Breath of Clarity

John Mayer Quotes from the “In Repair” Studio Session

“The lyric idea for “in repair” came from this knowledge about the way people are; that we’re always either on the way down or the way up. You never really enjoy the moment when it’s put together; cause it probably never really is. Those moments where things comes apart is only setting you up for that moment where you put it back together again and your so surprised that it’s coming back together again. There’s this beauty in the idea of being in repair.”

“That moment at the end of the song really suggests a whole new place for that song in my universe of tunes.”

“It’s very rare that I finish all verses of a song on the same day, but the song just came so powerfully to me that it wasn’t an issue. And every once in a while as a writer, in my experience, you come up on a lyric that takes all the power that was created before it and releases it all. It’s this pay off. And for me, the moment that I came up with the line “maybe when things turn green again, it will be good to say you know me,” it’s so sad hope and that’s a really cool combination. I like sad hope.” “I had nothing written on a piece of paper. It was so cool.”

“In repair might be a bench mark for me right now to try to top as a writer. That song exists out of the perfection of the moment of me being scared because I’ve gone on such a limb. Getting Steve Jordan, getting Charley Hunter, getting all those different pieces of equipment and just following that instinct, following that hunch; not being afraid to go up against the wall of what you don’t know. The end of a day you go to sleep with a song you didn’t know when you woke up that you were ever gonna have. That’s the joy of making music and that’s what keeps me hungry to want to keep coming up with more.”

“Before I knew it this real pressure was born out of going into the studio with two of my favorite musicians of all time.”

“The idea today is just to pick something and go off it and improve and get inspired by different sound. Part of going into the studio without an idea is going into the studio with as many different stimuli. For me as a guitar player, I really wanted to have as many different sounds as I could pull from and maybe see what those songs brought out of me as a composer.”

“I’ve been a fan of Charley Hunter for a really long time and one of the values that he’s just instilled in me is his willingness to get into other musical situations than what he’s familiar with. (Mayer’s speaks of his eight-stringed guitar player)”

“I remember very early on, I put this combination of pedals together which was this pedal called the Prague- which makes the guitar sound like an organ. After that was a delay pedal. The guitar sounded so different through this pedal that it fired off some whole different unused part of my brain as a writer and it became the very beginning of “in repair”.

“Steve Jordan, I’ve known since heavier things when he came in to do a couple tracks. Part of what makes Steve such a great force as a musician and partner in the studio is that he’s willing to go anywhere that I want to go in my mind. Steve Jordan is such a raw musician that he’s really one of the few people that you can bring a raw idea to that he can understand the language of it before it’s done. You have to be brash when you go into the studio to actually compose when there are microphones in front of you. There’s no time to worry about who’s around you or who thinks what about what you’re playing. It really is constant shoot from the hip and Steve is really one of those guys that can do that.” (Drummer= Steve Jordan)

“Sometimes in the studio, you go around the block a few times and you knock on some doors musically and you don’t find what you’re looking around for. And it can get really disheartening really fast. I’ll always remember the “in repair” sessions as being one of the rare times in my life when you get in the studio and an idea just jumps out and it becomes something where in the first 30 seconds of playing it- I think everybody looked around and said ‘well this was worth doing’.”

“Writing a song is always about connecting different parts that you have together. One of the moments that makes it different than most songs that I’ve written is that Charley Hunter wrote that bridge section himself. It was his sensibility in that song, instantly.”

“I remember at that point thinking, that this had become a really big song. Not big in terms of what it would do on the radio or how many records it would sell; but big in the sense that it’s expansive. With the kind of vastness of the song being created, it really did a lot for the lyrics because the song became very sweeping. It now as movements in it which my songs don’t usually have, or did have up to that point.”