Adam Levine , April 15, 2003

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Jason Perlman : As a band, you have been touring the country playing smaller clubs for the most part. Now you got this arena tour with matchbox 20 and Sugar Ray. How excited were you to hear you got this opening slot?
Adam Levine: Oh, it was very exciting. I was so happy. It was very, very cool. The whole band is very stoked. We have actually known for a while, so we are kind of used to it. But every time someone mentions it's a big tour, we are like, 'Oh shit! I guess it is a big show.'

 

JP: Do you feel your show or even your performance changes at all in front of an arena crowd over a club crowd?
AL: Well, I think in front of a bigger crowd I tend to get a little more excited and revved up. But at the same time, like if a small club is packed, I get the same kind of energy. I think it is about the sexual tension. I think that is what it is all about. If that is going strong, I think that it is going to be a very, very good show. But if everyone is bored and unhorny, then it is a total mess.

 

JP: So, we should just throw in a bunch of strippers and construction workers...
AL: Well, a more subtle sexuality. Except for last night where we played a show and a girl streaked across the stage totally topless. Which was really amazing. She gave me a big hug.

JP: That.s when you know they made it, right?
AL: I guess it is. That is what they say.

JP: The one aspect of Maroon 5 that has to be discussed is your songwriting. There is no doubt this band is built around strong songwriting, and not hooks and choruses.
AL: Definitely. The Beatles were a huge influence on us with song structure and song craft. Which is a bit tough for us, because I think the music that we play, which is very soul oriented with a beatnik sound can be really track-oriented at times. Whereas the actual song writing mixed with R&B is kind of new ... well, nothing is really new I guess. But fresh? Radicle, cool, kick ass. Something.

JP: Like the band you are touring with, I would have to compare your songwriting to Rob Thomas from matchbox 20. The lyrics are very easy to relate without being slapped in the face with the message.
AL: Well, thank you very much, that is quite a compliment.

 

JP: Do you find it strange that people come up to you after a show and talk about 'their' song. That has got to be a great feeling when someone claims your song as 'theirs.'
AL: Yea, it's really quite amazing, because you really don't expect to reach people like that. They come up to you like, 'This is my song with my boyfriend, and I listened to it when he broke up with me.' And you are like; 'Wholly shit.' And you never really think, well, I think with She Will Be Loved, the fourth song on the record, that it would have that kind of effect on some level. I thought, this is definitely a song people can relate to. Not to sound like I am tooting my own horn or anything. But it just seems very understandable. And I think that is what I loved about it the most when I wrote it. But it still is such a shock when that happens, and it still is the most amazing and validating feelings ever.

JP: Now, you are going from clubs to arenas. What is it like to have people come up to you at a club when you are just trying to have a beer or something?
AL: Actually, it has been kind of trippy. We have been accosted. I mean, it is obviously not that crazy because we are not that big, but it still is really weird to be put on a pedestal by people. It takes a little getting used to.

JP: It's like, when someone comes up to you for an autograph, you kind of look over your shoulder wondering who is behind you.
AL: It's true, it is really strange, and to be conscious about it is really new. I am still not used to it. So, hopefully it never gets scary. Well, I take that back. Hopefully it does because that means we will become successful. I don't know, you just got to take all that shit in stride.

JP: When you went into the studio to record the CD, did the finish product change from what your original concept for the record was?
AL: That definitely happened. I don't think we thought it would end up being as much of a rock and roll record as it ended up being. We originally thought it would be different. I had a way different vision of what I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be a straight up R& B record. A funk record. But with the rest of the band, there was just different opinions. But different opinions is what makes a good record. Because you have to have a little bit of conflict and argument so you eventually get to that place where you respect each other's ideas. All those different eclectic opinions are what yielded the finished product. Which was, in my opinion, a great record. If it had been all my opinion, it wouldn't have been any good.

JP: Being on a small label, Octone Records, and trying to make it in this industry which is hard enough, did you envision the band being where you are today?
AL: I will be totally honest with you. I expected this because I have very high hopes for the band, and as a songwriter, you never really expect it. You always have that insecurity that tends to dominate your thoughts. You never think people are going to be at your shows. I will be at a show and be like, 'Oh my god, no one is going to come. There is no one here. Wholly shit.' Then it will be packed, and I will be shocked. So, I guess there is insecurity on that level. But I always knew, deep down, we would amount to something.

JP: Where do you see Maroon 5 in a year from now or three years from now? Or do you just go with the flow and see what happens?
AL: God, I am so curious. My gut tells me that we are going to be a pretty big band, and that makes you excited and it scares me because it puts a lot of pressure on us. But it also scares me because dealing with something with that magnitude is really intense. Kind of one of those, 'Be careful of what you wish for' kind of things. Cause it can get crazy. But that's my gut. That we are going to be pretty big. And I don't know how long it is going to last. Could be five minutes. In a year, we could be huge and in two we could be done. That is the most unpredictable. You just never know how long people are going to care. So if they care at all, I am pretty happy. I feel we have succeeded if that happens.