Mac DeMarco on depression and relentless touring: “I’m a savage alcoholic”
Mac DeMarco has opened up about his struggles with mental health the sometimes tiring life he’s led in music.
DeMarco, preparing to release his new album Here Comes The Cowboy, is celebrating ten years in the music industry which has come with relentless studio work and an exhausting existence on the road.
The new album, which arrives as a follow-up to 2017’s This Old Dog, continues a theme of watching and listening to DeMarco grow up as person. While he doesn’t chose to be particuarly elicit in his lyrics, the development of his melodies and production has become the maturing edge to DeMarco in recent years. “This one is my cowboy record,” he previously said of the record. “Cowboy is a term of endearment to me, I use it often when referring to people in my life. Where I grew up there are many people that sincerely wear cowboy hats and do cowboy activities. These aren’t the people I’m referring to.”
Over the years DeMarco has made no secret of his struggles with mental health and, in old interview with Coachella, he said some of his music was “about my family. I have felt a lot of different feelings this year, depression, anxiety, different things. It’s strange. It’s cruel. Life if cruel.”
It’s those words that the musician echoed in a recent interview with Huck Magazine, he said: “I’m a very anxious person, manic depressive. I tend to try not to put that on display.”
DeMarco has detailed that life on the internet and, specifically, the use of social media has played a large role in the anxiety inducing feelings that he sometimes deals with.
It was only a matter of months ago that the 28-year-old addressed the mixed up world of social media and the effect it is having on his committed young fans, saying: “People say I’m crazy or goofy or whatever. It’s there, it’s totally there and people seem to like it and if they want to hone in on it that’s fine with me, that’s great.
““It’s not up to me anymore. I’m essentially a walking, talking meme so people can call me whatever they want, it doesn’t matter. Like my songs they are out there, they aren’t mine anymore. And this persona is no longer mine now,” he added as it becomes clearer that he has struggled at times with his identity, be it online or on stage.
After cutting back on his online time and focusing on his music, DeMarco explained to Huck that his partying persona has led to a heavy reliance on alcohol while performing: “I’m a savage alcoholic,” he explained. “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 energiser. 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.