Julian Casablancas Interviews Mac DeMarco: “Are You Going To Get A Vaccine?”
Mac DeMarco has become a recurring character within the Julian Casablancas extended universe, at least around the holidays. Almost exactly a year ago, when the Strokes played Barclays Center on New Year’s Eve (and confirmed the existence of the album that would be titled The New Abnormal), DeMarco was the opening act. A few weeks before that, Casablancas’ other band the Voidz debuted new music produced by DeMarco. Now, in the thick of a very different December, the two skewed rock icons are appearing in the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto, and to promote it they’ve published one of their conversations.
A new Interview feature finds Casablancas interviewing DeMarco about, in moderator Sarah’s Nechamkin’s words, “TikTok, internet wormholes, Nirvana, Jim Belushi, Mozart, Ozzy Osbourne, and Chick-fil-A.” Casablancas, in a blizzard in New York, explores the relationship between astrology and climate, laments the lack of a musical equivalent to non-mainstream Oscar winners like Moonlight, and defends his burgeoning love for Chick-Fil-A: “People always give me shit because of the religious thing, but I’m always like, ‘All companies are evil.'”
DeMarco, in his bathrobe in LA, expresses his love for artists including Connan Mockasin, LA Priest, Jerry Paper, Mild High Club, Drugdealer, the Garden, and Snail Mail, and explains that because he has trained the algorithms not to show him advertising: “What that leaves me with is pretty much just the front page of the internet. It’s like, ‘Welcome to YouTube, check this out.’ Yeah, I’m seeing these TikTok stars. It’s bleak. It makes me think about the world a lot. I’m like, ‘Man, kids are making millions playing video games on a live stream. That’s nuts.’ Power to them, but it’s nuts.”
We learn about DeMarco’s relationship with Ariel Pink:
CASABLANCAS: Ariel Pink — are you guys rivals or buddies?
DEMARCO: We’re homies. He’s a big brother. I’ve been listening to him since I was maybe 16 or 17. But nowadays, I see Ariel around LA. He comes and records here every once in a while. When I first met him, I was nervous.
CASABLANCAS: Being the new kid on the block?
DEMARCO: He gave me a bit of guff first, for sure. We had some strange interactions. But now, I think it’s been long enough where we can just hang. He came over to record in my studio a couple months ago. I get nervous every time. I admire him, even though I try to play it cool now. But he’s a wild guy.
And we also learn that he doesn’t know who Train are:
CASABLANCAS: Maroon 5 or Train?
DEMARCO: Train? I don’t know what Train is.
CASABLANCAS: You don’t know what Train is? “Drops Of Jupiter”?
DEMARCO: I don’t know Train. I like the name though, locomotion.
CASABLANCAS: You like trains in general, okay.
It ends by Casablancas asking DeMarco if he plans to be vaccinated for COVID-19, to which DeMarco responds, “Yeah, I guess so when it starts rolling out. I’ve got a friend that did the guinea pig trials, and he seems alright, so let’s rock and roll.” We don’t get Casablancas’ answer to the question, but it had better be yes. Please don’t be a dumbass, Julian!