John Mayer Seeks To Write More Hits, Not Be Racist

Back in 2010, John Mayer was a popular recording artist. And then he gave an interview to Playboy in which he dropped an N-bomb and referred to Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm.” After that, he pretty much stopped being a popular recording artist. Mayer has spent the years since doing things like touring with most of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. In a new New York Times profile, Mayer calls those his “lean years,” and he would like the world to know that he’s ready to come back.

In the interview with writer Joe Coscarelli, Mayer talks about how he was ready to blow up his own career back in 2010: “What I did [to my own career] was probably semiconsciously just reboot it — control, alt, delete.” (He also calls it an “induced coma.”)

But Mayer’s recently released a new album, The Search For Everything, that he sees as a possible comeback. Here’s how he talks about it:

I’m a young guy. I like girls. I want girls to like me. I want to make music and be thought of as attractive. I was finally ready to re-enter that world and grow back into it… I remember thinking to myself, O.K., I’m going to basically come out of retirement from blockbusters. It’s a choice to write pop songs, just like it’s a choice to write blues songs or folk songs. Let’s write the big ones that we are capable of writing.

He has high hopes for his single “Still Feel Like Your Man,” a sort of lite-soul jam. And he’s in the process of putting together a video set in what he calls a “disco dojo.” But, as someone who was made to check himself after dropping an N-bomb in an interview, he is worried about coming off as racist:

I think we were as sensitive as we could possibly be. It was discussed at every juncture… Part of cultural appropriation is blindness. I’m on the right side of the line because it’s an idea for the video that has a very multiethnic casting, and nobody who is white or non-Asian is playing an Asian person.

You can read the whole story here. And also check out young classic rocker Ryan Leas’ piece on making sense of Mayer’s career.

Tags: John Mayer