Maroon 5 is an American rock band. Since debuting in 2002, the band has sold over 10 million albums in the United States and nearly 15 million worldwide. While they were in high school, the four original members of Maroon 5 played in a garage band called Kara's Flowers, which was active from 1994 to 2001. In 2002, the band members reformed as Maroon 5 and released their debut album Songs About Jane, but the album first topped Billboard charts in the US in 2004. Songs About Jane contained four hit singles: "Harder to Breathe", "This Love", "She Will Be Loved" and "Sunday Morning".
Original drummer Ryan Dusick left Maroon 5 in 2006, citing injuries, and was replaced by Matt Flynn. Maroon 5's second album It Won't Be Soon Before Long came out in 2007, with singles "Makes Me Wonder", "Won't Go Home Without You" and "Wake Up Call". The band performed throughout the summer and fall of 2007, including a North American tour with The Hives. They followed that with a world tour with New Found Glory. Beginning March 28, 2008, they toured with Counting Crows and Sara Bareilles. In 2005, they won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Kara's Flowers and formation of Maroon 5 (1994???2001)
The four original members of Maroon 5 have known each other since attending Brentwood School together in Los Angeles. While attending Brentwood School, Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael joined up with Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick to form Kara's Flowers, a garage/grunge band. The name was taken from a girl that the band had a "collective crush" on. The band played its first gig at Whisky a Go Go on , 1995. While they were playing a beach party in Malibu, indie producer Tim Allen heard them playing and offered to manage them, which eventually led to their deal with Reprise Records and producer Rob Cavallo. Very early on, their sound was what Carmichael called "Fugazi and System of a Down meets Sesame Street ". However, by the release of The Fourth World (album) in 1997, they had morphed into band reminiscent of 1960s Brit pop. Despite high expectations from the band and record company, the album failed to catch on and their lead single, "Soap Disco", was a failure. According to Levine, the failure of the album was "a huge disappointment" that nearly led them to break up in 1998. Levine and Carmichael went to college in Long Island, New York, while Madden and Dusick stayed home in L.A., and attended a semester of college at UCLA. In the interim, Levine and Carmichael were exposed for the first time to the gospel, hip-hop and R&B of their largely African-American schoolmates. Levine credits the period with informing the band's new style stating:
I spent a lot of time in New York where I was exposed to an urban and hip-hop culture in a way that had never happened to me in L.A. It turned me on to an entirely new genre of music which has had a profound impact on my songwriting.
When the two returned in 2000, they brought those influences with them. Sam Farrar (bassist for Phantom Planet and former roommate of Levine and Valentine) says that the Aaliyah song "Are You That Somebody?" affected the band and influenced the song "Not Coming Home." Jordan Felstein, a friend of Levine's family and a junior agent at ICM, stopped by one of the band's rehearsals and was so surprised, by what he heard, that he quit his job in order to manage the band full time. The band put together a demo that was rejected by several labels, before falling into the hands of the executives at Octone Records--James Diener, Ben Berkman and David Boxenbaum. Especially impressed with song "Sunday Morning", Berkman encouraged the other three to fly out to L.A. to observe Kara's Flowers at their showcase gig at the Viper Room. After watching Levine onstage, they were convinced, and Kara's Flowers became the new label's first act.
Octone immediately insisted that the band change its name to break with its pop-rock past. Also, the label began looking for a full-time guitarist to enable Levine to focus on performing as the frontman. James Valentine (from the L.A. band Square) was recruited for the job. Even still, the only songs of their repertoire that showcased the band's new direction were "Sunday Morning" and the soon-to-be-written "She Will Be Loved" ??? neither of which the label approved of as a first single. The band toured for a full year before entering the studio with producer Matt Wallace. Levine's frustration with Berkman's demands for a lead single inspired him to write just that ??? a song called "Harder to Breathe".
Songs About Jane and Dusick's departure (2001???2006)
Main article: Songs About Jane
Maroon 5 was constantly on tour, after releasing their album in mid-2002. Their first major tour was the 2002 Jeep World Outside, a "grassroots" summer festival tour with such acts as O.A.R., Ziggy Marley, Train and headliner Sheryl Crow.
Valentine attended Berklee music school with John Mayer in 1996, where they developed a rapport. In 2002, the two reconnected at a Mayer radio appearance. After Mayer heard their album, he was so impressed (particularly by "This Love") that he invited them to open for him during his early 2003 tour. The first single "Harder to Breathe" slowly started to pick up airplay which helped spur sales of the album. By March 2004, the album had reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 and "Harder to Breathe" had made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 in September 2004, 26 months after its release; this was the longest period between an album's release and its initial Top 10 appearance since SoundScan results were included in the Billboard 200 in 1991. Mayer invited the band to open for him again in 2004.
Over the next three years, the band toured virtually non-stop, including visits to seventeen countries. During this time, the band toured with Michelle Branch, Nikka Costa, Vanessa Carlton, Graham Colton, and The Rolling Stones. Others they have toured alongside include Gavin DeGraw, Matchbox Twenty, Sugar Ray, Counting Crows, Phantom Planet, The Hives, Dashboard Confessional, Big City Rock, The Like, Simon Dawes, Jason Mraz, The Thrills, Thirsty Merc, Marc Broussard, The Donnas, The RedWest, Michael Tolcher and Guster.
