Maroon 5 Biography

A fitting musical description for the Los Angeles, California, USA-based quintet, Maroon 5, could be funky pop aimed directly at the mainstream market. The band’s roots lay in an earlier group, Kara’s Flowers, comprised of eventual Maroon 5 participants Adam Levine (18 March 1979, Los Angeles, California, USA; vocals/guitar), Jesse Carmichael (b. 2 April 1979, Boulder, Colorado, USA; keyboards), Mickey Madden (b. Michael Madden, 13 May 1979, Austin, Texas, USA; bass), and Ryan Dusick (b. 19 September 1977, Los Angeles, California, USA; drums). Formed while its members were still students in high school, the band signed with Reprise Records, that resulted in the release of their debut, Fourth World, in 1997. Although produced by renowned hitmaker Rob Cavallo, the album flopped, which resulted in the band’s split soon after being dropped by their label. Instead of immediately forming a new band, the former bandmates enlisted into college, Dusick and Madden staying local at UCLA, while Levine and Carmichael relocating to the east coast, to attend the State University of New York. It was while in New York that Levine and Carmichael began to take notice of the urban music sounds that would emerge from neighbouring dorm rooms, and let the style seep into the songs they soon began to write.

Moving back to their home state, all four former Kara’s Flowers members reunited, along with newcomer James Valentine (b. 5 October 1978, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA) serving as second guitarist. The quintet felt that a new musical direction called for a brand new name - Maroon 5. An affiliate of J Records, Octone, soon swept in and signed the renamed band, as they entered the recording studio in 2001 with another acclaimed producer Matt Wallace. The results of the sessions appeared on the band’s 2002 release, Songs About Jane, which spawned the transatlantic hit singles ‘Harder To Breathe’, ‘This Love’ and ‘She Will Be Loved’, and was supported by tours opening for John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, and Counting Crows. By 2004 the album had notched up platinum sales throughout the world, making it arguably the sleeper hit of the new millennium. The following year the band was awarded the Grammy for Best New Artist.

Extensive touring took its toll on percussionist Ryan Dusick, and when his physical ailments became too much he was replaced by Matt Flynn. The new Maroon 5 single ‘Makes Me Wonder’ returned the band to the top of the US charts in May 2007, and was followed by It Won’t Be Soon Before Long.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.