Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band that originated in Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1994 as Kara's Flowers while its members were still in high school and originally consisted of Adam Levine (lead vocals, guitar), Jesse Carmichael (guitar, backing vocals) Mickey Madden (bass guitar) and Ryan Dusick (drums). Kara's Flowers signed to Reprise Records and released an album, The Fourth World, in 1997. After a tepid response to the album, the band parted ways with the record label and the members attended college. Dusick and Madden stayed local at UCLA, while Levine and Carmichael relocated to the east coast to attend Five Towns College. While Levine and Carmichael were in New York, they began to take notice of the urban music surrounding them and later let the style influence the songs they wrote.
In 2001, the band regrouped, with guitarist James Valentine added to the line-up, and pursued a new direction under the name: Maroon 5. At this point, Jesse Carmichael switched to playing the keyboards and this has become his main instrument in the band (although he also plays rhythm guitar to this day). After these changes, Maroon 5 signed with Octone Records and released their debut album, Songs About Jane, in June 2002. The album's lead single "Harder to Breathe", received heavy airplay, which helped the album to debut at number six on the Billboard 200 chart. The band won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2005. For the next few years, the band toured extensively worldwide in support of Songs About Jane and produced two live recordings: 2004's 1.22.03.Acoustic and 2005's Live – Friday the 13th. In 2006, Ryan Dusick officially left the band after suffering from serious wrist and shoulder injuries and was replaced by Matt Flynn. The band recorded their second album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long and released it in May 2007. The album reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and the lead single, "Makes Me Wonder", became the band's first number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100.
On September 21, 2010, the band released their third studio album entitled "Hands All Over". It was re-released in 2011 to include the single "Moves like Jagger" (featuring Christina Aguilera). While the original version of the album received mixed reviews, "Moves like Jagger" reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band released their next album, Overexposed, on June 26, 2012. All four singles of the album were really successful on the charts - for example, the second single from Overexposed, "One More Night" (released on June 19, 2012), reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2014, the band signed with Interscope Records and released their fifth studio album, V, with the very-first line-up of six official band members, as keyboardist and backing vocalist PJ Morton became an official member in 2012. The album debuted at top of the weekly Billboard 200 chart. Since its debut in 2002, the band has sold more than 15 million albums in the United States and over 100 million singles and 27 million albums worldwide.
Adam Levine was introduced to Ryan Dusick by a mutual friend and aspiring guitar player, Adam Salzman. Levine was seven years old and Dusick was nine. The four original members of the band met while attending Brentwood School 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 pop band. The name was taken from a groupie that the band had a "collective crush" on. In 1997 when they were playing a beach party in Malibu, indie producer Tommy Allen heard them play and offered to manage them and record a complete record with his partner, songwriter John DeNicola, who is known for his work on Dirty Dancing – including "(I've Had) The Time of My Life". Producer Rob Cavallo's management team heard the record Allen and DeNicola produced, which eventually led Cavallo to offer them a deal with Reprise Records. However, after the release of The Fourth World in 1997, they had morphed into band with a style reminiscent of 1960s Britpop. 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. The album sold around 5,000 copies and they were dropped after only one month.
The band returned to the music industry again in 2000. Sam Farrar says the Aaliyah song "Are You That Somebody?" affected the band and influenced the song "Not Coming Home." Producer Tim Sommer signed them to a demo deal with MCA Records and produced three tracks with them in Los Angeles in the middle of 2000 with Mark Dearnley engineering. Against Sommer's advice, MCA declined to pick up the band, and these tracks were never released. The band put together a demo that was rejected by several labels, before falling into the hands of Octone Records executives James Diener, Ben Berkman and David Boxenbaum. While looking for talent for the new Octone label, Berkman was given a bunch of demos by the brother of a former colleague at Columbia Records and the song that caught his attention was "'Sunday Morning'" which he referred it as a "genius song". Berkman was surprised the song was credited to Kara's Flowers because they sounded completely different from the band he had heard while at Warner Brothers.
