Maroon 5 (formerly Kara's Flowers) 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. The original members of the band were: Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick, they 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. In 2001, the band regrouped, with James Valentine added to the lineup, and pursued a new direction under the name: Maroon 5.
The band 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 album's second and third singles "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved", became worldwide hits reaching the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 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, drummer, percussionist and backing vocalist Ryan Dusick left the band and was replaced by Matt Flynn. The band recorded their second album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, and released 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.
Hands All Over, the band's third studio album was released in September 2010 and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2011, the album was re-released and supported by their single "Moves like Jagger" featuring American singer Christina Aguilera. The song became the band's second single to reach number one on the Hot 100 chart; it has sold over 14.4 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles worldwide. The band released their fourth studio album, Overexposed, in June 2012. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. The first two singles from the album "Payphone" and "One More Night", were both international hits and peaked at two and one on the Hot 100 chart respectively.
Since its debut in 2002, the band has sold more than 10 million albums in the United States and over 30.8 million digital singles and 27 million albums worldwide.
In 2013, Maroon 5 became third most-played artist on Top 40 Mainstream radio, based on Clear Channel owned Mediabase, becoming one of the successful acts of Interscope Records.
1994–2002: Kara's Flowers and the formation of Maroon 5
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. The band played its first gig at Whisky a Go Go on September 16, 1995. While 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 De Nicola (Dirty Dancing). While shopping for a deal for the band, Rob Cavallo's management team heard the record Allen and DeNicola produced, which eventually led to their deal with Reprise Records and producer Rob Cavallo. 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.
When the band returned in 2000, they brought those influences with them.Sam Farrar (bassist of the band Phantom Planet) 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. Jordan Feldstein, 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 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 "a genius song called 'Sunday Morning'". 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." 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".
2002–06: Songs About Jane and Dusick's departure
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. 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 Cowboy Mouth, 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 No. 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 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 (drummer of James Valentine's former band, Square - Ryland is currently a member of the California-USA-based ska punk band, Reel Big Fish) 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.
2006–08: It Won't Be Soon Before Long
After recording for most of 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. 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 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 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 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 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 they appeared in the opening of CSI: NY episode "Page Turner" in 2008.
2008–11: Hands All Over
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's third studio album was recorded in 2009 in Switzerland, where the band were joined by record producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The album, titled Hands All Over, was released on September 21, 2010. 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. The band released the re-released single from the album "Moves like Jagger" featuring Christina Aguilera. 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 Adam 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 is likely to begin recording their 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 believed to be a diary clash, but rumored to be a performance in a poll for bands the audiences wanted to see in the festival. The band launched a Snapple flavor named "Tea Will Be Loved" in support of Feeding America.
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 Christina 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 (keyboardist and background vocalist) 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 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, Jesse Carmichael announced he would take a break from the band for an undetermined amount of time to focus more on his studies of "music and the healing arts" (spiritual healing). Carmichael will return to the band in time for the fifth studio album. The band continued to work on their fourth studio album Overexposed released on June 26, 2012, with the help of their touring member PJ Morton. Levine stated the album 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".
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, 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 all of their studio albums and also remixed one of their songs, which is called "Woman", on Call and Response: The Remix Album, released in 2008. On August 31, 2012, during a show in Argentina, Farrar filled-in for Mickey Madden on the bass guitar for the very first time. He subsequently filled-in for Madden on the next few shows of the tour.
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 Maryland Heights, Missouri and ended on October 6, 2013, with a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. On May 14, 2013, the band released the fourth and final single from the album "Love Somebody". The band first performed the song of The Voice on May 20, 2013, while the music video was released the day after and is directed by Rich Lee.
In February 2014, the band performed "All My Loving" and "Ticket to Ride" at a tribute concert entitled The Night That Changed America, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles.
2014: Fifth studio album
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 8th, 2014, the band announced on their official Facebook and Twitter accounts that the album, which was referred to as "#albuM5", is in the works and more details would be released soon.Jesse Carmichael confirmed on April 15th, 2014 that his hiatus from the band was complete and was now recording with the band for their fifth studio album.
