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Instagram Story Q&A (August 2021)

Questions from various fans

Ask Me Anything

Q: Did you draw inspiration from specific guitarists for the new album? ❤️❤️❤️

A: Yes! I kind of looked at myself as my own album's "studio musician." So I thought a lot about the greats like @stevelukatherofficial and @brentmason.official whose signature guitar I used quite a bit in the recordings.


Q: What is a piece of your identity that you had to let go of in order to grow?

A: I think being a mimic. The constant desire to exhibit what it was I took in. I had to go "okay, you can't just become everything and everyone you see. You've got to have some editorial here."

A fine question.


Q: is there one piece of clothing that you would die to get your hands on?

A: [Photo of Axl Rose getting arrested, wearing a Guns N' Roses t-shirt]


Q: what song off Sob Rock is the most meaningful to you?

A: "Why You No Love Me" [with "BANNED" graphic overlaid]

Sorry. The forbidden song. Track 4.


Q: are you and prs working on anything new?

A: Always. I'd say there's about a running three-year outlook.

A super fun story to keep unfolding.


Q: What is your favorite rockstar haircut from the past

A: [Photo of David Lee Roth]

Let there be no debate



Q: Favorite new artist as of recent

A: @yebbasmith


Q: How old would you be, if you didn't know how old you were?!?

A: I don't really see myself as having an age... I just gauge how much time has passed under my feet.

I'm just me. On a ride.


Q: What advice would you give to the new generation of songwriters?

A: A song is 1 part divine inspiration, three parts homework/code cracking.

Never ever skip the code cracking. Go crazy. Hate it. Cancel plans. Do it as a show of respect to the new guest that has joined you from another world.


Q: What move has the best/ most underrated soundtrack of all time

A: [Cover image of Finding Forrester soundtrack]


QHave you ever thought about quitting music? If so, what inspired you not to?

A: Yes. One time I handed in an album and was told "it had no hits" on it. I cried. Told myself I was gonna quit and go to design school. 

That album was 'Continuum.'


Q: What lyric do you wish you wrote?

A: "Gentle On My Mind"

(Made famous by Glen Campbell)

It's a masterwork


Q: How extensive was the process of learning the Grateful Dead catalog?

A: I'm still learning it.


Q: Favorite self-care routines on the road

A: I'm a @laprairie man

Who loves his aroma diffuser and his essential oils and his SK-II face masks.


Q: Will there ever be a comeback of John Mayer's funny tweets/snaps/insta stories?

A: I think I'm having a moment in my ongoing and ever-changing relationship with the world where being "funny" feels too vulnerable?

It's all going down in my CLOSE FRIENDS.


Q: what do you do when you're sad?

A: I ask myself to tell myself what's going on. "What's got me sad? Come on. I can tell me." Then I tell me.

Then I let myself be sad. "You can be sad," I say.

And I then I go "let me now when you want me to start getting practical. But stay sad for now."

Same as when someone you love tells you they're sad.


Q: What does a songwriting process feel to you?

A: Songwriting is the process of going from total ignorance to uncovering the truth about a creation. You become an expert in that song. But only that song. Because when you go to write another, it's a return to Stupidtown.


Q: What gives you perspective and keeps you grounded?

A: Easy one - the knowledge that I've been given the opportunity to make music on this scale for as long as I have.


Q: Where on Sob Rock do you see Don Was's hand the most clearly?

A: @donwas goes under and through the entire album; he's the one who lets me go into the unknown and keeps this sage, watchful eye. He'll ask me what I'm going for, let me go looking, then with just a couple of sentences, lead me closer to the mark if I need it. Without him, I'd probably get lost and throw things.


Q: Do headphones on the stage during the performance make the contact with the audience limited?

A: Not at all! I've got a pair of stereo mics that pick up everything around me. And I'm getting the front-of-house feed. I'm *IN* the live recording!


Q: did Walt Grace die or live

A: What if I told you you'd soon find out?

[John deleted this question shortly after posting it]


Q: Would your 8 year old self be proud of you right?

A: Every age of self is still here within.Let me ask him.


Q: As a short story writer, is there any piece of advice you'd give on the art of story telling?

A: Look for the symbolism later.


Q: Do you still feel like a "recovered ego addict"??

A: No, and I'll tell you why

Your 20s and 30s are like the hours between 8pm and 11pm on a weekend night. You're kind of frantically hoping for the most validating plans to come through.

Your 40s are like 11:30pm where you're like "hey, I would have been home anyway even if I had gone out." The pressure is off.


Q: Do you dream every night? I feel like you would 💭

A: Every night. Mundane shit. But that's what happens when you're livin' the dream, I guess. 

And with that....

I bid you goodnight. Stay safe, and thanks for keeping me company.