Last month, when Mac DeMarco announced his new album Here Comes The Cowboy with the lead single “Nobody,” Mitski fans quickly noted the similarities to her 2018 LP Be The Cowboy, which also had a single called “Nobody.” Some of those fans were pretty mad at him about it. And in a new interview with Huck magazine, which took place the day after the album announce, DeMarco directly addresses the controversy:
For some reason, I felt like Mitski would be chill with it, which she was. I talked to her for a while – we were texting yesterday. She had the same outlook. I was like, “It’s so crazy that it’s a similar title.” I don’t show anybody my record ’til I hand it in. By that time, I just said: “This is the title; this will be the first single.”
I didn’t know that one of her singles was ‘Nobody’ ’til 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 says that he hadn’t even heard of Mitski before the brouhaha: “I’m not trying to troll Mitski. I didn’t know who Mitski was! I’m bad at keeping up with music. I only listen to The Beatles and video-game music from when I was a kid. Sorry.” But now? He’s listened to Be The Cowboy, and he’s a fan. “I heard a lot of it yesterday,” he says. “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. She seems really cool. Maybe I get to have a new friend or someone I can see at a festival and go, ‘Wassup?!'”
Elsewhere in the interview, DeMarco discusses his response to 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 minimise 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 apologise 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.
The full interview also features DeMarco opening up about his anxiety, depression, and alcoholism, social media, his relationship with his fans, and more. Find it here.