In a lengthy interview with Complex magazine, the 41-year-old musician talks about his decision to abstain from booze for two years. Bragging that he had the “most amazing” story about his last day of drinking, Mayer admits he went overboard at Drake’s 30th birthday bash a few years ago.
"I made quite a fool of myself,” he recalls.
Mayer later saw Drake at an event and was reminded of just how "far gone" he was at the party.
"I hadn’t seen him since his birthday. He reminded me -- well, he didn’t remind me, he told me for the first time ‘cause I was pretty far gone, it was the last night I had ever had a drink -- that when I said goodbye to him, and was about to leave the club and go into the street, I put my arms out in front of him and I said, ‘Remember me, and remember this,’ and just walked out,” he shares. "Apparently it was like, ‘What did he just say?’”
The festivities left him with a six-day hangover and also came with a turning point in the GRAMMY winner’s life.
"I looked out the window and went, ‘OK, John, what percentage of your potential would you like to have?’” he recollects. "Because if you say you’d like 60, and you’d like to spend the other 40 having fun, that’s fine. But what percentage of what is available to you would you like to make happen? There’s no wrong answer. What is it? I went, ‘100.’”
John Mayer in recent years
John Mayer in recent years
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: John Mayer arrives at the The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Musicians John Mayer (L) and Ed Sheeran attend The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/WireImage)
John MayerLOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 4: Guest Host John Mayer on THE LATE LATE SHOW with guests Andy Cohen, Alison Becker, & John Legend on Feb. 4, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Musician John Mayer performs onstage at the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition at Dolby Theatre on November 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Guitarist John Mayer appears at the Thelonius Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition and All Star Gala Concert at Dolby Theatre on November 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: John Mayer performs during the Rock In Rio USA event in Times Square on September 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: Musician John Mayer attends Food Network In Concert on September 20, 2014 in Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Food Network Magazine)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: Musician John Mayer performs onstage at Food Network In Concert on September 20, 2014 in Chicago, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Food Network Magazine)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: John Mayer performs during the 2014 Music Midtown Festival at Piedmont Park on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: John Mayer performs during the 2014 Music Midtown Festival at Piedmont Park on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31: Musician John Mayer performs during day 2 of the Made in America Festival at Los Angeles Grand Park on August 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31: Musician John Mayer performs on the Marilyn Stage during day 2 of the 2014 Budweiser Made in America Festival at Los Angeles Grand Park on August 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch)
LANDGRAAF, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 07: John Mayer performs on stage at Pinkpop 2014 on June 7, 2014 in Landgraaf, Netherlands. (Photo by Didier Messens/Redferns via Getty Images)
NARITA, JAPAN - APRIL 27: John Mayer arrives at Narita International Airport on April 27, 2014 in Narita, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/GC Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: John Mayer performs live for fans at West Coast Blues N Roots 2014 at Fremantle Park on April 13, 2014 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: Musicians Stephen Stills (L) and John Mayer perform onstage at the 2nd Light Up The Blues Concert - An Evening Of Music To Benefit Autism Speaks at The Theatre At Ace Hotel on April 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTB)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Musician John Mayer performs onstage at 'Howard Stern's Birthday Bash' presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
CULVER CITY, CA - JANUARY 28: Recording artist John Mayer performs onstage during Hollywood Stands Up To Cancer Event with contributors American Cancer Society and Bristol Myers Squibb hosted by Jim Toth and Reese Witherspoon and the Entertainment Industry Foundation on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Entertainment Industry Foundation)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Recording artist John Mayer performs onstage during 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Recording artists Katy Perry (L) and John Mayer attend the Sony Music Entertainment Post-Grammy Reception at The Palm on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Sony Music Entertainment)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: John Mayer and Keith Urban perform onstage at 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 22: John Mayer attends the UCLA Head & Neck Surgery Luminary Awards held at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on January 22, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 22: Musician John Mayer performs onstage during the UCLA Head and Neck Surgery Luminary Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on January 22, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for The UCLA Department of Head and Neck Surgery)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) John Mayer and Katy Perry perform at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Zachary Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: Musician John Mayer leaves the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on December 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Singer-songwriter John Mayer performs at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
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Mayer, who recently started his own Instagram Stories show on Sunday night called Current Mood, notes that the pressures of social media make sobriety a challenge.