Berkman encouraged Diener and Boxenbaum to fly out to Los Angeles to watch a showcase gig at The Viper Room for the four-piece Kara's Flowers. After watching Levine onstage, they were convinced. Berkman told HitQuarters he believed what the band needed was a "fifth member to play the guitar and free up the singer, so he could be the star I perceived him to be." Octone immediately insisted that the band change its name to break with its pop 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. On his joining the band, Valentine commented: "I became friends with them and we sort of started jamming together, it was very much like I was cheating on my band, we were having sort of an affair and I eventually quit my other band to join up with them."
James Valentine attended Berklee College of Music 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", which became the most successful release off the album and propelled the band to superstardom) 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, Songs About Jane 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 No. 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. This had all happened after the band "abandoned its post-grunge roots for a radio-friendly pop-soul sound, even while dabbling in hard rock." 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, 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, Simon Dawes, The Thrills, Thirsty Merc, Marc Broussard, The Donnas, The RedWest, Michael Tolcher, and Guster.
Songs About Jane eventually reached No. 1 on the Australian albums (ARIA), 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 No. 1 in the UK. The second single, "This Love", reached No. 5 in the US, No. 3 in the UK, and No. 8 in Australia. The third single, "She Will Be Loved," reached the Top 5 in both the US and the UK, and went to No. 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. Over the years of touring with the band their drummer, percussionist and backing vocalist Ryan Dusick had been suffering from the touring life. The strains of non-stop touring aggravated an old sports injury. After several absences from the tour with Ryland Steen and Josh Day taking his place, Dusick officially left Maroon 5 in September 2006. Matt Flynn, the former drummer of Gavin DeGraw and The B-52's, joined the band as Dusick's replacement.
After recording for 8 months in 2006, Maroon 5's second album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, was released worldwide in May 2007 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. Ann Powers writing for Los Angeles Times said It Won't Be Soon Long is "An icy-hot blend of electro-funk and blue-eyed soul that works its cruel streak with the confidence of Daniel Craig's James Bond". Before its release, "Makes Me Wonder" was the No. 1 selling single and video on iTunes. It was also the No. 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 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 No. 64 to No. 1, the biggest jump in Billboard history at the time. "Makes Me Wonder" has also achieved No. 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 It Won't Be Soon Before Long world tour took place in 2007, where the band toured 28 cities in North America. The tour began September 29 in Detroit touring in 28 cities in North America 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 toured with Dashboard Confessional in their world tour and on March 28, 2008, they began touring with OneRepublic, Brandi Carlile and Ry Cuming. They have also performed "Makes Me Wonder" on season 6 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. The band also released as the fifth single "Goodnight Goodnight", which appeared in the opening of the CSI: NY episode "Page Turner" in 2008.
Levine stated that he believed the band was 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's third studio album was recorded in 2009 in Switzerland, where the band was joined by record producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The album, titled Hands All Over, was released on September 21, 2010. On the Billboard 200, the album debuted at number two behind Zac Brown Band's album You Get What You Give. Despite the high placement on the Billboard only 142,000 copies were sold which is relatively weak compared to their previous album It Won't Be Soon Before Long, which debuted at number one with 429,000 copies. The album's first single, "Misery", was released on June 22, 2010. The band toured with Train for the summer of 2011, from July 22 to September 24.
On June 12, 2011 the band re-released the album "Hands All Over" just to include their summer hit "Moves like Jagger" featuring Christina Aguilera. The album received mixed reviews from music critics, though many of them praised it for its production. The song premiered live of The Voice on June 21, 2011 and reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 2011. Frontman Levine was also featured in the Gym Class Heroes' song "Stereo Hearts", which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. On September 8, 2011, Jesse Carmichael stated the band was likely to begin recording its next album within the year. On October 1, 2011, the band performed live at the Rock in Rio concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maroon 5 was a last hour addition, chosen to fill the vacant spot left by Jay-Z after he cancelled his appearance for personal reasons. The band launched a Snapple flavor named "Tea Will Be Loved" in support of Feeding America in September 2011.
