One celebrity who isn’t afraid to create controversy is singer John Mayer. But if you’re going to say or do something controversial — or date Jennifer Aniston — you have to be able to back it up and John has no problem doing just that. In fact, he’s getting pretty good at it.
In an interview with PopEater, John defended his new single “Who Says,” which has gotten some attention for its beginning line, “Who says I can’t get stoned?”
“It’s not a dirty word. It’s not a curse word,”John argues.
He added, “It’s a presentation of an idea that makes people think a little harder about what they’re listening to, which I don’t think is the worst thing in the world.”
“Who Says” is the first single off of his new album Battle Studies and John understands that not everyone will understand his message of the song.
“That’s why I’m happy no one song of mine will be the current single forever,” he explains. “Will it live forever on the radio or will it sort of come and go as the first song off a record? I don’t know.”
John admits at first he wasn’t worried about angering fans or their parents.
“If you ask me now, I would say I have apprehension,” he admits, “but if you played me the song I’d say ‘Oh. No,’ ”
“I think the song is its own explanation of why it’s not an abuse of a word. I think it’s pretty innocuous but I understand it’s a different situation once you release any idea you have,” says John. “I don’t think it’s not as exploitative of the word as you originally might think, like, ‘Oh, is he trying to tell me that he gets stoned?’ By the end of the tune a couple [listens] in, the reaction becomes ‘I get the song. I’m not turned off by this idea.’ ”
Though John has lashed out at the the press — most recently he joked that he would “forcefully sodomize” a New York Magazine reporter’s editor — he claims “Who Says” is not about his relationship with the media.
“I don’t think the berth of the song is large enough to touch on that, but it touches on the origins of that, which is the internal permission to exist. If you don’t put your foot down and remind yourself that you have the permission to exist in this world, then you start second guessing everything and before long, you begin playing a role in taking yourself down.”
We totally get where he’s coming from.
About his comments to the reporter he laughed and said, “I got no side of the story. All is said and done. I love the idea that you want my side of the story about a story. ‘What do you have to say about that thing you had to say?’ ”
In order to continue to defend his comments he plans to record himself on an everyday basis.
“I’m going to walk around with a little tape recorder from now on. It won’t have any batteries or anything in it. I’m just going to walk around with it. You can get away with more.”