Dead & Company’s John Mayer + Bill Kreutzmann Appear On ‘Comes A Time’ Podcast

By Scott Bernstein Jun 11, 2021 8:51 am PDT

Guitarist John Mayer and drummer Bill Kreutzmann joined their Dead & Company band mate Oteil Burbridge and comedian Mike Finoia on the 50th episode of JamBase partner Osiris Media’s Comes A Time podcast. Mayer and Kreutzmann each discussed what they’ve been up to during the pandemic, the upcoming Dead & Company tour and much more during the riveting hour-long chat.

The conversation came just days after Kreutzmann finished a run of livestream concerts in honor of his 75th birthday. Billy spoke about performing with Carlos Santana at the finale and noted the legendary guitarist is a “great teacher, wherever he goes he teaches.” Billy revealed Carlos spun music from Pharoah Sanders during breaks in the action to inspire his collaborators. The drummer also talked glowingly about playing with saxophonist James Casey for the first time.

Burbridge brought up Kreutzmann’s inclination to microdose on psychedelics. Oteil recalled Billy explained he takes psychedelics “because it removes judgment” when performing as “he didn’t want to be critical of any moment.” The drummer added, “the psychedelic aspect is definitely the best of all kinds of playing substances that we can choose to do.”

The conversation then turned to how John Mayer used his time over the past 15 months. While the guitarist eventually went to work and created his upcoming Sob Rock album, he “put the guitar down” for the first two months of the pandemic. John said it “felt so good” when he finally started playing his instrument again and feels the break lead to him putting together a great record.

Mayer went on to discuss the reaction from Deadheads to how he dresses. “They want to have fun and they want to have fun with you, not necessarily at your expense but maybe in what feels like your expense,” John said. “Once you catch on to it and you give them things they can have fun and and make fun of you with, I think they won’t tell you they appreciate it but they appreciate you delivering them some matter to work with. You’re giving them clay — they can’t always talk about ‘that was a great Stella Blue.'”

The co-hosts and their guests then spoke about how they embrace their identities and how the pandemic changed how they feel about themselves. Later, Finoia recalled meeting Ken Kesey at a Phish show in 1997 which sparked discussion of the Merry Pranksters. The conversation came back to Mayer’s Sob Rock and how each member of Dead & Company’s experiences during the pandemic will inform the band’s music this summer. Other topics hit upon were the musicians’ favorite post-show activities, John’s listening habits, Billy’s thoughts on what Jerry Garcia would think of all the guitar players emulating him and more.

Watch the incredible chat below:

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