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Mac DeMarco @ Milkboy on Thursday.

August 28, 2013

Mac DeMarco is playing at Milkboy on Thursday with Ape School and Mock Suns. Our Nikki Volpicelli spoke with Mac (and shot his picture) last time he was in town, performing at Kung Fu Necktie.

I find Mac DeMarco playing pinball in a crowded room with a beer settled on the game’s glass top. He’s focused. I tell him I’m sorry to interrupt but I’m the interviewer that reached out last week about a pre-show conversation. He recognizes that and kind of stumbles over his next move, going back and forth between leaving the game and finishing it, typical ping ponging. I tell him, “Go ahead, please finish the game. I’ll be over there when you’re ready.”

When he’s ready, we head outside and around the Kung Fu Necktie corner, sit on a stoop so we can smoke cigarettes and talk in a quieter environment. He’s smoking Marlborough Reds because they don’t sell Viceroys here.

It’s hard to get him alone. Everyone wants to meet him.

MacDemarcoNVStupid questions to start. His favorite color is blue and he likes to watch movies and get drunk, just like most 20-somethings. Jeans are “fuckin’ sick,” and he goes on to tick off some of his favorite jean brands.

“Do you think you’re a brand?” I ask.

“Um… I don’t think I am but maybe other people think [I am],” he answers. “I don’t know, kids seem to get really fanny, it’s weird… it’s cool though.”

Two guys walk up. Bundled, they’re from Tampa and they came to Philly to see Mac’s show. They’re super sincere and want separate photos with him. They are really grateful and Mac is playing host. He’s super interested in everyone who comes up, and really appreciative of these guys’ support and interest. They throw a million “thank you’s” at him.

Then I ask him if any of his fans ever freak him out.

“It’s not really freaked out,” he says. “It gets a little tiring sometimes, although I love it because kids are so… really happy about me just doing music, which is insane to me. I want to have time for everybody but sometimes it’s like, I can’t, you know?”

Mac started playing his hazy, bleached-out style of lo-fi music with his previous group, Makeout Videotape.

“That’s the thing, the what-am-I-gonna-be thing,” he kind of draws out the end of that sentence, obviously fed up with the huge microscope that’s focusing in on his “image.”

“The thing that happens was, I recorded the first album as kind of a joke,” he continues. “And the press photos that got used were me on Halloween just looking like a jackass. Somehow it turned out that was the album art and all the press stuff, so everyone thought I was a lipstick-wearing weirdo for awhile. And that was right when everyone was hearing my stuff so I was kind of like ‘Goddammit.’ I’m sick of guys coming up to me after the show like, ‘Where’s the stilettos, Mac?’ and it’s like, fuck you. So for the second album, I decided to do a me album. You know, for me, I didn’t really care about what anybody would think about it. My old music sounds more like the new album than Rock and Roll Night Club, so kind of like a return of that, and just write songs about my family and my life and shit. And it turns out people liked it okay.”

He says he gets a lot of album requests from friends’ dads, one friend’s mom even says he sounds like Jimmy Buffet. He’s not sure now to take that. Is that embarrassing? I don’t know, he’s got a pretty good following, too.

I want to know: “What do you think about music journalism?”

He likes it. It’s cool. He’s never done as many interviews as he’s done this year. He doesn’t like stupid, overreaching questions. Then my friend asks him a stupid question (answer: his “favorite” Kardashian is Kim, who is the only one he’s familiar with).

One more question, kind of an afterthought, “Are you afraid of getting cancer?”

“Yeah, it’s kind of in the back of my mind, but I don’t think that,” he says. “I don’t know. If I got it I’d probably just be so fucking bummed out. And I’d probably feel all of this, ‘Why the fuck did you smoke and do all of this crazy shit and drink every night?’ But until that happens, I’m probably just going to keep living like a jackass.”

The last cigarette gets stomped out and we walk back into the venue for the show.

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