Alex Calder is no stranger to the Canadian music scene. After humble beginnings playing alongside Mac DeMarco in Makeout Videotape, he found his own niche tucked somewhere in-between lo-fi and ‘slacker pop’ –  wherever that may be. Shortly after, Captured Tracks scooped him up and he released Time, his first album on the label. Then came Strange Dreams, and surreal it was. Somewhere in there, Alex started a more experimental side-project under the alias Mold Boy. Unfortuntely the name didn’t quite stick, but this year the tracks were offered as a limited release through the label – which is available here.
Alex and his band stopped by West Germany at the end of last month and we talked to him about his weird relationship with social media, how he likes to publicly embarrass his girlfriend and of course, how things ended with Mac DeMarco.
F: How did coming from this scene in Edmonton and being around other artists like Sean Nicholas Savage and Mac DeMarco influence you? Was it supportive?
A: In Edmonton there’s nothing to do there and it’s winter, like, most of the time so I think that makes people pretty creative. There’s literally nothing else to do – you have to go and work in oil or something. It’s a horrible place. There’s are some really cool local bands that came from there but then moved away to Montreal or Vancouver or even Berlin – and then there’s the movement of our generation of  friends – it’s definitely been happening for  a long time.
F:  When Makeout Videotape ended was it a clean break?
A: That was a situation where me and Mac toured so much doing Makeout videotape stuff and I would always get super broke and go home and have to find a crappy job. It kind of got to a point that I also just started making music on the side. It was really natural, Mac moved to Montréal before me and just threw together a band when he got there and I ended up going there a year or two later with my girlfriend, so I wasn’t into touring as much.
F: So there’s no animosity there?
A: No, not at all. I don’t think I’m cut out to be touring as much as those guys do. They’re all so built for it. It’s so insane.
F: Do you ever think of having a little reunion or one-off show together?
A: I don’t know.. there was one time, like, last christmas when Mac was playing a secret show and then we tried to do some songs together and it didn’t go over very well..I don’t know, it was Mac’s project and I was just a dude that played with him and we recorded stuff together but it’s all Mac’s stuff.
F: Are there lost tapes somewhere?
A: I don’t think so. maybe there’s a few but nothing good. I don’t think..I think most of what we recorded is out somewhere.
F: Do you like the familiarity of Montréal or do you feel trapped in some way?
A: I don’t know, I’m in a weird position. It’s really easy to live there and it’s really easy to get really lazy there. Rent is so cheap and like all our friends live on the same block so it’s really easy to have this routine of doing nothing all the time – just everyone slacking off. But I don’t know, I also really like it there. I’ll probably be there for a few years. I would like to live somewhere else that’s not in Canada but I think that’d be kinda tricky. I wouldn’t mind going to New York – that’d be fun.
F: That seems like the natural progression.. anyone who lives in Canada who doesn’t live in Montréal first goes to Montréal, and they eventually end up in New York.
A: Yeah. So maybe one day, but I can’t imagine that in the next few years. My girlfriend’s in school in Montréal so I think we’re going to be there for a while.
F: Speaking of your girlfriend, what is your obsession with embarrassing her on Facebook? It seems like you’re constantly posting random videos of you sneaking up behind her or various other little snippets of your life together. Does she hate it?
A: [Laughter] It definitely annoys her. I don’t know, I find it so funny! She’s a very funny person – behind closed doors – but also quite shy. It’s all fun. Yeah, I definitely do that way too much.
F: If you could could sum up your relationship with social media in one word what would it be?
A: I just think a lot of social media stuff is just really stupid. People take themselves so seriously. Maybe I’m a bit out-dated because you kind of have to now to be now. To function in life…I just think it should just be fun and stupid. That’s not really how I am in person. It definitely kind of bites me in the ass sometimes. Like, sometimes kids try to be weird back to me but the humour doesn’t translate..
F: What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
A: I don’t know! I’ve definitely had some wacky dreams. I have this reoccurring dream though, which is like an elevator crashing. because  I have a huge fear of elevators – so I go through that at least once a month.
F: Do you go into elevators though?
A: Yeah, I just hate being in them.
F: If you could be any 90’s cartoon character who would you be?
A: Do you know the show Doug? I’d probably be Doug.I love Doug.
F: If you were any animal what would you be?
A: Pffft maybe like a sloth? Probably, a sloth.

Listen to the Mold Boy album in full, below: