Back in late May, it was revealed that pop-punk outfit Paramore would be one of the opening acts on John Mayer’s upcoming North American summer tour, which gets underway on Wednesday (July 2) in Milwaukee. For some, the pairing of the blues-admiring guitarist with the Fueled by Ramen-discovered act was baffling — or at least mildly surprising.
Even Spin magazine pointed out how odd the combination was, in an article that caught the eyes of Mayer and made him none too happy.
“I read this article, and they were saying, like, ’Paramore are opening for John Mayer. Why would they do it?’ ” Mayer told MTV News backstage at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London. “Good. Good for you. You sit there and stew in your wonder. It’s music opening for music, people. If I could have gotten eight more bands to make people be, like, ’Why would they be opening for Mayer?’ I would have. I don’t know, Spin — figure it out.
“Paramore is just fantastic,” Mayer continued. “They’re great. Hayley [Williams] is such a great singer. I wish [the tour] could have been longer, but I think that’s cool for them. I commend Paramore for doing the Warped Tour and then having the balls to say, ’Yeah, we’re going to open for John Mayer.’ I think it’s pretty punk to be, like, ’We’re opening for Mayer.’ I commend them.”
Paramore will be warming up Mayer’s fans when his tour hits Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 19 and then again on August 20, in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. For the remainder of Mayer’s jaunt, which runs through August 31 in West Palm Beach, Florida, he’ll rely on the likes of Colbie Caillat, Brett Dennen and OneRepublic to set the mood. Mayer is touring this summer in support of his latest DVD, “Where the Light Is,” which hit stores this week.
As for Mayer’s next studio offering, he said he’s still mulling it over, although he does have three songs recorded for the effort (and he appears to have a sense of humor about his lack of new material).
“I’m still working on it in my head,” he said. “I need to find a way to go away, in a world that’s really hard to go away in. We’ll figure it out. By now, it’s more about staying in touch and figuring out what the next sound is. The record comes out when it sounds great. But so far, I love the songs. They almost have a different voice to them. I’m still working on being a singer. I think you’ll get a more mature voice — more present, and not as airy.”
If he’s going to get less “airy,” Mayer’s head might need a bit of deflating after the flattery he recently got from Fall Out Boy, who asked him to fill Eddie Van Halen’s immense shoes on their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
“It’s just such a cool compliment,” he said. “When I heard about ’FNMTV,’ that Pete [Wentz] was starting a show that was going to launch videos on MTV — that guy’s heart and brain are so centered in the right place. So, when he asked me if I wanted to play on ’Beat It,’ I said, ’Absolutely.’ I turned down [the chance to be] in the video, because that’s just part of the trivia of Eddie Van Halen being the guitar player on ’Beat It’ but not being in the video. I thought not being in the video was more interesting for the guitar solo than to be in the video. It keeps that quality.”