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Thursday, June 29

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, John Mayer addresses Chris Robinsons criticism, his life in Dead and Company, his new love for herb and much more.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, John Mayer addresses Chris Robinsons criticism, his life in Dead and Company, his new love for herb and much more. 
 
  John Mayer has come a long way from that guy who was addicted to social media and was constantly sticking his foot in his mouth. While he may not have found his musical balance in his solo career, his fans and critics certainly appreciate his latest albulm.  He definitely has found happiness making music with The Dead and Company and that has seemed to help him find the proper perspective in his personal life. Below are some excerpts from a new interview with Rolling Stone. If you want to read the whole interview, you can find  here. Below are some excerpts that I found interesting. 

It's your second summer touring with the Dead. What have you learned?
I've never had inclusion before. I always created one-man clubs. And one-man shows are very hard to live inside of and inhabit for 50 years. When I was invited into this tribe, I promise you it was the exact opposite of anything you might think along the lines of having to reconcile ego or status. It's like a basketball team – you are doing your best to help the team win. I've never in my life been in that situation, and it's everything I always wanted. I am a pig in shit.

For me, the accolades change. They're not these universally agreed-upon credentials like a Grammy or an American Music Award or a chart position. You have to look for them a little more abstractly. To me, being invited into this band is the highest award in the world. You have to be able to roll with it and go, "Ok, the new accolade won't be that old one." You're gonna have to let go of most downloaded or streamed. Continuum, when it came out 10 years ago, was the biggest downloaded record on iTunes ever. Not anymore - and that's OK.

What was it like for you to watch the new Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip?
There's a line where Donna Jean talks about how she joined the band. She said [husband Keith Godchaux] told her, “I don't wanna listen to this music anymore. I wanna play this music.” I was blown away, because that's exactly how I felt. Because you can't get this music anywhere else. You can't take a stitch of it and put it in something else. The tissue will die, And I am one of a million people who, when they heard the music, eventually went, "Man, let me in on it.” When you hear "Scarlet Begonias" kick off, you're not quite sure what it is, who's playing what, or how it goes. It's this glorious stew at the beginning. "Scarlet Begonias" is the epitome of a jam, and it just lifts you. We live in a world where there's the comedy mask and the tragedy mask. It's either good or bad. You're either having a good day or a bad day. But then Grateful Dead music comes in, and it's this other mask. It's a third mask. If you get in a fight with a girl, you could either put on something that's going to make you feel cheery, or you could put on Grateful Dead music, which takes you to a completely different place and it does something that doesn't just cheer you up. It inspires you, and it soothes you in some way that it's almost like hanging out in a biker gang of imaginary friends. It's the gift of my life, to be able to play that music with that band.

Some people are probably jealous of your situation [with the Dead]. Chris Robinson, formerly of the Black Crowes, was just on The Howard Stern Show and took shots at your musicianship. Does that bother you?
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.

You've become a big influence to a new class of pop songwriters, including Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes.
I didn't see it coming. We don't realize that every five years a motherfucker 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. 

You recently said you were "entering cannabis life." How is that working out?
I put it where drinking used to go, and the quality of life has gone up considerably. Drinking is a fucking 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.

So weed doesn't make you weird or too inside your own head?
I was always the guy saying that I didn't like altered states. Once you know who you are, then it becomes OK. I'm much more open-minded to small changes in consciousness. I remember every trip I ever took. I remember every thought I ever had when I laid there.

Billy Joel recently said that he sometimes envies your "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 showthem Jimi Hendrix – and come back five years later and see if there's any guitar face? I have a feeling there would be.

The entire interview from Rolling Stone can be found here.

  From the very beginning I was on record saying if John is good enough for the Rhythm Devils then Dead and Company will be a successful. But I must admit as we reach the end of their third tour that this incarnation has blown away all expectations I had. They have become a band and a big part of that is John Mayer's licks and his approach to the music
Kevin Long