John Mayer spoke with The New York Times for a new feature published today that focused mostly on the singer and guitarist’s new album, The Search For Everything, which marks his return to the limelight after his fall from grace and bowing out of pop-star life. The piece also touches on Mayer’s involvement with Dead & Company, who he says saved his life.

Mayer speaks freely on his infamous 2012 interviews with Rolling Stone and Playboy in which he was quoted as saying his genitalia was like white supremacist David Duke, among other strange turns of phrase. “What has to happen for a guy to believe that he’s totally well-adjusted and be that far out of touch?” Mayer asks himself. “My GPS was shattered, just shattered.”

“I’m old enough to look back on my life and go: ‘That’s probably the photonegative shot in ‘Behind the Music,’” Mayer continues, before speaking on his subsequent reclusion from the spotlight. He eventually re-emerged, partly due to his playing with Dead & Company, and the new album marks his official return.

“The feeling of inclusion that I have with this band—they saved my life,” Mayer says of Dead & Company. He also hints at another life aspect that the Grateful Dead members may have influenced, as the musician has recently quit drinking in favor of another substance. As Mayer puts it, he’s “actually very thoughtfully entering cannabis life.”