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John Mayer
We’ve mentioned before that while growing up we believed that our favourite songs turned up in the world straight from the artist’s recording studio, exactly as they had envisioned them, without any interference from pesky music executives. A million reality checks later, turns out the idea isn’t that ridiculous after all ~ the evidence comes in the form of razor sharp guitarist/singer/songwriter John Mayer’s excellent new album Continuum. The multiple Grammy-winning 29-year-old takes on singing-songwriting-guitar playing and co-producing duties on this album, which essentially means that the songs sound exactly like he wanted them to and they did come straight into our homes from his studio, (via a record store but who cares).

Theory proven, we come to the real point of the article ~ The Record brings you an inside look at eight of our favourite tracks off the new record. Here it is in Mayer’s own words without our two bits thrown in ~ this direct access thing just rocks, doesn’t it?

“A three minute song about life…”

John Mayer: “I’m really proud of that song. I had that song without any words and I locked myself in my room for an entire weekend. When I finally broke the ground on it I was shopping at the supermarket. I walked through the supermarket for about an hour and a half with nothing in my cart. I must have looked like a crazy person, but I figured that song out, and went home and promptly finished it up.
It’s kind of like a great big great Hallmark card for whatever occasion you need it to be. I just like the idea of writing about big things. ‘Hey, write a three minute song about life.’ ‘Alright, I’ll try.’ I’m not really good about being succinct, as you know, so this is a good practice for me.”

“You write a song called Belief and you better be careful…”

Mayer: “I didn’t think this song was going to be on the record, but I really, really, really fought. I don’t think there was a harder fought song that I’ve ever put on a record before. It’s a really tricky topic. You know, you write a song called Belief and you better be careful, but it took me a long time to choose my words correctly, unlike in the rest of my life. I ran into [funk/soul guitarist] Ben Harper at dinner one night, actually the night I decided to finish this song, which was very serendipitous. I asked him if he’d play on it and it really drove the song home for me. With him on it, it’s now officially really, really gritty.”

“I guess we'll just have to wait for things to get better…”

Mayer: “[The first single], Waiting On The World To Change was kind of the last song to come out, and I was really glad it came out. That’s how I knew the record was done. I came up with that song in two days and it was done and I knew that was the first single. It's meant to shed a little light on inactivity and inaction because I don't believe that inaction is disinterest. I think inaction is preservation ~ nobody wants to get involved in a debate in which the rules and the facts will change so that they'll lose. So we end up with this other option, which is, I guess we'll just have to wait for things to get better.”

You can read the rest of our exclusive with John Mayer in the January 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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