Jason Mraz's year at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy is paying off after all.
In the video for his new single, "You and I Both," the singer/songwriter puts some of his musical-theater skills to use.
"I'm in love with a bank teller," Mraz said, explaining the clip. "I'm just trying to make a deposit and I'm misinterpreted, I'm misread going into the bank when I slip her a love letter. The bank manager thinks it's like a robbery note, he sounds the alarm, all hell breaks loose and a big dance number breaks out. You know, that's what usually happens in robbery situations."
After making a simple clip for "The Remedy" (see "Jason Mraz Introduces Dave Matthews To His Rocket, Gives America The 'Remedy' "), Mraz was ready to loosen up and show more of his quirky side.
"It's a video to music, there should definitely be movement to music, you know what I mean?" he said. "I'm always a fan of musical theater as well."
The unusual part about the video is that "You and I Both" is not exactly a flashy show tune, but more of a love song, with the chorus, "You and I both loved what you and I spoke of/ And others just read of." "It's a tribute to the girl who kind of got me writing in the first place about seven years ago," Mraz said of the lyrics.
The video is due any day now, but in the meantime, the Mechanicsville, Virginia, native is touring overseas and plans to head back Stateside to continue promoting Waiting for My Rocket to Come. The U.S. outing begins with a radio-station show October 3 in Boston and ends with a college gig December 1 in De Land, Florida.
In between, Mraz will share the stage on some dates with both Michelle Branch and Jonny Lang, who, according to Mraz's last tourmate, better watch out.
"The first night [of the Mraz/Liz Phair tour] we were feeling all good, we played our show, we're rockin' out, we're like, 'Yeah, yeah, good show, good show,' " Phair recalled recently. "Then Mraz comes on and he just kicks our ass like all the way around the block a couple of times, while still being nice and saying, 'How about that Liz Phair?' Live, he is such a talented guy. He can sing so beautifully, and he can own a crowd. I really respect his performerliness, and I've really grown very attached to his whole mellow, inclusive vibe."
Mraz was a road warrior long before scoring a radio hit, and touring remains his favorite part of the job.
"I'm the background music to all the people in the room having their experience with their friends that night ... and something about that is just like lightning between everyone," Mraz explained. "And that's what I get off on more than anything. That's what I feel like I have some experience in."
And then there's the other reason Mraz loves hitting the highway.
"When the bus pulls over into a truck stop after a gig , you're off, and you want to buy the wackiest thing you could find and the hats are usually the easiest and most fun to rock," the trucker-hat aficionado said. "I grew up cutting grass, I grew up in the country, so you've gotta wear it high up on your head like so [adjusting his "Free Jester" hat], like grandfather and mow that lawn proper. Keep the sun out of your eyes, keep the sunburn off the top of your head.
"This particular hat was actually custom designed," he continued. "One of my best friend's dogs, his name is Jester. And recently, Jester ate another little dog and they want to put him down, but it was the other dog's fault. So, free Jester!"
Jason Mraz tour dates, according to Elektra Records:
- 10/3 - Boston, MA @ FleetCenter (Mixfest)
- 10/4 - Schenectady, NY @ Union College
- 10/5 - Clinton, NY @ Hamilton College
- 10/6 - Richmond, VA @ Landmark Theatre (with Michelle Branch)
- 10/9 - Northampton, MA @ Calvin Theater
- 10/10 - Rochester, NY @ Harro East
- 10/11 - Athens, OH @ Ohio University (with Michelle Branch)
- 10/12 - Ypsilanti, MI @ Eastern Michigan University
- 10/14 - Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theatre
- 10/16 - Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theatre (with Jonny Lang)
- 10/17 - Grand Prairie, TX @ Next Stage (with Jonny Lang)
- 10/18 - Austin, TX @ The Backyard (with Jonny Lang)
- 10/20 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
- 10/21 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
- 10/22 - Grand Forks, ND @ University of North Dakota
- 10/23 - Cedar Falls, IA @ University of Northern Iowa
- 10/25 - Saginaw, MI @ Saginaw Valley State (with Michelle Branch)
- 10/28 - Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
- 10/29 - Oshkosh, WI @ University of Wisconsin (with Michelle Branch)
- 10/30 - Columbia, MO @ University of Missouri
- 10/31 - Muncie, IN @ Ball State University
- 11/3 - Salt Lake City, UT @ University of Utah
- 11/5 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint (with Jonny Lang)
- 11/6 - Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre (with Jonny Lang)
- 11/7 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
- 11/8 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
- 11/12 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
- 11/13 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
- 11/20 - Morgantown, WV @ West Virginia University
- 11/21 - Lewisburg, PA @ Bucknell University
- 11/22 - Villanova, PA @ Villanova University
- 11/23 - Allentown, PA @ Muhlenberg College
- 11/25 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 11/28 - Jacksonville, FL @ Florida Theatre
- 11/29 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
- 11/30 - Atlanta, GA @ Roxy Theatre
- 12/1 - De Land, FL @ Stetson University