John Mayer Discusses Controversial Cover With Katy Perry

( Last week, John Mayer and Katy Perry released the cover of their new duet, "Who You Love." Seems basic enough, until the Internet saw the black and white image shot by Mario Sorrenti, in which the couple's cuddled up. Perry and Mayer look at ease with each other, but apparently this wasn't the case. Mayer visited New York's Fresh 102.7 (a station) to share what the experience was really like, and how Perry helped him feel comfortable.

"She's great at it," he said. "She is so comfortable in front of a camera and is so good at it. I am not as good at it, there's no other way to say it. I don't have that kind of charisma that she does, so it's really interesting. We find our way but it takes a minute. There's a natural sort of competition in the relationship, and she'll just be like, 'Loosen up!' And I'll be like, 'You're right. I have to loosen up.'"

Being comfortable in front of the camera isn't the only thing Mayer has learned from Perry, though. "She's just so excellent at it that I actually take a lot of cues from her now on how to really be brave, how to really give in and just open up and be really expressive," he said.

As for the photo's inspiration, Mayer explained: "There [are] cycles of imagery, and right now we're going through sort of a very intense 'hit you over the head' imaging thing and what I really wanted to do was go back to the '60s. Somebody said that the images were 'smoldering' and I thought that was cool. Smoldering means there's a fire in there, it's not just burning everything in sight," he said. "When you go back to these great photos of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Robert Redford, they're with women but they're not on top of women. And there's an ease to it. That, to me, is more romantic as I'm getting older."

It seems the photo shoot for the single is getting more publicity than the song itself, but Mayer wants to emphasize that the track is not about how good he and Perry have it together.

Read what he had to say and stream the interview here. is an official news provider for
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