Q&A Scene: Paul Mac

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
My new single is a song called ‘Anechoic [Everybody’s Singing]’ feat. Tim Derricourt (Dappled Cities). It’s a song I wrote with Tim. A wistful, heartfelt, joyful epic about singing in the silence of outer space..
How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 
A nice warm cup of minestrone soup. It’s just enough sustenance to keep you going if you are dancing and “not very hungry”, but also doubles up as a comfort food.
Which song resonates most strongly and why?
I’m really proud of the song “Holiday From Me”. It’s my favourite type of techno pop. Uplifting yet melancholic, funky yet emotive, lyrics that mean something over a beat that makes you dance
Any on the road anecdotes?
What goes on the road stays etc!!!! Sorry, but I’m a gentleman of honour in a ne’er do well stylee!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My life, my heart, my brain chemistry and all the best and worst bits of my lovers, ex-lovers and friends.
What’s next for you?
Splendour in the f**king Grass. Sorry, just got a tad too excited there.
What’s your scene?
Queer futurists!

About Paul Mac

Paul Mac is one of the leading figures in Australian electronic music. He is a composer, songwriter, musician and producer. Paul is a conservatorium graduate and a multi ARIA Award winner for his work with underground dance pioneers Itch-E & Scratch-E and for his own solo work.  The list of artists with whom he’s collaborated with over recent years includes Sia, Kylie, Daniel Johns, LCD Soundsystem and Troye Sivan.

A decade on from his last solo outing, Paul will release a new album in April 2015.   HOLIDAY FROM ME was written and recorded across three continents, Australia, Europe and North America, when Paul wasn’t composing for a film, touring with his successful remix duo Stereogamous or riding his motorbike.

“Music has always been my escape to a magic place, a world where I feel freedom, joy and all the pulses that the heart can create.” explains Paul. “I called the album HOLIDAY FROM ME because that is exactly what I was trying to do, escape to that magic place. The album is a ten year journey compressed into eleven songs. It’s a more pumping, electronic album but the lyrics come from a new perspective.  These aren’t just tantrums of anger or one-sided arguments, it’s a more mature approach to matters of the heart.”

HOLIDAY FROM ME will feature contributions from a number of guest vocalists, including Kira Puru, Megan Washington, Ngaiire,

The Reels frontman Dave Mason, Shaun J Wright (Stereogamous, Hercules & Love Affair), Brendan Maclean, Nathan Hudson (Faker), Benjamin Fraser and Dappled Cities frontman Tim Derricourt.

“During the making of the album, I discovered the beautiful voice of Kira Puru whose singing infuses a power into the album’s title track and also the first single (“State of War”). I was also lucky enough to work with some of my favourite singers.  Dave Mason’s melancholic strength bought me to tears in the studio (“Not Even Jesus”).  Long hours of conversation with my good friend, Shaun J Wright, put our lives into song (“My Friend”).  Megan Washington and I co-wrote a song about ex lovers – the songwriter always gets the final word (“Idiot”)!  Brendan Maclean and Nathan Hudson collaborated on what I think is the world’s first gay duet (“FAQ”).  Ngaiire adds her soulful tones to my heartbreak on several songs, and I was delighted to collaborate with one of my favourite indie singers, Tim Derricourt (“Anechoic”).

Mac showcased tracks from HOLIDAY FROM ME at this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Party, performing in the main room with some of his guest vocalists, and fusing live performance with a DJ set.

“Mardi Gras is the perfect home to debut the new album.” added Mac.  “Mardi Gras helped me come out all those years ago and filled me with a pride of being that can’t be stopped.  To share such a bunch of personal tracks with likeminded spirits, at the home of my community, feels like an apt and a beautiful way to begin the project.”

In recent years, Paul has created original scores for feature films (Kath & Kim, Sucker) and composed for theatre (Bangarra’s Blak, Frank Woodley’s Possessed).  He has written with George Michael and Troye Sivan and produced for The Potbellez.   His impressive list of credits with his remix duo, Stereogamous includes LCD Soundsystem, Sia, and Kylie and the duo have toured Europe, North America and Australia (Burning Man, Glastonbury, Panorama Bar Berlin, Sydney Opera House).

“In recent years, I’ve been trying to explore as many different avenues of music as I can to keep it fresh and fun.  Working with Bangarra was life changing, Kath & Kim hilarious, George Michael was pretty special, and following my love of deep/future techno with Stereogamous was heartwarming. But always at the back of my mind was this bunch of evolving songs with different singers that kept being polished until they were ready. I had almost finished work on the album mid 2014 but then I returned from an extended Berlin trip late in the year and remixed all the tracks from the ground up.  This is the result.”

In addition to his multiple ARIA Awards, Paul’s career highlights include Australian Dance Music Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Dance and Producer Of The Year. He has received an APRA Award, an MTV Award and been named Dance Artist Of The Year three times in Rolling Stone’s Readers Poll.


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