It was announced on April 29, 2014 that the band would be performing on the Today Show at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on September 1 as part of the Toyota concert series.
Musical style and influences
Adam Levine has stated: "[E]verything 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, subtitled "Benny Blanco, Hit Maker for Rihanna and Maroon 5", 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, Talking Heads, Aaliyah, Oasis, Shabba Ranks and Prince as influences.Adam Levine has also cited Stevie Wonder as one of his heroes. Further, 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 all 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 sound changes from album to album. Songs About Jane consists of songs about Levine's ex-girlfriend Jane. 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." When announcing Overexposed, James Valentine called the album "our most 'pop' record ever and we weren’t shy about really going for it." In a separate interview about the band's fifth album, which is still being written, Valentine said: "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."
- Adam Levine – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (1994–present)
- Jesse Carmichael – keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994–present)
- Mickey Madden – bass guitar (1994–present)
- James Valentine – lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2001–present)
- Matt Flynn – drums, percussion (2006–present; touring member from 2004 to 2006)
- Former members
- Ryan Dusick – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994–2006)
- Touring members
- Current (as of 2014)
- PJ Morton – keyboards, backing vocals (2010–present; since 2012, temporarily filling-in for Jesse Carmichael)
- Sam Farrar (from Phantom Planet) – guitars, bass guitar (occasionally), backing vocals, turntables, samples and other special effects (MPC) (2012–present)
- Tommy "Boom-Boom" King – keyboards, backing vocals (Back to School Tour in 2009)
- Adrian Young (from No Doubt) – drums, percussion (Young filled-in for Matt Flynn on a few shows of the Back To School Tour, due to Flynn having to leave Maroon 5 for a short period of time because of a "family emergency", as stated by the band on their official website)
- Ryland Steen (from Reel Big Fish) – drums, percussion (a few shows of the Songs About Jane Tour - Ryland, who was also the drummer of James Valentine's former band, Square, filled-in for Ryan Dusick before Matt Flynn became Maroon 5's touring and, later, official drummer)
- Josh Day – drums, percussion (a few shows of the Songs About Jane Tour - Josh also filled-in for Ryan. He is a longtime member of Sara Bareilles' backing band, where he played until 2013)
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- Songs About Jane (2002)
- It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007)
- Hands All Over (2010)
- Overexposed (2012)
Awards and nominations
Maroon 5 have been the recipients of three Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards and three Billboard Music Awards, among other awards.
- 2002–04: Songs About Jane Tour
- 2005: 5th Annual Honda Civic Tour
- 2007–08: It Won't Be Soon Before Long Tour
- 2009: Back to School Tour
- 2010: Palm Trees and Power Lines Tour
- 2010–12: Hands All Over Tour
- 2012–14: Overexposed Tour
- 2013: 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour
- 2014: Fall Tour
- Maroon 5 has been a longtime supporter of Aid Still Required (ASR). After contributing the live version of "She Will Be Loved" to ASR's All Star CD in support of the survivors of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, Maroon 5 went on to record a public service announcement for ASR about work that still needed to be done in Haiti. Maroon 5 has participated in various ASR social media campaigns and Levine has donated a meet and greet on the set of The Voice to raise funds for various ASR programs.
- Maroon 5 supports the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
- In 2006, Maroon 5 has been awarded Environmental Media Awards, due to donating their 2005 North American tour income to a global environment organization, called "Global Cool"
- Maroon 5 had a project named "24 Hour Session" with Coca-Cola. They wrote the song, titled "Is Anybody Out There?", in 24 hours. The song is available on the website, and if there is more than 100,000 downloads, they will donate to Africa for clean water.
- Adam Levine, whose brother is openly gay, is an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. In 2011, he made a video on Maroon 5's official YouTube account in support of the It Gets Better Project. In January 2012, he announced that Maroon 5 had changed the location of their post-Grammy Awards show because of the "unnamed Los Angeles restaurant's backing of Proposition 8".
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