Written by Caleb Oldham
Walter TV has been penned as the “more peculiar” version of Mac Demarco, which isn’t entirely fair since the group existed before their association with the Canadian musician. It doesn’t help that their label Sinderlyn prefaced their most recent track premiere with “And it just keeps getting stranger!” perhaps as a reference to the warbly, spoken-through-a-fan sound of the song, but most likely as a warning about the subject matter of the lyrics: a stalker, mistaken for your neighbor, watching you in the shower.
The song is devoid of any verse-chorus structure, and is instead divided into two parts. The mood is light and simple, without high hats or defining riffs — only basic major chords and the lyrics “Sing, sing, sing, sing to me, daintily, in the shower, I see, your wet body” — a fine introduction to their singer, Pierce McGarry.
McGarry is the frontman of Walter TV, a videographer who’s does music videos for this friends, and the touring bassist for Demarco. When he speaks it’s hard to tell when he’s being serious or when he’s making fun of you, and this is something that goes into his songwriting as well.
“Personally, if I have to express myself sincerely I don’t find that to be a problem. But then again, I find a lot of humor around me everywhere. And for me that [humor] is as sincere as videotaping someone’s mom crying.”
I had the opportunity to talk to McGarry on the phone last month, and though the conversation wasn’t always smooth, here it is in its entirety:
Rare Candy: How much time do you spend on the internet?
Pierce McGarry: Pretty little, maybe an hour or two a day at most.
RC: Do you feel like you’re a part of internet culture at all, or that it affects the way you make videos?
PM: It’s an easy way to share things with a lot of people.
RC: What’s the golden era of music videos in your opinion?
PM: Probably now, or I guess in the 90’s there was higher production value, but in terms of being able to do what you want, and having more people see it, now would be a better time for that.
RC: Is the lo-fi aesthetic a choice or a necessity for you?
PM: Usually out of choice. Sometimes I get work where people will tell me “I need this in a week,” and I’ll grab whatever I have on me which is usually my VHS, and I’ll say “fuck, let’s go.” But often I get a chance to plot things out a bit more, pick and choose what I think works for the video.
RC: I once saw you kick a kid in the crotch on stage at Terminal 5. Is that your preferred method of evicting people from the stage?
PM: Kicking someone in the dick? That was probably an accident, I was most likely trying to push him with my foot. I’ve never intentionally kicked someone in the dick before.
RC: Do you think that there's any danger in lo-fi fetishization? Do you think it’s getting codified at all?
PM: I think there will always be people who do things for shitty reasons, or who do things to be “cool” — people who see things they like and try to emulate it. I don’t think that this problem is specific to lofi, it’s a pretty general one. I don’t really see a danger in that — it’s just shitty and boring to watch people do it.
RC: What do you consider “pop” music?
PM: Something that makes me want to boogie-woogie. I don’t know, something with power chords probably. Nickleback?
RC: So is it a negative term?
PM: No I don’t think so. Most of my favorite bands are pop bands. I don’t really classify things as “Pop” music or “Not Pop” music.
RC: Do you think it's becoming harder to be sincere as an artist?
PM: I think it depends on the person. Personally, if I have to express myself sincerely I don’t find that to be a problem. But then again, I find a lot of humor around me everywhere. And for me that’s as sincere as videotaping someone’s mom crying or something.
RC: Any bands that you’ve come across while touring that you think we should check out?
PC: I’ve got Bob Marley, Volume One through Volume Three, Greatest Hits — all the lo-fi anthems you want to hear rocking in the car right now. My new and old favorite, he’s the best.
Listen to more Walter TV on their Bandcamp