Five Mins With: Jimmy Mac

Interview by Yasmine Ganley

If you walked past Jimmy Mac on the street we guarantee you would be immediately envious of his laid-back, cool-factor. Then what if we told you he plays drums and keys for some of New Zealand’s top musicians? And then you find out he’s dating the gorgeous and talented, Miss Ruby Frost! … you’d be seeing green!

Introducing our very talented friend, Mr Jimmy Mac.

The News: Who are you and what do you do?

Jimmy Mac: I’m Jimmy Mac. I work at Black Box, and play in a couple of bands.

The News: When did you start playing music?

Jimmy Mac: My mum used to teach drums at a school when I was about five years old. I would go along and end up joining in. I should be a lot better when I think about how long that’s been.

The News: Who are you listening to at the moment?

Jimmy Mac: Deptford Goth, Young Magic, Frank Zappa, Miguel.

The News: Best live concert you have ever been to, or played at?

Jimmy Mac: I was at the Phoenix show at Madison Square when Daft Punk did an unannounced appearance which was pretty amazing. My favorite gig that we’ve played at would be the recent Garbage shows.

The News: You’re a drummer. Did you do the whole ‘drum timing meter’ thing when you were learning to play? Any tips for budding drummers?

Jimmy Mac: I wish I did the drum timing meter system a lot earlier on because I got to about 18 years old and then I realized how shit and out of time I was! My advice to any budding drummers would be to practice with a drum timing meter system.

The News: Can you tell us about playing for Lorde? How did this come about? What is she like to work with professionally?

Jimmy Mac: Yeah, I play keys for Lorde. I knew some of her management team and basically threw myself at them after hearing her EP. I didn’t play on the EP though, it was all produced by herself and Joel Little. Lorde RULES to work with! She is very honest about everything, which I’m into, she is super talented and very deliberate about everything she does.

The News: How did you meet your girlfriend, Ruby Frost?

Jimmy Mac: We met at a MSTRKRFT show and she asked me to play drums for her a couple of days later for some MTV competition she was in. I played in her band for about a year and we clicked really well. We started dating after CMJ festival in New York in 2010.

The News: Are you watching The X Factor at the moment? If so, who do you think will win?

Jimmy Mac: Tom is my Dude! But I think Whenua or Benny will win.

The News: What is your favorite piece from Black Box Boutique?

Jimmy Mac: At the moment I want the Bassike Drill Jacket ‘cos I’m freezing and it is raining!

The News: What will we usually find you wearing?

Jimmy Mac: I’m on the Commoners (Alike) buzz.

The News: Best thing about living and working in New Zealand?

Jimmy Mac: Knowing everybody is easy.

The News: Where would we usually find you hanging out on the weekends?

Jimmy Mac: At a potluck dinner.

The News: What’s coming up for you this year that you’re excited about?

Jimmy Mac: Theres a lot of stuff, about 90% locked in, but I don’t want to jinx it…

The News: Do you have plans to travel with your music? If so where would you go?

Jimmy Mac: Yeah, it looks like later this year and into next we will be doing a lot of traveling. I would like to go to Amsterdam and Paris at some point too.


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