Music & Nightlife

Maroon 5 still discovering ways to evolve

It's been six years since Maroon 5 released its debut album, which went on to gain triple platinum status, and the Grammy-winning band is eager to hit the road to promote their 2007 album, “It Won't be Soon Before Long.” It features the hit collaboration with Rhianna, “If I Never See Your Face Again,” and has earned critical acclaim.

Maroon 5 tours this summer with the Counting Crows and Sara Bareilles. Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine spoke with The Observer about the Counting Crows and the evolving sound of his band.

Q. Why did you guys decide to team up with Counting Crows for this tour?

I was happy to go on tour with these guys because there are so few bands at this point that are touring bands that are for real. There's a lot of smoke and mirrors these days, so it's nice that I think we both have the same touring ethic. We both go out there and hit the road and do it the old-fashioned way still. I like the fact there's a shared ideology that we have with the Crows.

Q. How do you think Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows has developed over the years.

They've always been no-nonsense, and that's inspiring for a band like us because we're kinda in this in-between place and you guys have been so much about music. I think they've maintained a great amount of success, and they've been a really legitimate touring band. They make great records.

That's kinda all we want to do, all we've ever wanted to do. I remember when that first record came out, it didn't sound like anything else at the time. It was really organic and simple. A lot of the other stuff coming out was over-produced and kinda over the top. They've always been a breath of fresh air and still are.

Q. You recently taped a CMT episode with Sara Evans and have started teaming up with some other country stars. Is this an indication of you moving toward more collaborations with Southern musicians?

I don't really have any kind of direction I see myself going in. I think that I'm fortunately in a position to work with a lot of different kinds of artists, whether it's Alicia Keys or Kanye (West) or Sara Evans or whoever it may be. I think it just comes to what I dig is going on. I think I'm kind of genre blind. I don't really care about where or what it is because I love all music. I'd love to collaborate with as many different types of people as possible.

Q. If you could cover a song from the Counting Crows which one would it be?

“Long December,” probably. I have always loved that song so much, it's insane.

Q. Some artists, such as Aerosmith and Mick Jagger, use tools to help them remember their lyrics. How do you guys remember the lyrics?

I hope I never use teleprompters, that would mean I'm officially old.

I can't imagine ever, ever not remembering my lyrics. That's so crazy that those bands use stuff like that. But we have like, two records, we probably have about 29 songs, maybe 30 total. Which is nothing. So I'm in obviously no danger of forgetting lyrics at this point. I have spaced out on some lyrics in the past, but not to the extent where I need aids.

Oh boy, that'll be a bad day.

But in a way, hopefully we'll get to that point. Hopefully we'll have so many songs out and be around long enough that we do need some help.