I never found John Mayer attractive. Not when he first hit the scene and he was doing the sensitive-rocker thing. Not when his image changed to “boyfriend of Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston.” I was appalled that Taylor Swift got with Mayer. I was appalled that Katy Perry got with him too. What do women see in him? Like, at all? I just don’t see it. Anyway, Mayer is still promoting his latest album, and promoting his tour (?) with Dead & Company, the remnants of The Grateful Dead. Which is how we got this new Rolling Stone interview with Mayer. Even though I don’t find him attractive physically, emotionally or intellectually, I’ll admit to perversely enjoying his interviews. He really believes he’s the deepest, most intellectual rocker that ever was. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
How Chris Robinson dissed Mayer’s guitar skills: “I care about this band too much to give that life. I have my thoughts, but it’s not my place. I realized not long ago that I’m done debating my own merits: “No, I am very good.” Music isn’t a sports-page thing to me.
Becoming an influence to younger artists like Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes. “I didn’t see it coming. We don’t realize that every five years a motherf–ker is born into the world of music. I don’t apply as much from the blues world to my music as I’d like to, but there’s a lot to be applied from the blues world spiritually on this: Those guys are me. I looked up to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. All my heroes were awesome to me, so there’s a contract to make the new guys feel accepted.
The change in the pop music landscape: “In a lot of ways, it’s 2003 again, and in a lot of ways it might as well be the year 3000. But what I see right now is that artists care about songs more than they have ever cared about songs. They want them. They want to have written them. You’re seeing this shift back to real fundamentals in songwriting. Ed Sheeran is a huge part of that. He’s really, really serious about songwriting. Ed’s not a guy who goes, “What do you think?” Ed’s in his own thing and he’s a star athlete. He’s also a phenomenal guitar player. His right hand is a monster. So for me, instead of looking at this as if I can’t get the same opportunities Ed Sheeran can get.
How he’s “entering cannabis life.” “I put it where drinking used to go, and the quality of life has gone up considerably. Drinking is a f–king con. How much is enough? Every time I drank, I was looking for some sort of regulated amount. It always feels wrong for me. I always feel like I went overboard. “I said two, now it’s three, now we’re at four?” I never had a serious issue with it, but I remember looking around going, “This feels rigged. I’m taking a break. There’s never an amount that felt like I was succeeding at life. It always felt wrong.
His “Guitar-face”: “Guitar face is not cool. I feel a little bit uncomfortable with people thinking that I made up the guitar face. God, wouldn’t it be great to go to the jungles of Borneo and give a tribe Fender Stratocasters and have them listen to Jimi Hendrix – but not show them Jimi Hendrix – and come back five years later and see if there’s any guitar face? I have a feeling there would be.
How Katy Perry ranked him as her best lover: “I don’t have a cool-enough thought for you. I’ve hacked this game. I pay very little of the price of fame now. I get to play the music that moves me the most. I’m having the time of my life. I’m 39 – I remember 32. I don’t wanna do it again.
I love the feeling that I get from Mayer that he really has a sense that he is legendary, that he is the greatest, that talking to him at 39 is like talking to Paul McCartney in his prime or something. Katy Perry ranked him as a better lover than Diplo and Orlando Bloom and Mayer’s answer is “I’ve hacked this game. I pay very little of the price of fame now.” Like he’s FAMOUS for being a great lover. Like, it’s all anyone can talk about. As for Mayer lining himself up with the likes of Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and saying he’s like that for Ed Sheeran? God help us all. God help rock music if that’s the case.
Photos courtesy of WENN and Pacific Coast News.