John Mayer has recorded a revealing Instagram Live clip talking about nearing age 40, his approach to songwriting, his diminishing capacity to shift the entertainment landscape, and other topics.
Mayer opens with a rant about how annoying it is when a non-central piece of a song hits him first during the songwriting process. John explains that it can be frustrating when a beautiful snippet that is not a clear chorus or verse segment comes to him, and he’s not sure where to place it or how to build the rest of the song around it.
John also speaks about getting older, saying that he has come to terms with the fact that he is no longer able to influence young music buyers and shift the cultural landscape in the way that he used to.
He also talks about influencing individual people, specifically beautiful girls.
“When I was younger and arrogant… I would look at people and think about being with them… I would want to get them to like me,” John recalls.
He goes on to say that it is liberating to get older because these days he can look at a 20-year-old girl and think “she’s beautiful” but not feel obliged to try to impress her. John says he has come to terms with the fact that she wouldn’t be into him or be on his wavelength anyway.
“I think ‘that girl would legitimately not give a f*** about me.’ And then I move on! That’s beautiful.”
Mayer says that for most of his life he felt saddled and burdened by his constant thoughts about how to endear himself to people.
Mayer also shares a deep thought about love, saying he would define love as a “shared hallucination.”
Mayer has spoken before about his analytical and self-conscious personality and even sang about it in the tracks “New Deep” and “My Stupid Mouth.”
Mayer also attributed his controversial Rolling Stone and Playboy remarks to his tendency to over-think. John received a lot of heat when he spoke candidly about his sex life with his famous ex-girlfriends and his lack of attraction to black women. Mayer joked that he has a “David Duke d***.” The backlash over his remarks was so severe that John quit social media for a time and eventually retreated to a ranch he bought in Montana, seeking a quieter life.
In the documentary Someday I’ll Fly, Mayer explains that he was hyper-aware that he was doing interviews with edgy and rock ‘n’ roll-oriented publications (Rolling Stone and Playboy) and that was the reason why he made such controversial remarks about race and sex. Mayer said he was trying to be funny but went too far. The famously self-aware singer-songwriter called it a “miscalculation” on his part.
Mayer gave a more subdued interview to Rolling Stone this year, talking about his influences, his tour with Dead and Company, aging, and his perceived diminishing ability to influence a younger audience. John did make some potentially controversial remarks about his growing attraction to cannabis and responded to ex Katy Perry’s remark that he was the best lover she ever had.
“I don’t have a cool-enough thought for you,” Mayer said.
John gracefully sidestepped a question about Chris Robinson’s criticisms of him, which have been reported by Variety. Robinson questioned Mayer’s guitar talent and suitability for Dead and Co, quipping that “Donald Trump is president, John Mayer’s in the Grateful Dead and my brother’s in a Black Crowes tribute band.”
Robinson declared himself “not a fan” of John Mayer. When Rolling Stone raised the issue, reflecting that Robinson may be jealous of Mayer’s position in the band, Mayer said that he did not wish to dignify Robinson’s comment with a response and quipped that “music isn’t a sports page thing” to him.
“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.”
[Featured Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]