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John Mayer dreamed of playing with Taylor Swift

Posted by Sarah Norton on 11/16/2009

Since John Mayer has already released three successful albums, he had a little freedom for his fourth upcoming project, Battle Studies.

At first, the singer-songwriter just moved away from having complex guitar lines in favor of a simpler sound, but then he decided on a whim to have Country star Taylor Swift provide guest vocals on a song.

Mayer told PopEater that the decision was as simple as "just my imagining hearing her voice in harmony with mine on this song that was sort of stemming up in my brain. It was a little bit like writing a screenplay with an actor in mind. I went to this place in my mind like Taylor and I were in the '70s playing on 'The Johnny Cash Show.'"

Before recording the track, the pair had met a few times, but the privilege of having Swift guest on the record isn't lost on Mayer.

"What an amazing place to be in an industry where you can say 'This little idea I have is only to put the biggest selling female artist of the year on my song,'" Mayer said. "All you have to do is express that idea to somebody and they say 'Yeah, I'd like to do that.' What a wild experience that is. It's crazy."

Mayer describes the song, 'Half of My Heart,' as representative of his new method of songwriting.

"The approach to Battle Studies was I'm going to have these songs be incredibly open, a bit broader," he said. "I didn't have any evidence that songs were going to work because I didn't hear that guitar player. I was actually saying 'where's the meat of this tune? Where's the guitar playing? Am I making a record that's any good?'"

"But it becomes really fun to actually respond to your own tune down the line. 'Half of My Heart' feels so good on that lead guitar line because it's not doing the heavy lifting."
Fans can decide for themselves what they think of the new album when it is released Nov. 17.