John Mayer's shadow days really are over.
In a rare interview with MSNBC's Ronan Farrow, the singer-songwriter and seven-time Grammy Award winner opened up about how he's no longer the same man who spilled intimated details about his relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson and made jokes about race and pornography.
What made Mayer realize that his public persona needed a makeover? "I went, 'All right, dude, you did a couple interviews where you were out of touch and you were being a ham, and you were basically break dancing into a nitroglycerin plant, right?'" he said in the interview, which aired on NBC's Today Friday.
According to Mayer, it hurt when "somebody misunderstands you and says, 'You're a womanizer.'"
"You don't consider yourself a womanizer?" Farrow asked.
"No. Absolutely not," Mayer replied. "But when you're crafty and you're clever and you go, 'Well, I'm just going to be as strange as they think I am,' then you lose [yourself]. No. 1: You're not playing music anymore. No. 2: You're not feeling anything honestly. And No. 3: You're not saying anything honestly."
Mayer, who is dating Katy Perry, quit Twitter in 2010 but returned in 2014. However, the "Gravity" singer said he isn't sure he can handle it this time. "That's why I pulled myself off of it again," he said.
For Mayer, social media can be problematic for a multitude of reasons. "I'm a recovered ego addict, and the only way that I can be sure that I don't relapse is to admit that I constantly have this ego addiction—every day," the musician said. "So I do the Grammys and I go home, because if I stay, I get high again."
"High on the approval?" Farrow asked.
"Well, yeah," the "Paper Doll" singer admitted. "You've already looked through Twitter. Everybody goes, 'It's great!' And then you're low again because you can't stop looking. So I'm a recovered ego addict."
After the piece aired, he vowed, "I will not check Twitter. But I check the mirror, the original Twitter."
Today, Mayer lives quietly in Montana. "I just found home, man. It gives you outside perspective. The greatest moment for me was giving up the big fight, the big fight to get off the airplane at LAX and floats through..." he said, trailing off. Still, Mayer shared, "I have a lot of admiration and envy sometimes for people that large. I'll be standing by the front desk sometimes being like, anybody want to notice me?"
If Mayer could tell his younger self one thing, what would it be? "I'd say, 'That guy's really, really talented, but I don't want to be anywhere near him when that thing goes off!'" the rocker joked.
In all seriousness, "There was never a shot of doing this perfectly. It was never in the cards."
See more from Farrow's interview with Mayer, as well as conversations with Judd Apatow and Carole King, Saturday at 12 p.m. on MSNBC.
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