Maroon 5 performed "Moves Like Jagger" and "Stereo Hearts" with Travie McCoy on November 5, 2011 on Saturday Night Live. They also performed "Moves Like Jagger" and "Stereo Hearts" with Aguilera and Gym Class Heroes on November 20, 2011 on the American Music Awards, where they won their first AMA for Favorite Pop Band/Duo/Group. The band also performed "Moves Like Jagger" at the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. During a promotion by Coca-Cola in the March of 2011, the band participated in a special studio session during which, with the help of musician PJ Morton, they had 24 hours to write a completely original song. After their time was up, the song "Is Anybody Out There" was released on the Coca-Cola website for free download. In 2012, the band recorded a song for The Hunger Games soundtrack, called "Come Away to the Water" featuring Rozzi Crane. At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, on February 12, 2012, the group performed alongside Foster the People and The Beach Boys in a medley of The Beach Boys songs to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.
On March 9, 2012, Maroon 5 announced that Jesse Carmichael would take a break from performing with the group for an undetermined amount of time to focus more on his studies of "music and the healing arts" (spiritual healing). The band continued to work on their fourth studio album Overexposed released on June 26, 2012, with the help of keyboardist and background vocalist PJ Morton, who had been touring with them since 2010 and became a full-time band member after the announcement. Levine stated that Overexposed is their "most diverse and poppiest album yet". On April 16, 2012, the band premiered the first single from the album "Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa, on the reality competition television show The Voice, in which Levine is one of the judges and coaches. The song debuted number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, before being peaked to number two. The second single "One More Night", was released on June 19, 2012. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, managed to beat Psy's "Gangnam Style" and stayed in the chart for nine weeks consecutively and tied with Carly Rae Jepsen's hit single "Call Me Maybe". The two songs had the most number of weeks in the number 1 spot on the Hot 100 Chart in 2012.
At the start of their Overexposed World Tour in South America, Maroon 5 introduced the newest addition in the band to the audience: their old and close friend Sam Farrar on guitars, occasionally on the bass guitar, percussion, backing vocals, turntables and providing samples and other special effects (using the MPC). Farrar co-wrote and co-produced a few of the band's songs on almost all of their studio albums and also remixed their song "Woman" (from the "Spider-Man 2" soundtrack) on Call and Response: The Remix Album, released in 2008.
On November 27, 2012, the band released "Daylight", the third single from the album. To promote the song, the band has launched a video project called "The Daylight Project". The project encouraged fans to film their own segments for inclusion in the official music video for "Daylight", directed by Jonas Åkerlund. "Daylight" was performed for the first time as a single on November 8, 2012, during an episode of the American version of The Voice and the official video was released on December 10, 2012.
On April 1, 2013, the band announced that they will headline the 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour with special guest, Kelly Clarkson. The tour began on August 1, 2013, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri and ended on October 6, 2013, with a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. On May 14, 2013, Maroon 5 released the fourth and final single from the album - "Love Somebody". They first performed the song of The Voice on May 20, 2013, while the official music video, directed by Rich Lee, was released the day after.
In February 2014, the band performed "All My Loving" and "Ticket to Ride" at a tribute concert titled The Night That Changed America, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' arrival in the United States.
In April 2013, James Valentine said the band was in the studio recording songs for the upcoming fifth studio album: "The stuff we're working on now, it definitely has gone maybe a little darker in its sound, maybe back a little bit more to what we kind of did on Songs About Jane, but at this point we do have all kinds of different songs and it is early".
On April 15, 2014, Jesse Carmichael confirmed that his hiatus from the band was complete and he reunited with the band in time to record for V. On April 29, 2014, the band performed on the Today Show at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on September 1, 2014, as part of the Toyota concert series.
On May 18, 2014, it was announced that the band would release their fifth album - V - on September 2, 2014, through Interscope Records. The first single, "Maps", was released on June 16, 2014. The single peaked number 6 on the Hot 100 chart. After releasing the album V on September 2, 2014 it reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart on September 20, 2014. V received mixed reviews from critics. Brad Wete, writing for Billboard, said: "Levine's hummingbird vocals and passionate delivery are as earnest as they were on their 2002 debut Songs About Jane."