Songs About Jane eventually reached #2 on the Australian albums charts, while "Harder to Breathe" made the Top 20 singles charts in the US and UK, and Top 40 in Australia and New Zealand. The album also eventually climbed to #1 in the UK and #2 in Australia. The second single, "This Love", reached #5 in the US, #3 in the UK, and #8 in Australia. The third single, "She Will Be Loved," reached the Top 5 in both the US and the UK, and went to #1 in Australia. The fourth single, "Sunday Morning," reached the Top 40 in the US, UK, and Australia.
Maroon 5 also played Live 8, in Philadelphia in 2005. Their set included a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" and frontman Levine performed with one of his heroes, and the closing act, Stevie Wonder. On May 13, 2005, in Santa Barbara, California, the band wrapped up the Honda Civic Tour, which they headlined. On June 9, 2005, the band performed at the American Film Institute's tribute to filmmaker George Lucas. Lucas himself had selected Maroon 5 for the event, as they were his children's favorite band at the time.
Before I took my first break from touring, I lived with the daily anguish of knowing that it was just a matter of time before my body would give out on me. Every show was a rush of adrenaline and pain, excitement and agony.
???Ryan Dusick, Midnight Miles: On the Road Through 5 Continents & 17 Countries
Over the years of touring with the band, percussionist and back-up vocalist Ryan Dusick had been suffering from the touring life. The strains of non-stop touring aggravated an old sports injury. After several absences of tours with Ryland Steen of Reel Big Fish and Josh Day taking his place for a couple of tours, Dusick officially left Maroon 5 in September 2006 with Matt Flynn, Gavin DeGraw and The B-52's former drummer, assumed the position initially temporary, but then permanently.
It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2006???2008)
Adam Levine, Maroon 5
Main article: It Won't Be Soon Before Long
After recording for most of 2006, in May 2007, Maroon 5's second album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, was released worldwide by A&M/Octone Records. According to Levine, the follow-up to Songs About Jane is "sexier and stronger", gaining inspiration from iconic 80s artists such as Prince, Shabba Ranks, Michael Jackson and Talking Heads. Before its release, "Makes Me Wonder" was the #1 selling single and video on iTunes. It was also the #1 selling album, with more than 50,000 digital pre-sales. After its release, the album broke iTunes sales records its week of release, selling over 101,000 albums. The first single, "Makes Me Wonder," was released to radio March 27, 2007. The making of the music video was previewed on MTV's Total Request Live, and premiered on the show March 29. The song debuted at number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100, the lowest debuting single of the group's five chart entries. In the first week of May, the single skyrocketed from a lowly position of #64 to #1, the biggest jump in Billboard history at the time. "Makes Me Wonder" has also achieved #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, Pop 100, and Hot Dance Club Play charts.
To support the album, the band performed on a "six-date club tour" in which they visited small venues in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Miami, and New York City in early June 2007. They followed with a concert that streamed live via MSN Music in mid-June. On July 10, they opened for The Police, in Miami, and followed with an acoustic performance at the Miami club, Studio A, the next day. Their 2007 It Won't Be Soon Before Long world tour began September 29 in Detroit and concluded November 10 in Las Vegas. The Hives, as the tour's special guest, performed on all of the dates while Sara Bareilles, Kevin Michael, and Phantom Planet each performed in a portion of the tour. They are currently touring with Dashboard Confessional in their world tour and, beginning March 28, 2008, they will tour with OneRepublic, Brandi Carlile, and Ry Cuming. They have also performed "Makes Me Wonder" on season 6 of American Idol and "If I Never See Your Face Again" on season 7 of American Idol. The re-release of the album featured a new duet version of "If I Never See Your Face Again" with Rihanna; the new version of the song also appeared on the re-release of Rihanna's album Good Girl Gone Bad. Recently, they have released as the album's 5th single "Goodnight Goodnight" which will be reaching the radio soon.
Next studio album (2008-present)
Levine has stated that he believes the band is reaching its peak and may make one more album before disbanding. He explained "Eventually I want to focus on being a completely different person because I don???t know if I want to do this into my 40s and 50s and beyond, like the Rolling Stones." The band hopes to have a new album ready by early 2010.
The band will also perform in Salt Lake City for the Omniture conference. They have revealed titles of three songs from the forthcoming album; "How", "I'm Never Gonna Leave This Bed" and "Don't Know Much About That". Jesse has stated in an interview that another one of the songs on their next album is "Wasted Years", a song from their live album, Live - Friday the 13th.
The music video for "This Love" featured lead singer Adam Levine and his then-girlfriend, model Kelly McKee, in extended sex scenes. The video used creative camera angles to show as much as possible without actually revealing any of the couple's genitalia, thereby avoiding possible FCC action. A version of the video where a stream of computer-generated flowers cover up more was created for more conservative markets, such as in the Philippines and the Southern United States. When asked about his feelings on this, Levine commented, "That was ridiculous." Bassist Madden called it "an absurd over-reaction."
More steamy scenes appeared in the video for "She Will Be Loved," which featured a love triangle and sexual imagery involving Levine and actress Kelly Preston, the wife of actor John Travolta. The video for "Wake Up Call" also contains such material and also presented as a trailer for a fictional NC-17 rated movie. Giving insight into his view on violence in entertainment, in 1999 Levine wrote a letter to the editors contradicting an article that linked school shootings with the film Natural Born Killers, saying "where people copied the violence they saw elsewhere only speaks to the disturbed nature of these individuals and their lack of originality."
Adam Levine - lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1994???present)
Jesse Carmichael - keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994???present)
Mickey Madden - bass guitar (1994???present)
James Valentine - lead guitar, backing vocals (2001???present)
Matt Flynn - drums, percussion (2006???present)
Ryan Dusick - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994???2006)