updated 08/29/2013 AT 8:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/29/2013 AT 3:30 PM ET
“[My voice is] coming back and it will come back all the way to where it was. All the early stuff, I can’t do that full voice right now,” the musician – who’s still recovering from two surgeries on his vocal cords – tells TIME.com as part of their 10 Questions series.
“The Botox takes a while to dissolve, so as it dissolves, my range comes back. Born and Raised and Paradise Valley stem from this inability to sing higher. I didn t know I had a granuloma for most of the making of Born and Raised. The songs are all low because I would hit a ceiling faster. Looking back on it now, I ve been making these records based on those limitations.”
“I’m not worried anymore, period. I’m not worried about pop hits, I’m not worried about sales, relevance,” he says. “I care about one thing: tell your story. If you’re on your sixth record and you’re 35, you should be following wherever the road takes you. I want this story to unfold onstage now – records are the fuel for a concert.”
Still, that doesn’t mean the guitarist can’t enjoy a good cake – Mayer shared a photo celebrating Paradise Valley’s second-place chart debut on Wednesday.