BEVERLY HILLS, California — Jason Mraz has written enough crappy new songs that he's ready to hit the studio.
"Most of my songs still suck," the breakout singer/songwriter of 2003 said. "That's what you have to do. You have to write about 99 sh... crappy songs — see what I did there, I edit — 99 crappy songs to get that one good one. So I'm still writing the same really bad songs, and then by the time we get to the studio I should probably have about 12 good ones."
Mraz has pre-production scheduled in January before an overseas tour in February. By spring he hopes to be recording the follow-up to Waiting for My Rocket to Come for release in the fall.
A producer has yet to be determined, but at a recent press conference to announce the Grammy Awards nominations, Mraz had his eye on another artist there.
"I'm gonna go tackle Pharrell [Williams of the Neptunes]," he said. "Be like, 'Hey, what's up? You gonna be working in January?' "
Before Mraz releases his second major-label studio album, he'll tide fans over with a still-untitled live album and DVD recorded at a recent show in Milwaukee.
"It was just a regular night of us just clocking in, doing our job, but at the end of the night we always have such a great time," Mraz said. "John Popper from Blues Traveler stopped by to blow his horn, and we had the Ohio Players horn section actually blow their horns. The kids jumping up and down. It was a great, great time."
Rather than release a third single from Waiting for My Rocket to Come, Mraz will follow-up "You and I Both" with the live version of "Curbside Prophet" featuring Popper.
"He just wails on the harmonica during 'Curbside,' which is such a good time," Mraz said. "But the whole single-choosing business is bizarre, man. I just like to tour around, sing songs at a party every night."
Mraz, who shows off his dancing chops in his latest video (see "Jason Mraz Breaks Into Big Dance Number When Bank Alarm Sounds"), is thinking of releasing the "Curbside Prophet" performance from the DVD as the video.
"It looks good, and John looks great, and everybody looks great, and there's a lot of girls in the audience, and girls are great in videos, right?" he said. "So there's that going for us."
A track list has yet to be finalized, but Mraz said to expect some older and newer material not on Waiting for My Rocket to Come. It will not, however, include any covers.
"You gotta get the whole publishing clearance these days, and it was too much work," he said.
As for the Grammy nominations, Mraz was shut out but still happy to take part in announcing them.
"I'm a huge fan of behind-the-scenes stuff, and I love to participate in things like this," he said as dozens of camera crews frantically interviewed other musicians around him. "I love the fact that in this room, everybody has to pee. But you have things you need to do. I have things I need to do. Everybody has deadlines and things, so nobody is gonna leave the room. There's excitement and a chill in the air and everyone's drinking cold water and we all have to pee. So that's what's making us all ... happy."