John Mayer: “I happen to not be a Led Zeppelin guy”

He also speaks about the importance of melody in songwriting.

John mayer stratocaster

Image: Gustavo Miguel Fernandes / Shutterstock.com

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John Mayer is not a big fan of Led Zeppelin. In a recent interview on Let There Be Talk, the blues icon doubled-down on his love for the Strat, and shed light on why Jimmy Page’s style doesn’t appeal to him.

“I happen not to be a Zeppelin guy,” Mayer told Delray. “It never caught me, it still very much could. The vocabulary isn’t my vocabulary.” 

He then went on to explain himself, attributing the differences in taste to guitar makes and melody. “Jimmy Page playing basically a Gibson, that’s a different sound for me,” he said. “I’m a Strat guy. Everyone I love comes from the Strat side.”

“I think Going To California, that song is outstanding. I mean, Blind Faith probably wishes they wrote that song. It sounds like anybody would’ve killed for that song,” he continued. “Anything that has melody in it, I can dig. But when it gets into like bluesy Led Zeppelin, it’s genetically just a little outside my zone, just by a little bit,” Mayer explained.

Mayer also spent some time discussing songwriting in his interview. In particular, he covered a quirky technique he uses to determine if a song he’s written is worth keeping or not. “If I get home from the studio, I play a little game,” he said. “I go, ‘Sing it. Can you sing it? You can’t sing it after you’ve worked on it the whole day? If you can’t sing the song when you’re brushing your teeth, it’s trashed’,” he continued.

“If you have to press play to remind yourself how it goes and you just wrote it three hours ago, it’s never gonna stick.”

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