Mac DeMarco talks subverting expectations with ‘One Wayne G’

Canadian indie darling Mac DeMarco has shocked fans and critics alike with “One Wayne G,” a nine-hour, 199-song masterpiece that subverts expectations of what an album should be.

Mac DeMarco has turned music releasing on its head, choosing to forge his own path, and make his own rules. Synonymous with his DIY-ethos and his proselytization of analog recording methods, the 33-year-old sees “One Wayne G” as an opportunity to subvert expectations of what releasing an album nowadays should look like.

Mac DeMarco has built a devoted fanbase through his mix of distinct slacker rock and being unafraid to show off his endearingly offbeat personality. His latest release — a nine-hour, 199-song album — has confounded and stunned fans and critics alike.

mac demarco
Credit: Chris Pizzello

DeMarco, held a press conference with The Associated Press and shared  a window into his creative process, as well as his extensive range as an artist.

He drew the cover art himself as a finishing touch to the personal project. “It’s a self-portrait. And that’s essentially what ‘One Wayne G’ is, you know, five years of me,” he said.

The album arrived roughly three months after “Five Easy Hot Dogs,” a collection of instrumental songs he recorded during a road trip and is particularly proud of. DeMarco likes to segment his music into periods.

“Five Easy Hot Dogs” emerged from a road trip that he said would only end once he finished the album. “It all feels like it’s just so encapsulated. It’s kind of like, ‘This is a period in time. This is where it was made. This is where it was mixed. This is the vibe.’ And you know, for me, I like that,” he said. “People can take it however they want, but it was an important period in my life.”

Although his irreverent attitude is still very much intact, the Canadian musician appears to have matured and mellowed with age. He has cut out caffeine and alcohol, regularly sees an acupuncturist and quit smoking a year ago while on his “Five Easy Hot Dogs” road trip.

“I don’t like being beholden to things like that, you know? As humans, we got to have water, you got to have shelter, you got to have food. That’s enough things to be trapped by,” he said of his spartan lifestyle.

Good news, DeMarco plans to make his next album the same way, except this time on his motorcycle. Asked how that would work, he grinned, as if having a plan up his sleeve, and replied, “I’ll figure it out.”

You can read more about his interview here.