a record, I donít remember how many songs are on there, twelve or something, thirteen or something like that.

Good standard size, nice work done there.

Yeah, songs about my life, my friends, my family, being alive. Some synthesizers, some drum machines, some acoustic guitar, a little bit of electric guitar. Thereís some singing, some drumming, thereís some bass playing and…take it or leave it I donít know, check it out if you like it [laughs].

And you played all the instruments on the record, is that right?

Yeah thatís right.

Because you normally tour with a band , tell me about the process of just putting it all together yourself and not bringing extra people in.

I think what I do, I kinda just lock myself in my bedroom or wherever for a couple of months and start hammering away and get it to a place Iím comfortable with. And then send it to mastering and then the record label gets it and then Iíll send it to the guys that I play with and then we learn it! And then we go on tour, and thatís kinda the timeline I suppose.

Talk to me about that process of handing it off to the label, like particularly when youíre locking yourself in your room for so long and you live with this record. Whatís it like to hand over, whatís that process like?

Itís cool, I think Iím in a position with them now where weíve worked together for a long time, theyíll know when Iím working on it and then Iíll send it to them eventually. But yeah itís cool, I guess itís a little weird because nobodyís around when Iím writing it or recording it, nobody really hears it except for my girlfriend maybe. Itís exciting in a way. With this one, we had to get it mastered a couple times, like I had to fix a couple things, so I was a little bit tired… Writing the songs and recording them is fun, but the technical side of it got a little bit annoying at the end, so I was like ďtake it, take it awayĒ. But now itís been a few months, so Iím happy to immerse myself back into whatever it is that Iíve made, and then go play it for people.

Iím sure people are excited to hear it live. When you started this record you were living in New York and you moved to LA once you were finishing it. Did changing cities change the record?

I donít think so, I had most of the same stuff that I had in New York here. I bought a couple more toys, but I think it was just one bedroom to another. I could make a record in Antarctica if I had the right gear and maybe it would sound the same. Itís hard for me to say because Iím too knee deep in it.

I really think you should pursue this idea of an Antarctic record Mac, I think that could be your opus.

Itíd be cool to see Antarctica, Iíve got a couple of friends whoíve been down there before, itíll be a little chilly though, but hey Iím from Canada after all.

Itís not been so long since youíve moved from Montreal to New York, and now LA. Do you think youíve found your spiritual home in the city of Los Angeles, are you now a SoCal dude?

No [laughs] no Iím afraid not. Iím still learning about this place and the vibe that this place gives off. Itís a weird place because thereís a lot of different layers to it, thereís definitely an evil to Los Angeles but itís covered in all this gloss and ease of living. But I enjoy it, itís a famous city and itís nice to live in a place that has a reputation and has industry. I love New York for a lot of those same reasons, itís interesting to be around that kind of thing. Maybe Iíll end up here for a long time, maybe not, but I never seem to be able to stick in a place for more than three years, so weíll see. Iím liking it so far, we just got here, so Iíll give it a good college try.

Letís talk a bit more about the record, one of the first tastes weíve heard is ĎThis Old Dogí. Can you talk to us about that video? Itís a bunch of people running around with dog masks, are you one of the masked dogs? Is that you, or just your mates?

Iím actually not in a dog mask, itís all my bandmates, Iím actually not even one of the dogs, but nobody can tell.

Wow, the secretís out now Mac. Youíre not really a dog person?

I like dogs for sure but Iíve just never had one, my mum had cats when I was growing up. But Iíve been around dogs quite a bit, my sister loves dogs, but weíve just never had one.

Maybe LAís the space, youíve got plenty of land to get one. I donít know how touring works with them though.

Itíd be cool but the problem is my girlfriend knows if I get a dog then itís just her dog, because Iíll be on tour, so sheís kinda like ďyouíre gonna leave me here with an animalĒ. So maybe! Or maybe not.

Is there anything else we should be looking out for on the record? Any surprises , anything thatís different from a previous Mac DeMarco record that weíre going to be like ďWow, this is a change from the Mac DeMarco weíve known and lovedĒ?

I mean it sounds different I guess, and the songs are a little different. Not a lot of necessarily fast songs anywhere on the record, a different palate of sounds and tones and crap like that.

So we shouldnít be expecting the thrasher doom record weíd always hoped youíd make?

No, no Iím afraid not. This is my, I donít know what this is, this is my Italian rock record, yeah. There you go.

Your what sorry?

Italian. This is my Italian record.

Your Italian record! I mean you touched on some of those Italian sounds in your really early work, is that what you were harking back to?

I donít know, I donít even know what Italian sounds would be…operaÖ

I was thinking back more to your mixtape days.

Ah! I donít know, did that sound Italian?

I got a vibe!

Maybe, sounds American [laughs]. Some of this stuff reminds me of what I used to do actually, on this record in some ways. Now Iíve kinda reached a point where I am able to do some things that I wish I could have done back in the day. Itís just some songs, take Ďem or leave Ďem, if you like them thatís great, if not thatís ok too!

On that point, what do you think has changed that allows you to do things you couldnít do before?

I mean, itís not like I had a barrier or something like ďNo I canítÖĒ. I think Iíve gotten better at music, Iíve gotten better at recording, just things like that. Maybe Iíd have a concept or an idea, and Iíd try to attempt something and it would end up coming out sounding so crazy. But now if I have an image I can get a little closer to it. But at the same time I still really donít have any idea what Iím doing [laughs]. I just, Iím enjoying it, baby steps, learning a little bit more every time.

Well it seems to be working for you Mac, any chance weíll see you out here soon?

You will, I think next summer for you guys, so around the end of the year or maybe the beginning of the new year. Iím not sure if I can say for what yet, but something familiar to usÖ and it should be a ball.

Listen to the full interview above. ‘This Old Dog’ is out now.
The post Mac DeMarco Interview: Touring With Mum, Loving Dogs & Making An Italian Rock Record appeared first on FBi Radio.