In a lengthy interview with Complex magazine, the 41-year-old musician talks about his decision to abstain from booze for two years. Bragging that he had the “most amazing” story about his last day of drinking, Mayer admits he went overboard at Drake’s 30th birthday bash a few years ago. As fans may recall, this was the party that Mayer and his exes, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, all attended.
"I made quite a fool of myself,” he confesses.
Mayer later saw Drake at an event and was reminded of just how "far gone" he was at the party.
"I hadn’t seen him since his birthday. He reminded me -- well, he didn’t remind me, he told me for the first time ‘cause I was pretty far gone, it was the last night I had ever had a drink -- that when I said goodbye to him, and was about to leave the club and go into the street, I put my arms out in front of him and I said, ‘Remember me, and remember this,’ and just walked out,” he shares. "Apparently it was like, ‘What did he just say?’”
Awkward?! Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and John Mayer Attend Drake's 30th Birthday Bash -- Pics!
The festivities left him with a six-day hangover and also came with a turning point in the GRAMMY winner’s life.
"I looked out the window and went, ‘OK, John, what percentage of your potential would you like to have?’” he recollects. "Because if you say you’d like 60, and you’d like to spend the other 40 having fun, that’s fine. But what percentage of what is available to you would you like to make happen? There’s no wrong answer. What is it? I went, ‘100.’”
Mayer, who recently started his own Instagram Stories show on Sunday night called Current Mood, notes that the pressures of social media make sobriety a challenge.
"You have to fight really hard to look at it from a critical point of view because it’s constantly pushed on you,” he explains. "Every Friday and Saturday, on social media, there is enabling going on for drinking. What if I woke up every morning on Saturday and Sunday and put my feet on the ground and I just went, ‘not hungover,’ and put it on social media every day? That would be an influence on people because I think you forget that’s an option.”
Confessing that at first he felt “boredom” with his sobriety, he adds that he then ended up getting down about his situation.
“You’re like, ‘Oh, I’m not having these high highs.’ But if you work, you can bring the whole line up,” he says. "We’re at the sweet spot of concentrating on being better than most people at the thing that we do and just appreciating the act of that and being like, 'I’m still young enough to do it…' I have so many more records. I just figured out how to make them without going crazy.”
One fellow musician who also struggled with substance abuse was the late Mac Miller, who collaborated with Mayer.
"When Mac Miller passed away, my first thought was, ‘You don’t get to stay here. You don’t get to keep riding this ride, this beautiful ride that, if you’re lucky enough to have the talent, you get to just keep,’” he tells Complex.
"I just wish figuring out your life didn’t take your life away from you,” the singer confides. "I don’t have an answer for how to fix that, but once you get old enough to understand how valuable life is, you look at people and go, ‘I just wish you could work this out.’”
Mayer is also asked about Kanye West’s recent controversies, saying of the rapper, “I sympathize.”
He then adds that talking about West is still an acceptable subject and he’s ready for a time when it’s no longer appropriate, due to the artist’s struggles with mental health.
"I would love to be sitting in here and saying, ‘I have nothing to say about Kanye because he’s somewhere treating himself or he’s somewhere being OK,’” he continues. "I’m not gonna shy away from the Kanye conversation because it’s like an MMA fight where the guy’s not tapping out and his ref isn’t calling the fight. So he’s still a topic of conversation and I cannot wait until the day it would insensitive to talk about him. I can’t wait. Please, do us the favor of making it seem a little unsavory and a little tacky to talk about it because you tapped out. Please, tap out. I tapped out. Tap out.”