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It's hard to believe that it's been five years since Maroon 5 released their multi-platinum debut, Songs About Jane. Since then, the guys who brought the world 'She Will Be Loved' and 'This Love' have been touring the world, quickly becoming one of pop-rock's most beloved bands.
The Soundcheck Crew recently caught up with the guys from Maroon 5 for an exclusive performance that you definitely won't want to miss. On stage, we're treated to a charismatic performance from the band, as its frontman, Adam Levine - the group's gifted, soulful singer and songwriter - belts out some of their biggest hits as well as a few new songs from their upcoming sophomore release, It Won't Be Soon Before Long.
On Overnight Stardom
Like many other bands, Maroon 5's climb to the top did not happen overnight. For years, they played small venues around Los Angeles and later began opening for bigger bands. The guys credit this grueling task of warming up a crowd for the headlining act as a major factor in their eventual success. "I think we really excelled at taking a crowd that was totally disinterested and making them pay attention to us," guitarist James Valentine explains. "That was the most valuable training we had."
On the Evolution of Maroon 5
For their new album, the guys wanted to create material that would showcase their growth both as artists and as people. They came through with something that's familiar yet feels brand new - something more than a sequel to their hit debut album. Adam explains: "I think that the band has evolved. I think that we've gotten stronger as human beings, but also as musicians and songwriters. We didn't try to force the issue and fill up our record with things that people wouldn't understand. We're staying very much rooted to what we are, but it's different. It's a little spicy. A little different flavor."
Maroon 5 is back and stronger than ever. There are many bands that deliver one great album and fade to obscurity. It Won't Be Soon Before Long is evidence that the five-year hiatus has only strengthened the guys' songwriting and spirit. Maroon 5's new album is a little more aggressive, a lot more upbeat and a testament to the group's evolving journey.
So be sure you catch the group perform on the Soundcheck stage, and don't forget to pick up a copy of the new album.
Till next time.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Maroon 5 is a five-piece band from Los Angeles, California. They are: Adam Levine (lead singer), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards), Mickey Madden (bass) Matt Flynn (drums) and James Valentine (guitar).
- The day that they celebrated their 10-year anniversary as a band (February 6, 2004) was the same day that Songs About Jane went platinum
- Four of the band members first formed Kara's Flowers when they attended a Los Angeles junior high school. Their first major gig was in 1995; they became Maroon 5 in 2001.
- Maroon 5 often closes their shows by playing a well-known cover song, such as AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell,' 'Hello' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger' by Oasis, and 'Frontin' by Pharrell Williams
- Hollywood's a small town. Adam Levine went to grade school with actor Jake Gyllenhaal
As the first single from the new record, 'Makes Me Wonder' continues a lyrical theme prevalent in the band's first album - relationships. "Give me something to believe in 'cause I don't believe in you anymore," Adam sings to a nameless woman. "I wonder if it even makes a difference / So this is goodbye."
She Will Be Loved
'She Will Be Loved' is the song that sent Maroon 5 to international stardom. Levine probably can't count the number of times he's sung these words, but on the Soundcheck stage he delivers a melodic and thoughtful version of the hit lingering on the lyrics. "I drove for miles and miles / And wound up at your door," sings Adam. "I've had you so many times but somehow / I want more."
Another fan favorite, 'Sunday Morning' nods its head to the classic artists that Adam counts as important musical inspirations: Stevie Wonder, The Police and The Beatles; and indeed, the song sounds like a Motown recording. "Things get so crazy / living life gets hard to do," he sings. "And I would gladly hit the road get up and go if I knew / That someday it would lead me back to you."
The music video for 'This Love' features scenes of Levine and his then girlfriend, model Kelly McKee. Who knows if she inspired the lyrics, but we can all relate to the words: "Kept playing love like it was just a game / Pretending to feel the same / Then turn around and leave again." And for just that reason, this song became a huge hit from Songs About Jane.
Won't Go Home Without You
For the band's finale, we get another new song. Quiet and simply affecting, 'Won't Go Home Without You' has the heart-wrenching lyrics and melody that we've come to expect from Maroon 5. Adam sings poignantly about a relationship caught in a storm: "It's not over tonight / Just give me one more chance to make it right / I may not make it through the night / I won't go home without you."