On August 10, 2014, the band headlined the Hyundai Card City Break, a rock festival in South Korea. Maroon 5 also performed during the 2014 iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in London, England, on September 11, 2014 (all of the concerts played as part of the festival were filmed and webcast live, around the world). The second single from V, "Animals", was first featured in a Kia Soul commercial and made available for free download on the official Kia website for a limited time after the advert premiered on August 21, 2014. The song has so far peaked on number 3 on the Hot 100 chart.
Maroon 5 performed at the Grammy Awards' Christmas special - entitled "A Very Grammy Christmas" - on November 18, 2014 and at Z100's Jingle Ball on December 12, 2014.
"Sugar" was released as the third single from the album on January 13, 2015. The song is also featured in a Nissan commercial.
Maroon 5 began their new worldwide tour in February 2015. It is scheduled to take place in North America, Europe and Africa and last until June 2015. Canadian band MAGIC!, American singer Rozzi Crane and Nick Gardner will serve as opening acts.
Adam Levine has stated: "Everything that's written and performed and put together pretty much comes from us. I just think people would be surprised to know that we’re a self-contained unit. We’re a band that does their own thing. There’s no puppet master."
However, in an article about the songwriter and producer Benny Blanco, it is revealed that at least some of the band's songs, such as "Moves Like Jagger," are the product of efforts by, or collaborations with, professional songwriters and producers. In the same article, Adam Levine is quoted as saying: "It's almost as if (Benny Blanco) has the Midas touch in putting the right people together at the right time to create a musical moment. He's about the collaboration. And he’s so good at nailing down who does everything best."
The band has cited Michael Jackson, The Police, Bee Gees, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Tonic and Prince as influences. Adam Levine has also cited Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel as influences. Furthermore, guitarist James Valentine said he was influenced by guitarists like Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and John Scofield, as well as the rock band Queens of the Stone Age. The band's songs tend to be very guitar-heavy, often accompanied by piano or synthesizer. The theme in most of their songs is love, frequently lost love; songs like "This Love", "Makes Me Wonder" and "Misery" have a very cynical tone, often expressing dissatisfaction with a relationship, while their more heartfelt and emotional songs such as "She Will Be Loved", "Never Gonna Leave This Bed" express a longing for a romantic relationship. "Makes Me Wonder" has a secondary theme, in which Levine expresses his disillusionment and frustration with the state of American politics and the Iraq War.
The band's style changes from album to album. Songs About Jane consists of songs about Levine's ex-girlfriend Jane Herman. On It Won't Be Soon Before Long, however, the songs are less personal and are more electric with more use of synthesizers, creating a retro feel. Hands All Over continues the band's lost love theme, along with songs about infatuation and was re-released in 2011, with the hit single "Moves like Jagger", an electropop song which represents a drastic change in the band's sound, with more of a dance feel to it. "It was one of those songs that was definitely a risk," Levine said. "It's a bold statement. We've never really released a song like that. But it's exciting to do something different, do something new. I'm just glad that everyone likes it." James Valentine called Overexposed "our most 'pop' record ever and we weren’t shy about really going for it." They also have experimented with new wave and disco sounds on several albums.
Members: Adam Levine – lead vocals, guitar (1994–present), lead guitar (1994–1998)
Jesse Carmichael – piano, keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994–2012, 2014–present)
Mickey Madden – bass (1994–present)
James Valentine – lead guitar, backing vocals (2001–present)
Matt Flynn – drums, percussion (2006–present; touring member 2004–2006)
PJ Morton – piano, keyboards, backing vocals (2012–present; touring member 2010–2012)
am Farrar – guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, percussion, bass, MPC, backing vocals (2016–present; touring member 2012–2016)
Discography: Songs About Jane (2002)
It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007)
Hands All Over (2010)
Red Pill Blues (2017)