Maroon 5 is an aptly named quintet of men who specialize in a funk and blues infused style of rock music. The band is made up of Adam Levine on vocals and guitar, James Valentine on guitar, Jesse Carmichael on keyboard, Mickey Madden on bass, and Matt Flynn (who replaced Ryan Dusick in 2006) on drums. These guys aren’t pop-rock sensations for nothing, but the only way to truly appreciate them is to see them live. They’re going on tour to build up buzz for their new album, 2010’s Hands All Over, so get your Maroon 5 tickets while you can.
The guys have been friends since middle school. They began as a band named Kara's Flowers right out of high school and played shows in LA, beginning in 1995 with a debut at The Whiskey. As Kara's Flowers, the band gained some renown and released an album in 1997 titled The Fourth World. They began building a fan base when they toured with Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger.
Maroon 5 struck out on the road they are on today when they left their previous record label, Reprise Records, in 1999 due to a new, more blues-influenced style that band leader Adam Levine had picked up, and they continued with their experimentation using R&B and funk in their rock music under the name Maroon 5. The band eventually signed with Octone Records and established themselves in the alternative rock genre. They finally released their first album under their new name in 2002.
The album was recorded with famous mixer/producer Matt Wallace at Rumbo Recorders, where other famous artists like Guns N' Roses had cut records. The album, Songs About Jane, was not very well received at its release, but it continued to grow in popularity. It went from #120 on the Billboard charts to #11 in only a few months. The album started selling a measly 600 copies its first week, and within 6 months, it was selling 16,000 a week. Songs About Jane finally made it Platinum in 2004. In 2003, Maroon 5 made #34 on the ARC Weekly's Top Singles Artist of the Year list, beating out their touring buddy Sheryl Crow. The first track on the album, 'Harder to Breathe', got its fair share of air time and introduced Maroon 5's beats to the pop crowd, winning over many new fans. Also in 2004, the single 'This Love' made the top 10 list in the US.
They continue to sell out tickets and wow crowds at clubs all around LA and across the country, playing more than 270 shows in one year. Maroon 5 has appeared at El Rey, House of Blues, and the Viper Room. They have also opened for artists like O.A. R., Sheryl Crow, and John Mayer. Maroon 5 began touring in 2002 to promote the release of Songs About Jane. They started modestly, sleeping in a van at night, and built their way up to hotel rooms, an official touring bus, and international fame. They took some time away from touring with John Mayer to make an appearance on Saturday Night Live. Maroon 5 has made it to the big time, finally. The hard work and dedication to the ideals of their music led them to a top-selling album, a dedicated fan base, headlining tours across the country, and respect from their peers.