You have just one second to name your favourite rock star. Those who will think of Bono notwithstanding (sorry, you are on the wrong website), you may go for Elvis, Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop. Canadian Mac Demarco has a lot in common with all of them. After releasing a few tapes as Makeout Videotape, he has decided to step to the front under his own name singing of a world which is part excess, part debauchery, part glam, wholly exuberant and youthful. “Rock And Roll Night Club”, his debut e.p. for Captured Tracks, sounds exactly like its title promises, wild and weird, reeking of sex and booze, willing to sound familiar yet never nostalgic.
Whether Mac’s creating a mask or a disguise – something in which all those rock stars actually excelled at – or wearing his musical heart on his sleeve is just a useless piece of information. We remain fascinated by the enigma, even when, having a quick chat with us, he’ll insist on naming only porn actresses as heroes and villains.
First of all, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Mac, a 21 year old guy who lives in Montreal, Canada. I eat meat, and watch pornography.
You started playing in Vancouver, often supporting Japanandroids. What is the Vancouver scene like?
It’s sort of funny you ask that, there’s a great scene in Vancouver, I’ve played tonnes of shows there as Makeout Videotape, but what a lot of people are confused about on the internet is that I’ve actually been living across the country in Montreal for about a year now. I miss Vancouver a lot though, the scene there is pretty tight knit, and there are so many whip ass bands. I think I actually prefer the Vancouver scene to the Montreal one, probably because that’s where I started out. A lot of the bands we used to play with out there were a lot heavier sounding than our music, lot of weirdo punk stuff, we didn’t exactly fit in…but I think people liked us alright.
What prompted you to start releasing under your name and how did you hook up with Captured Tracks?
Makeout Videotape was pretty much the same thing as I’m doing now. I’ve been recording songs at home since I was in high school and for a long time they were coming out under that name. It got a little weird when we started playing a lot, having to tell family members that I was in band with a weird name, I’ve wanted to drop it for a long time. As for Captured Tracks, Mike Sniper sent me an email after I originally put the five song version of Rock and Roll Night Club up on bandcamp in november, we started chit chatting and now it’s on wax.
“Rock And Roll Night Club” seems almost like a concept ep, with its radio clips link and unifying nocturnal feel. Is it so? What was your aim writing it?
I tried to make it into this funky concept thing somewhere down the line. Originally it was only 4 songs, the slowed down rock and roll ones on the first side of the album. I was actually just messing around trying to write songs that sound like the Ramones, and realized that I’m really bad at it, until I slowed them waaaay down, that’s sort of where the whole thing got started. The songs start sounding a little bit different after the first half, still sort of sketchy and funny, but I tried to put in a couple songs that sound more like the music I regularly make so that hopefully people understand I’m not actually a crooning Chris Isaac type guy all the time.
Technical question (from a non technical hack): how do you make guitars sound so “flexible”? It’s almost like the whole body is melting while you are playing it.
I’m glad you asked about the guitars, I think I got them to sound suuuuper sketchy on some of the songs. Instead of recording my amp like I used to, I just ran all the guitars directly into a pretty crappy effects unit for the whole album. Reaaaaal slow chorus, makes it sound real crappy, I tried to make them sound super thin too, just completely garbagey sounding (laughs).
If you could choose one of your songs as a form of introduction which one would it be and why?
I’d probably say that song “I’m A Man”. I’m not really manly at all, I’m quite a puss actually, but the song pretty much describes everything else that goes on in my life. I do smoke Viceroys. I do work the night shift at a grocery store. I do wear 501′s (laughs).
5 heroes and 5 villains according to Mac.
Let’s see. For heroes I would say…Eva Angelina, Kagney Linn Karter, Sasha Grey, Jenna Haze and Alexis Texas. And the villains would have to be…Lisa Ann, Gianna Michaels, Shyla Stylez, Lisa Lipps and Jacky Joy
When is best to listen to Mac Demarco?
This EP? During backdoor intercourse.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on my next album right now, it probably won’t be out till the end of summer or something like that, right now it’s reaaaal rough. I’m sure we’ll be touring when it gets a little warmer out, probably the States, and hopefully Europe a little bit too.
“Rock And Roll Night Club” is out now on Captured tracks.