Paul Mac Gets Personal

Paul Mac

Paul Mac is one of Australia’s most prolific DJs, movers, shakers and music makers. He’s lent his hand to a number of different outfits including Itch-E and Scratch-E and The Dissociatives. After keeping himself busy remixing everyone from Placebo to Kylie Minogue and making music for the stage and screen, Mac is releasing a brand new solo album ‘Holiday From Me’. He chatted to Sophie Joske fresh after the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras weekend, where he debuted some of his new tracks in front of thousands at the Horton Pavilion.

Mac said he still gets nervous despite having decades of experience. “I can’t help it. It’s because I always want to be perfect and I think a lot about what I’m going to play, and how to do it, and working on the mixes and rehearsing it, getting it altogether. It’s pretty raw, being up there onstage. It’s like you’re kind of saying to a lot of people, here’s my soul, what do you think of it? [Laughs] Those songs are so intimate and there are lyrics about your life, and there are thing you’ve really sweated over, and you’re saying to a large group of strangers ‘Hey, what do you think?’ …Mardi Gras has meant a lot to me over my life and to play one of the big rooms was like ‘Wow. I’ve made it.’”

‘Holiday From Me’ is Mac’s first solo album in almost a decade. He’s been working on the album for the past eight years alongside his many other musical projects. He said taking that time to develop the music allowed him to cultivate experiences he could draw from. “In the middle of that ten years there was a five year relationship, which gave me plenty to write about [Laughs] I mean, you just live and stuff comes out.”

The album covers a lot of ground, from the heartbreaking to the humorous. ‘Idiot’ is a lighthearted collaboration with Megan Washington about falling for a simpleton and ‘FAQ’ explores some of the awkwardness familiar to anyone who’s ever had a first date. Mac explained how this duet came about. “Brendan Maclean, we’d been hanging out a lot, I’ve been helping him with his music and Nathan from Faker, we’re good mates and he was around and I had the music, and I had some of the melody and I thought ‘come on, let’s write a song together’ and then we just started joking about silly first lines and questions that you ask and what you think about when you’re on a first date in a gay bar, essentially… I’m really bummed that it’s a download-only, this album, because if had a physical CD I wanted to have a sticker saying ‘Featuring the world’s first gay duet!’ [Laughs]”

Mac has an extraordinary catalogue of Australian artists on the album, including Kira Puru and the legendary Dave Mason from synth-pop band The Reels. He said he finds that collaboration can make his music more personal. “I like working that way because I feel like I can go really personal on lyrics because I’m not singing them, I’ve got other people to sing them for me, which acts as a bit of a buffer. Even though there’s all these different singers, I think when you hear the album there’s definitely a mood and an angle which is me, and you can hear that and that’s what the link is, it definitely feels like a Paul Mac album even though there’s heaps of different singers and
different styles.”

‘Holiday From Me’ is being released on April 10th.

Find it at

Sophie Joske

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