Mar 09, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice Photography by Maria Louceiro
When Mac DeMarco was working on his Another One mini-album during the spring of 2015, he achieved what he describes as a state of Zen. Though he was fighting an ear infection and recovering from a couple years of what he calls the "party-tour lifestyle," he was back to making music the way he always had—alone in his room. After a month of solitude, he was so caught up in his own creative euphoria that he wanted to reach out to his fans more directly than he ever had before. On the last track of the album, "My House by the Water," he provided the address to his home in Far Rockaway, Queens, and an invitation for his listeners to visit him to share a cup of coffee. Almost immediately, they did exactly that.
"I was like, 'Ah, this is a sweet treat for the kids,'" he says, recalling his intentions with characteristic understatement. "But I was in the headspace where you forget that hundreds if not thousands of people are going to listen to this. When the album initially came out, I was getting like 50 people a day. And my whole band was here, too, rehearsing the new album, so we had a whole bunch of people in the house already, with my friends staying. It was utter madness, but it was cool."
For the blogs that follow his every move, the invitation provided more fodder for their incessant coverage, further solidifying his status as indie rock's preeminent everyman eccentric. ("I'm essentially an Internet meme, which is also terrifying to me," he says.) Before the summer was over, he'd release a second EP of instrumentals (Some Other Ones), a handful of conceptual videos, and a vinyl reissue by his former band, Makeout Videotape. Through it all, day after day, the fans kept turning up on his doorstep.
His experiences with them ran the gamut—from kids showing up to play their songs for him (which he likes), to them wanting to drink beer with him at midnight (which he doesn't)—and he says he doesn't regret the decision to personally invite the world to come sit on his couch. One of those midnight visitors, a college student named Dylan Greenberg who was a friend of a friend, came with what seemed like an innocent request. He wanted DeMarco to read a few lines of dialog for what appeared to be a student film, and DeMarco happily obliged. A few months later, DeMarco woke to the news that he had inadvertently signed on for his first feature film.
"Dark Prism..." he mutters under his breath when I mention the film. "The trailer comes out, and it's like, 'Mac DeMarco, starring...' And there's a fucking giant animatronic penis! It's like 'What the fuck?' It's being listed as my film debut, and all I did was read from a piece of paper on my bed," he continues with feigned outrage. "But it's okay. The kid was nice," he says with a laugh. "He gave me a mandolin."
[Note: This article first appeared in Under the Radar's Best of 2015 print issue, which is still on newsstands now. This is its debut online.]
- Listen: Local Natives - “Coins” (News) — Local Natives
- Listen: The Raveonettes - “A Good Fight” (News) — The Raveonettes
- Plutona (Review) — Image Comics
- Take It, It’s Yours (Review) — Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan
- Listen: The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam - “When the Truth Is…” (News) — Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, Hamilton Leithauser, The Walkmen, Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanlij