Mac DeMarco

McBriare Samuel Lanyon "Mac" DeMarco (born Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV; April 30, 1990) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer.[3] DeMarco has released six full-length studio albums, his debut Rock and Roll Night Club (2012), 2 (2012), Salad Days (2014), Another One (2015), This Old Dog (2017), and Here Comes the Cowboy (2019). His style of music has been described as "blue wave"[4] and "slacker rock",[5][6] or, by DeMarco himself, "jizz jazz".[7]

Mac DeMarco
Mac DeMarco performing in 2017
DeMarco in 2019
Background information
Birth nameVernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV
Born (1990-04-30) April 30, 1990 (age 31)
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
OriginEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • producer
  • Guitar
  • vocals
  • bass guitar
  • drums
  • keyboards
  • percussion
Years active2008–present
Associated acts
  • Makeout Videotape
  • The Sound of Love[1][2]

Life and careerEdit

1990–2008: Early life and educationEdit

DeMarco was born in Duncan, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. His great-grandfather is Vernor Smith, Alberta's former Minister of Railways and Telephones, for whom DeMarco was named,[8] and his grandfather (also named Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith) was a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.[9] His mother, Agnes DeMarco, later changed his name to McBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco, after his father left when Mac was 4 and refused to pay child support.[10] DeMarco is also of Italian descent.[11][12]

DeMarco attended McKernan School for junior high. Around this time he started playing guitar, with lessons from his grandmother.[13] During high school he was in several bands, including indie rock band The Meat Cleavers, alternative R&B group The Sound of Love and post-punk band Outdoor Miners (along with current keyboardist, Alec Meen), which was named after a song by English rock band Wire.[14][8] He started smoking cigarettes as a teenager, which has now become a big part of his image.[13][15]

After graduating from Strathcona High School in Edmonton in 2008, DeMarco became a backing musician. After that, he moved to Vancouver.[16][17]

2009–2012: Early projects and first solo albumEdit

Living in the Killarney neighbourhood, he released a self-produced album, Heat Wave, as a part of the indie rock project Makeout Videotape in 2009. The album sold out its 500-unit run.[18] DeMarco worked on "psychedelic" video projects during this time.[17] He was joined by Alex Calder and Jen Clement, signed to Unfamiliar Records, and toured with Vancouver band Japandroids in 2009.[17] In 2011, DeMarco moved from Vancouver to Montreal to begin recording as a solo artist. Failing to find work as a musician, he participated in medical experiments for money[19] and worked on a road paving crew.[20] On January 9, 2012, record label Captured Tracks announced the signing of DeMarco.[21] In early 2012, he released an LP titled Rock and Roll Night Club. The four-track-recorded album features skits and slowed-down vocals.[19]

2012–2015: 2 and Salad DaysEdit

Rock and Roll Night Club impressed his new label enough that they agreed to release a full-length follow-up album.[19] This release, entitled 2, was received well by critics, garnering a "Best New Music" designation from Pitchfork.[22] One of his songs, "Moving Like Mike",[23] was licensed by U.S. retail outlet Target for a commercial.[19]

On January 21, 2014, DeMarco announced the release of his upcoming second album, Salad Days, along with debuting the lead single "Passing Out Pieces". The record was released on April 1, 2014,[24] and again received the "Best New Music" designation from Pitchfork.[25] It was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[26]

DeMarco made his first talk show appearance (and second TV appearance after The Eric Andre Show) when he performed the song "Let Her Go" on Conan on March 30, 2015.[27] On April 22, 2015, DeMarco announced the release of an upcoming album titled Another One, which was released on August 7, 2015, in addition to a video depicting the making of Another One.[28] DeMarco describes the album to be a collection of love songs, "It's just kind of like every angle of how somebody might feel if they're having strange feelings in their chest."[29] On May 11, 2015, Captured Tracks released the first single of Another One, titled "The Way You'd Love Her".[30] Another One received a generally favourable response from music critics, scoring 75/100 on Metacritic.[31] Still in Rock has ranked this LP as the third best of 2015.

On July 8, 2015, DeMarco released a 9-track instrumental album titled Some Other Ones and called it a "BBQ soundtrack".[32] Later that evening, he hosted a listening party in New York City (where DeMarco was based) for fans to hear Another One, where they could get free hot dogs if they donated to a food bank.[33]

2017–2018: This Old DogEdit

On January 31, 2017, DeMarco announced his third studio album, titled This Old Dog. He also released two singles from the album on the same day.[34] This Old Dog was released on May 5, 2017.[35]

On October 10, 2017, DeMarco appeared on Charlie Rose, in which the two discussed the new album, as well as DeMarco's relationship with his father.[36] Acting as bookends to the interview, DeMarco performed acoustic versions of This Old Dog, as well as Still Together.[37]

On April 8, 2018, DeMarco appeared on FishCenter Live and had an interview with Max Simonet.[38] He partnered with the non-profit organization Plus1 for his tours that year, and one dollar for every ticket purchase went to the Girls Rock Camp Alliance to: "[empower] girls, trans and gender-diverse young people through music education and mentorship."[39]

2019–present: Here Comes the CowboyEdit

On March 5, 2019, DeMarco announced his fourth studio album, Here Comes the Cowboy and shared the first single off the album, "Nobody". The album was released on May 10, 2019 on Mac's Record Label [sic].[40] A controversy emerged once it was pointed out online that DeMarco's album shared a similar title to the 2018 album Be the Cowboy by Mitski and that her album had also included a single called "Nobody". According to Pitchfork, DeMarco had "never listened to Mitski's album and learned about her album and song title only after determining his own album title and single".[41] Mitski responded to the controversy on Twitter, stating, "I'm 100% sure mac & I just went fishing in the same part of the collective unconscious!".[42] The album received mixed reviews from critics and audiences upon release. It marked his first top ten appearance in the US Billboard 200 at number 10.[43]

On September 7, 2020, DeMarco was featured on a collaboration with British artist Yellow Days entitled "The Curse".[44] On October 28, 2020, DeMarco was again featured on French musician Myd's single "Moving Men". An animated version of DeMarco also appeared in the music video for the single.[45] Released October 28, 2020, DeMarco also appeared in the music video for the song "Whatever You Want" by Crowded House.[46] DeMarco contributed a cover of the Metallica song "Enter Sandman" to the charity tribute album The Metallica Blacklist, released in September 2021.[47]


DeMarco's style employs the use of flat drums (little or no reverberation or dynamic range compression), chorus and vibrato effects on the guitar and a generally lazy atmosphere a la soft rock records, muted and low frequency bass guitars. He has mentioned Shuggie Otis, Black Sabbath, Christopher Cross, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jonathan Richman, Genesis, Sting and Weezer as favourite artists.[48] He has also cited Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono as his favourite artist.[49] DeMarco's music has been generally termed as Indie rock,[50] psychedelic rock,[51] jangle pop,[50][52] and lo-fi.[53][54] His guitar-based compositions have moved from glam-inspired works to what reviewers describe as "off-kilter pop"[19] or "folk rock".[55] DeMarco has self identified his style as "jizz jazz", going as far as naming his apartment studio Jizz Jazz Studios, as mentioned in a documentary starring himself, Pepperoni Playboy.[56] DeMarco has pointed to artists such as John Maus, Ariel Pink, Brian Eno, Daniel Lopatin, Isao Tomita and R. Stevie Moore as influences on his reel-to-reel production style.[57]


DeMarco performing with his Teisco electric guitar (2013)

DeMarco uses vintage equipment and gear for his music. He mainly played on a $30 Teisco electric guitar that was already in poor condition, and stopped playing it live since it would often break apart.[58] He additionally uses Fender guitars, such as a 1970s Stratocaster, a 1960s Mustang, a 1990s Squier Stratocaster and an HSS Shawbucker Stratocaster, of which his live band were given 11 as a result of an endorsement deal with Fender.[59] His bass guitar mainly used for recording is a Teisco/Stagg bass.[59]

He uses vintage Japanese synthesizers, including a Yamaha DX7 and a Korg Microsampler. Additional models include a Rhodes piano, a Moog Realistic MG-1, a Prophet 5, a Roland Juno 60, JX-3P, and a Yamaha DX100.[60] Amplifiers used include a 1970s Fender Twin Reverb, a Roland JC-120, and both a small Fender Vibro-Champ and a large Roland KC-550; DeMarco uses them during stage performances by hooking his keyboards with the vibro-champ amplifier which was linked to the KC-550.[61][59] Effect pedals used are a MXR Micro-Amp, a Boss CE-2 Chorus, a Boss VB-2 Vibrato, TU-3 tuner, an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb, an EHX Polyphonic Octave Generator and a JHS Pedals Colour Box for overdrive tones.

DeMarco records his music on reel-to-reel tape recorders, such as a Fostex A-8, a Tascam 388, an Alesis Micro Limiter and a Roland Space Echo RE-201.[59] However, he recorded his album This Old Dog on a MacBook with an Apogee Quartet interface. He uses a Neumann U87 condenser mic, a Royer R-121 ribbon mic, and a four channel Neve Portico preamp strip with his Ableton setup. DeMarco also uses a Roland CR-78 drum machine to record demos.[57]

Personal lifeEdit

From around 2012, DeMarco resided in Queens, New York. In late 2016, he moved with his girlfriend, Kiera McNally, to the Silver Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles, where he has resided since and regularly hosts jam sessions with musicians and friends such as Thundercat and Mac Miller.[62]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Year Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Polaris Music Prize 2013 Album of the Year (Longlist) 2 Nominated [63]
2014 Album of the Year (Shortlist) Salad Days Nominated [64]
2017 Album of the Year (Longlist) This Old Dog Nominated [65]
Rober Awards Music Prize 2012 Breakthrough Artist Himself Nominated [66]
2014 Best Male Artist Nominated [67]
Best Songwriter Nominated

Backing band membersEdit

Current members[68][69][70]

  • Joe McMurray – drums, occasional live vocals (2012–present)
  • Andrew Charles White – guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2014–present)
  • Jon Lent – bass guitar (2016–present), keyboards, percussion (2015–2016)
  • Alec Meen – keyboards, backing vocals, percussion (2017–present)

Former members[71]

  • Peter Sagar (Homeshake) – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2012–2014)
  • Pierce McGarry – bass guitar, backing vocals (2012–2016)
  • Rory McCarthy – bass guitar (2016)



Studio albums

Mini-LP albums


  • Salad Days Demos (2014)
  • Some Other Ones (2015)
  • Another (Demo) One (2016)
  • Old Dog Demos (2018)
  • Here Comes The Cowboy Demos (2020)
  • Other Here Comes The Cowboy Demos (2020)

With Makeout VideotapeEdit

Studio albums

  • Ying Yang (2010)

Extended plays (EPs)


  • Eyeballing (2010)


  1. ^ "Mac On Top: An Interview With Mac DeMarco - Southern Souls". Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Finn Reeves (April 22, 2016). "The Sound Of Love - High School Pussy (Early Mac)". YouTube. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Hoby, Hermione (March 22, 2014). "Mac DeMarco: 'I live like a scumbag, but it's cheap'". The Guardian. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Brooklyn based Music Blog: Album Review : Mac DeMarco - 2 (Blue Wave)". Still in Rock. October 21, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Whelan, Alex. "Mac DeMarco's new record shines with its Montreal roots". Arizona Daily Wildcat. University of Arizona. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Lindsay, Cam. "Mac DeMarco". Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  7. ^ Pitchfork (May 12, 2014). "Mac DeMarco - Pepperoni Playboy (Documentary)". YouTube. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Sharp, Elliott (October 29, 2013). "The Big Story: 2 Sketchy Days With Mac DeMarco". Red Bull. Archived from the original on May 13, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Bromwich, Kathryn (May 6, 2017). "Mac DeMarco: 'I've been trying to not turn into my father'". Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  11. ^ DeMarco, Mac (March 31, 2016). "RE: RYAN PARIS: SAY THANKS TO MAC DEMARCO ABOUT THE DOLCE VITA TRIBUTE VIDEO". Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  12. ^ DeMarco, Mac (August 11, 2018). "MAC DEMARCO". Captured Tracks. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "We Interviewed Mac DeMarco's Mum". Konbini - All Pop Everything! (in French). Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Kathryn Bromwich (March 22, 2014). "Mac DeMarco: 'I live like a scumbag, but it's cheap'". Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  15. ^ Storm, Rebecca (March 27, 2017). "Mac DeMarco's Slacker Wisdom (interview)". SSense. SSense. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  16. ^ Marchand, Francois (November 1, 2015). "A more sensitive Mac DeMarco returns home to Edmonton". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c Thomas, Fred. "Biography". Mac DeMarco. Allmusic. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  18. ^ Fumano, Dan. "Makeout Videotape". Discorder. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  19. ^ a b c d e Traynor, Cian. "Interview: Mac DeMarco". The Stool Pigeon. Archived from the original on November 17, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  20. ^ Kimbasha, Michelle. "Freaking Out The Neighbourhood: Mac DeMarco". Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  21. ^ "Signing // Mac DeMarco Signs To Captured Tracks". Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  22. ^ Hockley-Smith, Sam. "Mac DeMarco - 2". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  23. ^ "Mac DeMarco: Rock and Roll Night Club EP | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. April 10, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  24. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 21, 2014). "Mac DeMarco Details New Album "Salad Days," Shares "Passing Out Pieces"". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  25. ^ Hogan, Mark (April 1, 2014). "Mac DeMarco Salad Days". Pitchfork.
  26. ^ "Arcade Fire, Drake, Shad make Polaris Music Prize short list | Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News". July 15, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  27. ^ "Mac DeMarco Performs "Let Her Go" on "Conan" | News". Pitchfork. March 31, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  28. ^ "Making Of Another One". YouTube. April 22, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  29. ^ Ganz, Jacob (July 31, 2015). "Mac DeMarco Explains His Mini-Album Of Love Songs, Track By Track". NPR. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  30. ^ "Mac DeMarco // The Way You'd Love Her (Official Single)". YouTube. May 11, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  31. ^ "Critic Reviews for Another One". Metacritic. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  32. ^ "NME News Mac DeMarco releases instrumental album 'Some Other Ones'". July 8, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  33. ^ Minsker, Evan (July 7, 2015). "Mac DeMarco Throwing Listening Party and BBQ in Brooklyn Tomorrow". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  34. ^ "Mac DeMarco". Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  35. ^ "Watch Mac DeMarco Perform "This Old Dog" With Dogs | Pitchfork". March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  36. ^ "Mac DeMarco Chats, Performs "This Old Dog" on "Charlie Rose": Watch". Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  37. ^ "Mac DeMarco". Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  38. ^ "FishCenter Live, Mac DeMarco interview". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  39. ^ Mele, Sofia. "Mac DeMarco Starts Record Label, Announces First Solo Tour". Billboard. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  40. ^ Bloom, Madison; Blais-Billie, Braudie (March 5, 2019). "Mac DeMarco Announces New Album Here Comes the Cowboy, Shares Video for New Song "Nobody": Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  41. ^ "Mac DeMarco Announces New Album Here Comes the Cowboy, Shares Video for New Song "Nobody": Watch". Pitchfork. March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  42. ^ "haha! I'm 100% sure mac & I just went fishing in the same part of the collective unconscious! What's wild is we have the same PR, so I LOVE my personal conspiracy theory that she heard the album+track titles but kept quiet thinking maybe some Mac fans will mistakenly find me loll". @mitskileaks. March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  43. ^ Caulfield, Keith (May 19, 2019). "Logic Scores Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  44. ^ "Mac DeMarco teams with Yellow Days for psychedelic new track 'The Curse'". NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News. September 7, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  45. ^ Yoo, Noah (October 28, 2020). "Myd and Mac DeMarco Share New Song "Moving Men": Watch the Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  46. ^ Condon, Dan. "Neil Finn tells us all about Crowded House's first new music in a decade". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  47. ^ He, Richard S. (September 10, 2021). "Every Metallica Blacklist cover ranked from worst to best". loudersound. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  48. ^ Minsker, Evan. "Mac DeMarco". Guest Lists. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  49. ^ "Mac DeMarco's Favorite Artist Is YMO's Haruomi Hosono (2017 Interview)". YouTube. art/research. July 17, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  50. ^ a b Lynch, Marley (February 21, 2013). "FYF 2013 artist spotlight: Mac DeMarco". Time Out. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  51. ^ Dearmore, Kelly (October 5, 2015). "Six Stellar Artist-Curated Festivals". Paste. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  52. ^ Mapes, Jillian (April 1, 2014). "Mac DeMarco is the Slacker With a Heart of Gold on the Endearing 'Salad Days'". Spin. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  53. ^ "Lo-fi master Mac DeMarco comes to Tel Aviv". Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  54. ^ Hood, Bryan. "VIDEO: An Interview with Lo-Fi Rocker Mac DeMarco". Archived from the original on May 6, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  55. ^ [1][dead link]
  56. ^ "Pepperoni Playboy". Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  57. ^ a b "Mac DeMarco: Varispeed and Beyond". Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  58. ^ "The Editorial MagazineA Conversation with Mac Demarco - The Editorial Magazine". Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  59. ^ a b c d "Gear Rundown: Mac DeMarco". Mixdown. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  60. ^ Stingray Music (August 29, 2014), Mac Demarco describes his perfect woman and writing process @ Osheaga 2014, retrieved May 16, 2018
  61. ^ "Mac DeMarco by Gary Canino - BOMB Magazine". Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  62. ^ Mac Miller x Thundercat x Mac Demarco Full Session, retrieved October 21, 2021
  63. ^ "2013 Nominees".
  64. ^ "2014 Nominees".
  65. ^ "2017 Nominees".
  66. ^ "The Rober Awards 2012 Music Poll | Rober Awards".
  67. ^ "The Rober Awards 2014 Music Poll | Rober Awards".
  68. ^ Minsker, Evan (November 25, 2012). "Stream the New Cassette from Mac DeMarco's Other Band, Walter TV". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  69. ^ Nettle, Avery (November 7, 2012). "We Interviewed Pierce McGarry, Bassist for Mac DeMarco, and Maker of Creepy Videos". Vice. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  70. ^ Coplan, Chris (September 12, 2014). "Mac DeMarco covers Burt Bacharach's "This Guy's In Love With You" and introduces his new guitarist". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  71. ^ Ambler, Charlie (November 20, 2014). "Mac Demarco's Ex-Guitarist Makes Really Sexy Slacker Rock". Vice. Retrieved September 6, 2015.

External linksEdit