Gavin Haynes has 100 free minutes but no friends. So each week we're going to make him call a popstar. This week: Mac DeMarco.
Gavin: Hello Mac. So. Tell me about yourself.
Mac: Uh, my name is Mac. I’m 23. I weigh 170 pounds or so. Bout 5’11. Probably average or below-average sized penis. And I wear size 10 shoes.
That’s a very worthwhile summary. Would you say you’re kind of a happy guy, or kind of a sad guy?
Uh, I’d like to think of myself as a happy guy most of the time.
Would you say you’re a nice guy? Or are you a bit of an asshole?
I think I’m a nice guy. But maybe I’m totally wrong about that. I don’t know.
So what sort of music do you make?
I make pop music, I guess.
What does it sound like?
Like The Beatles, I’d like to think. Or the Kinks. Something like that. That’s what I’m trying to rip off. Guitars and a white guy singing over the top.
I guess if you’re gonna rip something off, you might as well rip off something that’s quite popular.
Well yeah, I guess those are the classics now, so you can’t get into too much trouble, either.
Do you have to think quite hard when you’re making this music?
Sometimes it comes. Sometimes it’s frustrating. I dunno. It really depends where you’re at with your head.
Do you sit down when you’re making it or do you stand up?
I sit on the floor usually.
How long do you spend making music?
I do it every day if I’m alone. Sometimes I don’t necessarily make anything: sometimes it’s just me playing some stupid thing on the synth over and over. But it’s fun.
Is it ever kind of depressing?
Yeah, a lot.
Have you got an album you’re promoting or something?
April 1st. It’s called Salad Days.
Cool. So would you ever eat a Nicoise salad?
Eat a what?
Nicoise Salad. It’s tuna and boiled egg, and lettuce and tomato and anchovies I think… And then I think they just dribble mayonnaise on it?
I don’t eat that. I’m not really that well versed in salad.
So you’ve somehow neglected salads? It’s a gap in your education?
Yeah, I was always more into pizza and hot dogs and things like that, you know?
High carb foods.
Yeah. Shithead foods. But ya know, the fun ones.
What about potato salad? That’s kind of a halfway between salad and carbs. In fact, it’s a masquerading salad, when you think about it. A false-flag salad.
I don’t have anything against it in theory. I just think a lot of potato salads are just really badly done. Same goes for macaroni salads. Lotta bad macaroni salads out there. Sometimes you get a meal, it comes on the side, you don’t even want to eat it.
What about tossing your salad? Is that something you’re into?
Yeah, definitely, I do it twice a day. Been taking a lot of yoga courses, so I can do it to myself now too.
Do you think it’s possible to learn a lot about someone from their views on salad?
I don’t know. I’ve never really thought too much about people’s relationship to salad. So as far as I’m concerned, if you’re into salad, I know we’re probably not gonna be friends anyway.
Overall, do you think people are generally knowable, or do you think it’s simply never possible to drill down to the core of a person’s essence? Are we mining the gold, or merely peeling the onion?
I think it’s really tough. That’s probably the hardest thing you can do in your life. With anyone, really.
Have you ever achieved it?
I don’t think so. Maybe with a couple of people I’ve felt pretty close. I feel like sometimes with people, if you figured them out that much, you get bored with them.
I guess so. Cos ultimately you’d realise they were just like you.
Well what’s there left to do?
So you think that the figuring-out process is, philosophically, the very essence of friendship?
It’s the most exciting part too. It’s like meeting a girl and falling in love. Then after that you just fight and annoy each other and yadda yadda yadda…
We’re all just giant puzzles that need to be solved.
That’s right. Walking Rubik’s cubes.
What colour are your eyes?
Do girls ever tell you you have nice eyes?
Definitely. I think a lot of them are jealous cos I have long eyelashes or whatever.
I think it’s a lot of girls’ one and only pickup line, if you know what I mean.
Well maybe the eyes are just something they can focus on outside of all the craggy alcoholic stuff around them.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you don’t have nice eyes. I’m sure you do.
Yeah, but compared to the rest it’s just the one thing that people can pick out from all the crap.
Well maybe later I’ll Google a picture of you and tell you whether you have nice eyes or not?
Yeah. That’d be nice.
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and think "Dear God. I’m a hella gorgeous specimen of ripe manhood right here"?
That hasn’t happened in years!
Really? Do you sense the ageing process creeping up on you? I mean, do you ever just look at yourself in the mirror and think ‘One day, all of this glory must perish’?
I think it’s more of the cigarette process. The hard-drinking process. I mean, you don’t think that’s gonna do anything, but for God’s sake it does in the end. But ya know, hopefully I’ve got those Robert DeNiro old guy genes where I just sag out gracefully.
What do you look like naked?
Uhm, I got a beergut. I got powerful thighs. Kind of a big ass. And, uh, I dunno, pretty pale,
So the thighs are an asset. They’re powerful. Ultra-virile.
Yeah, they’re good. I only use them for walking around.
Well that’s a useful purpose. You’re not cracking walnuts between them are you?
[yawns] No, no.
Sorry, am I boring you?
No. No. I just woke up.
Ok. Let’s talk taxes. Who’s your accountant?
I think his name’s Paul, but I’m not 100% sure. He lives in Florida.
That’s a long way away. Was it deliberate, keeping your accountant in a different climatic region?
Maybe. I dunno. If it were up to me, I’d just be trying to evade all my taxes, but I’ve got all these people manhandling me now. So, they’ve taken control, and that’s fine. I guess it’s working out. I don’t really know.
Do you notice you’re paying less tax?
I don’t know. Paying any tax compared to paying no tax is always worse. But at least I’m not going to jail, right?
Depends on what you say next? Is he a creative accountant?
I don’t know. How creative can accountants get?
I know I’ll hand him a receipt for going to a movie, and he’ll be like: don’t worry, you’re an artist, we can write that off.
That’s exactly the sort of accountant everyone needs. A nod and a wink.
And obviously, every ten dollars you save on taxes is ten dollars less those left-wing scumbags get to spend on Obamacare.
That’s right… Hmmm… Oh my god.
Mac DeMarco's new album Salad Days is streaming now over at NPR. He has lovely eyes.