The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday May 28th

Diversions

Q&A with Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco, known for his wild and loose rock ‘n’ roll tunes, has taken the indie world by storm with his record 2. He talked to Diversions Editor Allison Hussey about his strange tour happenings, road life and his latest music video. DeMarco plays at The Pinhook in Durham on Wednesday, March 6. Buy a ticket here, and listen to a stream of 2 below.

Diversions: You’ve worked a lot of odd jobs. How did you jump to music full time?

Mac DeMarco: Well, I was always making music while I was doing that. The jobs were are kind of a means — it’s like the bread and butter side. Music was what I always did anyway. It turns out this year, I just somehow ended up not having to work, and now I can just live off music, which has always been a dream.

Dive: Are there any jobs you worked that you’d go back to?

MD: I was a Vietnamese ESL teacher for elderly Vietnamese people in this community in Vancouver. That was a great job; I really liked that job. So I’d go back to that. Other than that, they all pretty much sucked.

Dive: How much exploring do you get to do when you visit new cities?

MD: Usually it’s just play and go. In the States, it’s a little bit different, just because a lot of the drives — sometimes the drives are short, sometimes we have days off. I’m always the one driving, but maybe Europe might be different this time. Last time, we had these crazy drives, and we had to get on all these ferries.

The guys got to explore a little bit, but pretty much every time we’d go up to a venue, it’d be like, (in a French accent) “Mac, time for soundcheck and then you have, like, interview and do this!” So I was kind of busy, but the other guys got to see a little bit. After the shows were really fun. We hung out with kids that were down to chill or whatever. So yeah, we get a bit of a chance, but sometimes not so much.

Dive: What kind of odd tour experiences have you had?

MD: Weird stuff happens to us all the time. A lot of bands want to do the, “Nah, we’re going to stay in a hotel, better be careful,” but we’re just trying to save money. So we’re doing it in the station wagon, we’re looking for kids after the show to stay and stuff.

We got kicked out of this 18-year-old drug dealer’s mom’s house. He was a weed dealer. He was like, “Oh, you can stay at my place.” We went back to this gated community. I think that was in Phoenix. We got kicked out of his house at, like, eight in the morning because the plumber was coming to fix the bathroom or something.

Dive: Your new video for “Dreamin’” is pretty strange. How did you come up with it?

MD: I had an initial idea for a Mozart video where I dressed up as Mozart or whatever. It was a long time ago. I thought it was funny if I was Mozart, and I was in an opera hall or something conducting an orchestra, and “Dreamin’” is one of my songs.

And the premise of the video would be I’m conducting, but at the same time I’m sneaking hits off a crack pipe that I’ve got hidden in my coat. But that was kind of a huge, elaborate thing. It was kind of unrealistic.

One day my friend Jason found the Mozart costume and was like, “Hey, we can’t do the opera thing, so why don’t we go to McDonald’s instead?”

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