Mac DeMarco is so laconic that when a long-winded magazine journalist said "I bet I can get you to explain your music to me in three words," he replied "Jizz Jazz". Of all the frivolous, flimsy and vapid terms for musical styles to appear, "slacker-rock" (and it's even uglier brother "blue-wave") has to be the worst of the lot.

The occasional burst of laughter or phlegmy smoker-cough is a startling reminder that these are not standard interview answers, but, does he really care what anyone thinks? "With this album," he said, "I couldn't really give less of a fuck." As Vonnegut once mused "We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different." DeMarco is no stranger to left-field antics - describing his writing process as, "kinda like passing gas."

By letting his eccentricities take the lead in favour of a more deliberate approach to songwriting and song creation, with the release of his sophomore album Salad Days, the Canadian perhaps pushes into a realm intriguing enough to feel like a sharper career curve, than an actual learning curve. As he grows older his lyrics are miniature revelations and romantic declarations. One of the records most engaging moments has to be during the track 'Let My Baby Stay' when he croons, "Far as I can tell / she's happy living with her Maccy."

True to form, I ring at noon and wake him up. We discuss if he is a hopeless romantic, the song he describes as "Dad on a yacht" and how being so open with his life in the past has made it difficult for him to meet many genuine people.

Would it be fair to say that you have a different relationship with the record now to when you first wrote it?

Yeah definitely I've had time to sit down. It's funny to keep it a complete secret before it comes out so it doesn't leak it's so strange you know?

Of course - I suppose it's always weird when you let something loose into the public after a while and suddenly start getting a response. Do you ever care what anyone says?

With this album I couldn't really give less of a fuck. That's kinda the mentality I went into writing it with. Of course I care a little bit, half of making music is making it for other people, but this time I just felt there was a lot of stuff I had to get off my chest and I really just didn't care what the label thought.

Writing is therapeutic too - a way to rid the soul of gunk and release it, if you ever have a problem is that how you deal with it, you just write?

I guess so - if I have an actual real life problem usually I just have to just figure it out. If I were to write a groundbreaking song about it, that's not really handling it. If something is making me feel uneasy, I figure it out and then just put it down on paper, and put it in a song. It's kinda like my way of passing it - kinda like passing gas.

Ha! The great release! You know I have felt something shifting around - how easy was this process for you?

This time we'd been touring for so long for about a year and a half or something and I only had the month of November to sit down and write and record the whole album - it was pretty stressful but it worked out well, so it was okay.

Do you feel like that particular approach - where you don't sit and labour over it for too long has helped things come out quicker? God these puns.

I think I had a lot to come out you know I had been sitting on shit for a while.

Holy crap like you had curry?

Exactly!

Some of the songs like 'Brother' and 'Go Easy' have these direct commandments and you giving advice, like when you say "take it slowly brother" - did you want to start telling people what you really thought?

I think it's more me telling me - it's for myself. I'm not trying to be the preachy-guy on this album, but sometimes I feel jaded and I feel like a prick and it's like me asking myself, 'why are you acting like this you dickhead'. It's me slapping myself out of something.

Do you ever have those existential moments where you step back and think oh god I'm getting weirder?

That was the thing, we got off tour and I hadn't had a chance to really think about anything and take it in. When I sat down to do the album that's what happened I was like 'woah' man that's fucked up!

There's this crooner quality to some of the tracks too, do you see romance in things?

A little bit. I guess you're right. I don't know if I'm a very romantic guy. For me romance is when I'm eating a bag of chips with my girlfriend not caring that there's crumbs everywhere. I'm no prince charming.

What kind of weight does the title Salad Days carry for you?

Well I hadn't even heard the term "salad days" until a year ago. When I heard it I was like oh this is funny a new word you know? I didn't realize it was from Shakespeare. That songs like what we were saying earlier - a call and response song saying that I feel jaded and burnt out. Its saying snap out of it you little dick! That kinda shit. For me that song is a lot of what the album is about so it was a good title track.

What song do you think best describes your self-proclaimed genre "Jizz Jazz" then?

I think it's definitely either 'Brother' or 'Goodbye Weekend'. I mean the riff in Brother is so funny, the weekend I wrote that I was like "Dad on a yacht! Dad on a yacht!" So cheesy but I like it.

What is Jizz Jazz for you then?

It's pretty much that a lot of journalists and writers say [lowers voice] "slacker rock" "blue wave" and shit like that so it's my version of that. People are always like [mocks stuck-up journalist] "how would you describe your music?" I mean I don't know how the fuck to describe my music? There's guitars, there's drums and I sing on it, and it's like if you really wanna know what it sounds like then listen to it I guess [laughs].

The thing is people need to quantify what a new song sounds like for their readers, it gets ridiculous like, "when your mothers friend Sheila asks you what type of music you play, what do you say"

I know I know and it's really funny.

When people analyze you, do you ever feel like you want to become a recluse and hide away?

Yeah definitely, it's pretty terrifying. Especially for me, I've been super super open with a lot of stuff in my life and a lot of kids are very interested - it's strange. I feel fine when I'm with my friends but it's hard to meet new people that I can actually get down with on a human level. It's weird.

What are you singing about in the track 'Chamber of Reflection'?

Chamber of reflection is a place in a masonic temple where freemasons go before they become freemasons and they have to spend, like 4-8 hours in this room alone with all these different objects and symbols. The idea is that they go in have to reflect on everything that's happened in their life up to that point then leave it in that room. When they come out, they're a brand new human person. So for me I read about that I was like oh that's kinda funny that's what I just did in my bedroom making this album so it rung true with me. Not to say I'm an advocate of freemasonry or anything.

You know how when we're hungry, that's a perspective that urges you to eat but it's 'pleasure' that tells us to keep eating. What are your other pleasures?

I don't know, you mean like what else? Shit this is a hard question. I remember I was playing movies on silent in my bedroom during recording, so I had something to look at. I have ideas that I sort of stew together over months, I can't remember where they come from it's really weird.

It's contemporary-cool to collaborate now - has any one asked you?

I'm not really that open to it. The studio is a very private place for me and writing is private thing for me to do, especially that I don't go into recording studios and so I can't imagine having someone else there.

Really?

Yeah I can't stand it!

Have you always been like that?

Yeah I just like doing it at home, I'm not the type of person who takes it seriously and does a take after take, I feel like I would just annoy somebody else by doing that, plus it's expensive and I'm a cheap-cheap guy.

Thankfully everybody has a different process. Now you have a huge tour coming up and your album comes out April fo-

April fools day yeah and it's no joke.

Maybe you'll get pranked?

Hopefully? [Lowers voice] 'Pitchfork gives Mac De Marco's new album a minus 10!'

Imagine if they gave a bad rating after a cover story?

I'll be like 'ah please let it be an April fools joke! Please!


Salad Days by Mac DeMarco is out now on Captured Tracks.