John Mayer is back. He's never really been gone, exactly, but after a series of interviews in 2010 in which he used the n-word, referred to Jessica Simpson as "sexual napalm," and told us more about his masturbatory habits than we ever wanted to know, he lost some of his allure. "That's probably the photonegative shot in Behind the Music," Mayer acknowledges in a new interview with the New York Times. "Coming up after the break—boom—the downfall." He moved to Montana, and the next two albums he made did not make a splash. Then one day he started thinking about George Clooney: "There's a guy who can make art house films and then just decide that he's going to be in a blockbuster," Mayer says. "I remember thinking to myself, OK, I'm going to basically come out of retirement from blockbusters ... Let's write the big ones that we are capable of writing."
He started work on an album presumably full of "the big ones" back in 2014, and The Search for Everything is out April 14. Sexuality, which was absent from his last two albums, is back, but he says the album also reflects the fact that other than Katy Perry, he hasn't dated "a lot of people" in the past five or six years. He recently realized, he says, that "I'm a young guy. I like girls. I want girls to like me. I want to make music and be thought of as attractive." But, though he says he's now ready to "re-enter that world and grow back into it," he also has "nightmares" of his mouth once again getting him into trouble. He's quit drinking (he replaced alcohol with pot) and has gone to therapy to work on his "attachment style," and insists he's ready to grow up a bit: "I wish there was somebody to throw me the 40th" birthday party, he says. "I want the baby with the protective earphones" at the side of the stage. Full interview here. (Read more John Mayer stories.)