"I just wish it wasn't fatal," Mayer told Complex in an interview published Monday. "I just wish figuring out your life didn't take your life away from you. 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.'"
"When Mac Miller passed away," he continued. "My first thought was, 'You don't get to stay here. You don't get to keep riding this ride, this beautiful ride.'"
The music industry and beyond were heartbroken back in September when Miller died suddenly from an apparent drug overdose at the age of 26. His cause of death was later ruled a "mixed drug toxicity," specifically from fentanyl and cocaine, TMZ reported last week.
Mayer, who contributed on Miller's last album "Swimming," spoke about working with the talented rapper and why he didn't want any form of payment from the collaboration.
"This is a true story," Mayer continued. "I started talking to my manager about splits -- I gotta start making a living playing on people's stuff. For years, it would be, like, a really fun sidenote. I got to Mac's house and he played me this thing he had just worked on that morning, and I went, 'Give me a guitar. I'm in.' I think it had something to do with him having worked on it that day -- it was still wide open and fresh."
"There are a lot of songs people play for me and I go, 'Man, I wish I was on this song, but it's done,'" he said. "We had such a great time and laughed, and I said to him, 'No cash. No credit. I'm just happy to do it, man.' He said, 'Hey, can I,' I said, 'I don't want people talking about me. I want people talking about your record.'"
Mayer also revealed that he's two years sober after making "a fool" of himself at Drake's 30th birthday. Mayer recalled that the "In My Feelings" singer recently brought up the situation that led him to a lifestyle change.
"I hadn't seen him since his birthday," he said. "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. Apparently it was like, 'What did he just say?'"
Mayer recalled that he went so "deep" the night of Drake's party in 2016 that it resulted in a six-day hangover.
"I remember being like, 'What happens if I keep going? I always stop here. What if I keep going?'" he said. "It was really kind of, oddly, a playful kind of thing. I went, 'Oh, I'm done.'"
"I remember where I was," he continued. "I was in my sixth day of the hangover. That's how big the hangover was. I looked out the window and I went, 'OK, John, what percentage of your potential would you like to have? 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.'"