"You have to fight really hard to look at it from a critical point of view because it’s constantly pushed on you,” he explains. "Every Friday and Saturday, on social media, there is enabling going on for drinking. What if I woke up every morning on Saturday and Sunday and put my feet on the ground and I just went, ‘not hungover,’ and put it on social media every day? That would be an influence on people because I think you forget that’s an option.”
Confessing that at first he felt “boredom” with his sobriety, he adds that he then ended up getting down about his situation.
“You’re like, ‘Oh, I’m not having these high highs.’ But if you work, you can bring the whole line up,” he says. "We’re at the sweet spot of concentrating on being better than most people at the thing that we do and just appreciating the act of that and being like, 'I’m still young enough to do it…' I have so many more records. I just figured out how to make them without going crazy.”
One fellow musician who also struggled with substance abuse was the late Mac Miller, who collaborated with Mayer.
"When Mac Miller passed away, my first thought was, ‘You don’t get to stay here. You don’t get to keep riding this ride, this beautiful ride that, if you’re lucky enough to have the talent, you get to just keep,’” he tells Complex.
"I just wish figuring out your life didn’t take your life away from you,” the singer confides. "I don’t have an answer for how to fix that, but once you get old enough to understand how valuable life is, you look at people and go, ‘I just wish you could work this out.’”
Mac Miller through the years
Mac Miller through the years
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 08: Mac Miller performs at La Cigale on September 8, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: Mac Miller performs on stage at Shepherds Bush Empire on September 1, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Mac Miller poses for a portrait backstage at the Fader Fort by Fiat during the SXSW 2011 on March 17, 2011 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 10: Rapper, producer, actor and songwriter Mac Miller performs during the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 10, 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
WANTAGH, NY - AUGUST 02: Mac Miller performs at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 2, 2012 in Wantagh, New York. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Mac Miller visits at SiriusXM Studios on April 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 853 -- Pictured: Musical guest Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller performs on June 14, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 03: Mac Miller performs on stage at The Forum on October 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 15: Mac Miller performs as part of Wild 94.9's Wild Jam at HP Pavilion on December 15, 2013 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 14: Mac Miller performs in support of the GO:OD AM Tour at The Fillmore Detroit on October 14, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 08: American rapper Mac Miller performs live during a concert at the Astra on May 8, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 29: Mac Miller performs during Lollapalooza 2016 at Grant Park on July 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Rapper Mac Miller and singer Ariana Grande pose backstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
QUEENS, NY - OCTOBER 02: Rapper Mac Miller performs onstage during The Meadows Music & Arts Festival Day 2 on October 2, 2016 in Queens, New York. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for The Meadows)
VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 06: Rapper Mac Miller performs onstage at Vogue Theatre on November 6, 2016 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Musician Mac Miller performs on the Sahara Stage during day 1 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 14, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert (L) Mac Miller and Ariana Grande perform on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)
MARTINDALE, TX - JULY 22: Rapper Mac Miller performs onstage during Float Fest at Cool River Ranch on July 22, 2017 in Martindale, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Mac Miller attends Mac Miller Album Listening at The Electric Room on July 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MARCH 24: The DJ Mac Miller performs live on stage during the second day of Lollapalooza Brazil Festival at Interlagos Racetrack on March 24, 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Rapper Mac Miller and singer Ariana Grande are seen attending an Oscar party on March 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GC Images)
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Mayer is also asked about Kanye West’s recent controversies, saying of the rapper, “I sympathize.”
He then adds that talking about West is still an acceptable subject and he’s ready for a time when it’s no longer appropriate, due to the artist’s struggles with mental health.
"I would love to be sitting in here and saying, ‘I have nothing to say about Kanye because he’s somewhere treating himself or he’s somewhere being OK,’” he continues. "I’m not gonna shy away from the Kanye conversation because it’s like an MMA fight where the guy’s not tapping out and his ref isn’t calling the fight. So he’s still a topic of conversation and I cannot wait until the day it would insensitive to talk about him. I can’t wait. Please, do us the favor of making it seem a little unsavory and a little tacky to talk about it because you tapped out. Please, tap out. I tapped out. Tap out.”