Mac DeMarco

Interview by Brenda Bosma, Photos shot by Bobby Doherty in Mike Sniper’s (founder of Captured Tracks) apartment in Brooklyn, USA

You seem like a playful kind of fellow. Would you like to get naked for us? 
Well, I’m really tired right now and we’re in a train, ’cause our car broke down, but sure, no problem! Actually I’m glad to get out of the sticky clothes that I’ve been wearing for days now. One thing, though: I’ll probably smell really bad and leave a scent in the room. If it’s indoors.
The band members from Mötley Crüe would rub egg burrito on their crotches to hide a sex smell from their girlfriends at home; Jimi Hendrix got his private parts plastered. What happens on tour with you guys? 
We don’t really hide our crotch smell. We just kind of live with it, I guess. It’s gross, I know, but we are nasty young men. Okay, we’re not that crazy, but we can be a little bit sometimes. Just to be clear, we all pretty much have girlfriends at home.
About the craziness. I saw a YouTube clip of you performing a U2-cover butt naked.
Yeah, my mom really likes that. She was like: ‘You sticking these things up your ass. What is wrong with you?!’ She and my aunt were really concerned. But once they talked to me on the phone, they understood that I was just being a jerk. Honestly I don’t really know what possessed me, maybe it’s that U2 song ‘Beautiful Day’. I just love it. Anyway, I had a good time. Stranger things have happened.

What’s the most stupid thing you’ve done onstage?
That would be playing a bad show, when you’re trying to play well. Being a complete jerk onstage, I just think is really funny.
What’s so fun about sticking stuff up your ass?
It’s funny to see how people react to that. If you’re doing something crazy and everybody reacts to that crazy, it makes for crazy times. I just love that.
So now people expect you to put stuff up your ass.
Yeah I know, it’s crazy. I prefer them to expect me to be coming out wearing lipstick, though.
Your EP is entitled Rock ‘n Roll Night Club. What goes on there and what kind of people go there?
Mostly very young kids. I don’t really know what happens there. It’s all a blur to me really.
You sing about women in blue jeans. What kind of clothes should women never wear?
I don’t like those jeans without pockets on the ass. When there are no pockets on the butt, take the trousers off, that’s just not right. These sketchy girls used to wear jeans like that when I was in junior high. I have bad memories of that.
Should they make use of the pockets?
Yes. My drummer Joey is looking at me right now and is whispering, ‘Condoms and drugs.’ They should put those in their pockets for sure.

You’ve been compared to ‘a grunting low-rent Michael Hutchence lothario’, ‘a husky-voiced troubadour’ and also Elvis. How would you describe yourself? 
Wow, I don’t really sound like Elvis, though. What I did on the record was slow down my vocal tracks. Then you can sound like anyone you want. I think I would describe myself as a young man with pretty bad hygiene and equally bad habits, at least right now on the road. I will tour till Christmas and then I will chill out, make another album probably.
Will you make another funny video? 
We’ll see what happens. I love that video from D’Angelo. Maybe I’m doing something like that. He’s teasing everybody not showing his whole naked body, but that’s probably what makes the video so good. I mean, if his dick was in there, like, 15 times, it wouldn’t have that mystique. I love it. Girls love it. They are like: ‘OMG, he’s so sexy!’ Seeing me doing something like that, they would surely react differently. They’d be like: ‘OMG, look at that weird guy!’ So it has to be funny in my case, ’cause clearly I’m not this super-chizzled marble man. I’m not that serious about all of it.
Don’t you take your music seriously?
Sometimes I do. I sure don’t take myself seriously. If you take everything too serious, you come off as a total dork. I’m looking at Joey right now, he looks like a complete goofball. I think it’s good to just have fun.

Mac DeMarco plays on the 23rd of November at Botanique in Brussels. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members.