John Mayer explained how a driving creative force behind his new album, Sob Rock, was a desire to make a record that was equivalent to “shitposting” on the internet, in a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1.
Recalling how he was told at the start of his career that his music was “not what’s hot,” Mayer said, “What I would love other people to understand is that there is no more reason to have to adhere to any given idea of cool. Especially post-pandemic, which for the first time in anyone’s lives stopped the clock on the hyper modern day trade of culture.”
For Mayer, that freedom prompted him to approach his new music in a way that was more provocative, that might get him in trouble, or at least have someone tell him, “This is shit.” He continued: “I made a record, that to me at the time, only in a way to coax something out of me that I wouldn’t have normally done — shitpost a record. It’s called Sob Rock because it’s a shitpost. But more importantly it’s what I thought was a shitpost, and this gets down to where artists sit in front of you and play you what they think is their garbage. And you go, ‘That’s the best thing I ever heard you play.’ It makes a mockery of their interpretation of the experience. Which is just enough to break out of the mold and make something unique.”
Mayer said this approach was tied to his desire to never become an artist “who runs out of paint colors and begins to just make the same songs over and over again.” He added, “I’m only interested if I get to put new paints on the canvas. And if my way of doing it at this time was, literally no one’s looking. This one’s called Sob Rock because you just would never have imagined that was the name of the record. And I’m going to go so deep into my fantasy. I live, half of me is in this fantasy all the time now, especially as I’m watching the promo stuff come together.”
Mayer will release Sob Rock, his first solo effort since 2017, this Friday, July 16th.