Mac DeMarco Discusses Mitski, #MeToo, and Alcoholism in New Interview


Mac DeMarco has discussed his new album, mental health, and more in a new interview with Pitchfork contributor Eve Barlow for Huck magazine. The interview, Barlow writes, took place in Los Angeles on March 6, the day after DeMarco announced Here Comes the Cowboy and shared its lead single (“Nobody”), which sparked a small controversy online because of the title’s similarity to Mitski’s Be The Cowboy, which coincidentally also had a single titled “Nobody.”

DeMarco said he did not anticipate much of a reaction to the album titles’ similarities, adding, “For some reason, I felt like Mitski would be chill with it, which she was.” He noted that he “talked to [Mitski] for a while” and continued:

I didn’t know that one of her singles was “Nobody” till two days ago. My manager told me and I thought, “Whoa, weird.” Even if I had known, I don’t think I would’ve changed it. I didn’t think people were gonna run with it that far. It’s ridiculous. It’s just music. Mitski’s song and my song sound eons different. Most of the people talking about it didn’t even listen to my song. With music today, [it seems] a lot of it isn’t about music.

DeMarco added that he was “not trying to troll Mitski” and that he “didn’t know who Mitski was!” After listening to Be The Cowboy, however, he said, “It’s really cool, and I think we might even cover one of the songs because it would be fun and we could try to make sense of the situation.”

The interview also contains the following exchange about the #MeToo movement:

As a man in music who’s been called out for joking about rape onstage, where is your sense of responsibility amid the #MeToo movement? Do you regret that stuff?

Oh, tons of stuff. You learn. What you’re referring to... there’s a bunch of different ways to look at that....

You don’t think it was a problem?

The conversations are important. I’ve learned a ton. Everyone’s learning. It hurt yesterday to see people say, “Mac is trying to minimize a woman.” Do people assume I would troll [Mitski]? That makes me sad. At the same time, I know I wasn’t. Mistakes get made. I’ve always tried to be positive. I understand that I am a man. I’m a white man. I’m a white straight man. With this album, I just made a record. I’m not trying to say anything about anything. I’m taking a back seat. If you wanna listen, you can. If not, that’s okay. I hear it and I’m listening. I’m not like, “Fuck this shit.” No way. It’s important.

It sounds like you feel the need to apologize for taking up space.

Yes. Days like yesterday make me feel like that. I was just trying to do my songs. There’s nothing I can do.

Elsewhere, Mac DeMarco opened up about his struggles with anxiety, manic depression, and alcoholism, stating, “There were periods when I was drinking a bottle of Jameson on stage every night.” He elaborated:

I’m a savage alcoholic. My alcoholism stems from being scared of playing. I don’t really drink when I’m at home. I don’t go out to bars. It’s an “only at work” thing, which is fucked up. I like to be with people, I like to party, I drink, I smoke. I’m just not as interested any more. It was the only way to get through touring, sleeping on floors every day, doing all the driving; you’re exhausted and it’s an energizer. Now I’m getting close to 30. My hangovers last two days. I’m sure people still like the idea of Mac being this rowdy, fucked-up, stinky, party master guy. I have been, maybe I still am.

Read the full interview, titled “Chamber of Reflection: Mac DeMarco on Anxiety, Alcoholism and the Mitski Controversy,” at Huck.