Covert caught up with Stones Throw man Mayer Hawthorne today whilst he is in the UK for a couple of DJ sets, pre-album release. Playing tonight in London and Kings Heath Birmingham tomorrow night, Mayer gave us a glimpse into his record box.

“I prefer vinyl and have brought over a box of old 45s with me, I’ll be playing some classic Motown, 60s soul and maybe some hip hop and boogiefunk. I just like to go with the gut when I’m playing.”

Mayer is no stranger to these shores, having paid London several visits although tomorrow night will be his first trip up to Birmingham. He will be back in the UK as part of his European tour in the Autumn, when he will bringing his live four piece (sometimes five) band with him. “I love performing live with the band, it’s cool man” although he admitted, “it was kind of nerve racking at first being the front man, the main focus, but we’ve been working hard to make sure no one leaves the show without getting their moneys worth.”

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It seems the move from DJ to front man was far from calculated. Mayer fell into the whole soul singer gig almost by chance “I recorded two songs as fun, as a side project to DJing and producing hip hop,” he explained, “and Peanut Butter Wolf heard them and asked me to produce an album.” And did he have the material up his sleeve? “No way man, I had to totally switch gears and come up with an albums worth of songs.”

Mayer is a self confessed vinyl junkie and also it would appear a big fan of cover versions, modern classics particularly. “We’re working on a version of M.I.A’s ‘Paperplanes’. Its definitely got the Super Mayer Hawthorne feel to it, it’s nearly unrecognisable apart from the lyrics and I’m also working on a version of T-Pain and Jamie Foxx’s ‘Blame it on the Alcohol.” Any other tributes planned Mayer? “I’m a big fan of (label mate) James Pants‘. I’m covering some of his tracks and he is covering some of mine.”

Stones Throw mutual appreciation for real, so whats it been like since you signed for the label?

“It’s been a wild ride this year. I signed back in November 2008 and now have an album coming out and a tour to look forward to”. Busy times indeed for the multi talented musician/producer/instrumentalist and DJ, but what do you expect when you have that many strings to your bow?

Mayer Hawthorne plays tonight at The Westbury in Kilburn and tomorrow night at The Hare and Hound in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Album and tour to follow this Autumn.