By Anthony La Sasso
Jason Mraz is not only adorably cute and an incredibly gifted young musician, but he�s also gay-friendly and open-minded, especially when it comes to free love and "experimenting" with his (male) roommate. After he signed with Elektra records and his 2002 debut album Waiting for my Rocket to Come went triple platinum, people began to notice the lanky Virginia native. Queer and hetero fans alike love him for his gorgeous voice, laidback personality, and his open-minded philosophy. At last, in the summer of 2005, Mraz�s second album, Mr. A to Z,will be released. A self-described neat freak, Mraz takes time out from his vacuuming routine for a chat with Out.com.
On your new album, Mr. A to Z, you mention fearing the sophomore slump on the track �Wordplay.� Did you really have any fears of being a one-hit wonder or having problems with reaching the success of your first album?
I didn�t, but other people did. My life became very stressful after my first album. I was always trying to see if I can live up to the success of Waiting for my Rocket to Come. That�s how that song came about. Me thinking and worrying about the sophomore slump. I started thinking about it and the song came to me and then the whole album came to me.
So would you say that the biggest change since your last album is the stress level has gone up?
No. Actually, I don�t think about it. In fact, I think the most I have thought about stress in the past three years was when I was just talking to you a minute ago. [Laughs]
How did you get your start in the music business?
I�m not really sure. I moved to San Diego and my dream was to play guitar at a coffeehouse. In fact, that�s still my biggest dream�to play guitar at a coffeehouse. You know what? I think when I�m done I�m going to go by that old coffeehouse so I can finally accomplish my dream of playing guitar in a coffee shop.
What inspired you for your second album?
My life. Everything about my life inspires my music. That�s what always inspires me. My father inspired me for the title. Whenever we would go to restaurants he would leave our name and they would misspell it. So eventually he would just say �No! It�s Mr. A Z.� I love my father.
Was there a lot of personal inspiration for the song �Geek in the Pink�?
Absolutely! I love, love, love the color pink. It�s the most controversial of all the colors. I wear it as much as possible. It really seems to catch people�s attention. Probably because it�s so seldom used. You would never see a big football team wearing pink as their color. I was wearing a pink T-shirt one day and just started jamming about my shirt and bingo there was another song for the album.
Does that mean I can say you play for the pink team?
If I could start my own sports team, the color they would wear would be pink! I�m all about the free love and experimentation. I am in a committed relationship with a lovely lady right now, but I think that being a human is about experimentation. If you don�t experiment, you wind up in an awful relationship, beating your wife.
Tell Out.com readers about your experiments.
Well, I�m just going to say my college roommate and I were very close. College is about experimentation. That�s what being young is for. Find out who you are and go with it.
I�m sorry to hear you are in a relationship right now. If you were to be looking for a same-sex partner, who do you think it would be?
My cowriter. He was also my college roommate. [Laughs]
I�m sure you have some pretty wild tour stories. Care to share any?
Actually, we are all in pretty much committed relationships right now. I don�t see any reason in being in a relationship that isn�t committed. If I�m in a relationship, I am 100% committed. So, really, other than smoking some doobie with my bandmates, that�s about as exciting as it gets. If someone wants to do something crazy, they have to go somewhere else. Actually, you interrupted me vacuuming. [Turns vacuum cleaner on and off] I�m a neat freak. My place has to be clean. That�s what I do when I�m on tour. I clean.
Does that mean you will be one of the celebrities wearing gloves all over the place soon?
No. [Laughs] I just like to vacuum. I don�t really like gloves all that much. If they were pink gloves, I might consider it.
Well, what�s next for your career? Any plans to turn into an actor-model-singer-songwriter-politician?
Oh, no! I really just want to play guitar in that coffeehouse in San Diego. I don�t think I�ll be doing any modeling anytime soon. I think that I would have to beef up a bit before that. I might think about doing some theater in a few years. My voice has to get deeper first. Right now I would sound like a 5-year-old and maybe I could get the part of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.