Catching Up With Maroon 5's Adam Levine

9.22.2010

By Noah Michelson

Since the last record came out, the musical landscape has changed so much. A name that comes up a lot in the Out studio is Lady Gaga, and I really think she's changed the musical landscape in a lot of ways -- especially in America. But you're saying that you guys really didn't take into account what's trendy or popular and just concentrated on doing what you do?
Gaga is the perfect example because people are definitely saying things like, 'changed the face of music' and 'avant-garde.' And I love what she does. I love the fact that she exists. It's almost like, finally there's a pop star who brings a little bit more weight to it. She's weird. She's a weird chick. She does weird shit. She dresses weird. Her music is slightly off. That's awesome. I think that's great for pop music because it's been so safe up to this point, and I like that she's nude all the time and weird and awesome and cool. Madonna was that way too. I know she gets that comparison a lot, but it's true. She was pushing the envelope back in the day. She was doing the same thing that Gaga's doing to a large extent. She has her own spin on it. That's fantastic. I love subverting the new generation of pop music and all these really safe Disney kids. But no, I'm not going to try to sound like that because that would be weird. That would be even weirder than Lady Gaga herself if we just all of a sudden got really strange -- because we're not, that's just not who we are. But she's great, and there are very few things these days that are truly innovative and forward-thinking or at least different. Goddamn, everything's just so generic. I like things that shake shit up.

So many of the articles I read while doing research on you mentioned how attractive you are. But some of the articles argued that your good looks might be doing the band a disservice'
Yeah.

'because Maroon 5 might not be seen as credible musicians because of that. How do you feel about being cast as a sex symbol?
I don't know. It's weird. I once said in an article, I think, if we were overweight, middle-aged dudes, we 'd be taken very seriously, and our music would be considered ironic and cool and we'd be hipsters. Same music, different look. And it's probably true. Maybe it has hurt a little, but this is also assuming that I find myself attractive, which is funny, but the fact that I've been considered that is very flattering but also maybe somewhat detrimental to what I'm trying to do. But also really helpful, so it's a double-edged sword. It's great. It's propelled me to a place that I enjoy, mostly, so I'm not mad at that. I've also been perceived as a womanizing whoremonger or whatever, some sort of weird dude ' Lothario is a word I've heard a couple of times -- and that's just weird. I'm young, successful. I've been having fun and hooking up with girls. It's like, Leave me alone. What, do you not want me to do that? So I'm cool with all of it. Yeah, sometimes it sucks because I would like to be ' we are taken seriously, that's another thing. Sometimes I am hypersensitive to the fact that we're not taken seriously, but I don't realize, Well, wait a minute. We've won awards that are really prestigious and Grammys and all this stuff. What am I complaining about? I've got all that shit too. It's kind of awesome. I'm really stoked, to be honest.

You've also gotten a lot of attention for hanging out with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Will everyone stop thinking that dude is gay? Seriously guys. How immature is it of the media to perceive this guy -- it has to be because of Brokeback, right? I've known this dude forever. He's one of my oldest friends, and it's very weird that they have this -- it's very immature and infantile the way they treat his whole situation. If him hanging out with his bros means he's gay, it's like further perpetuating that weird homophobia that exists in our culture, which is just stupid. So, yeah, he's my buddy. I fuckin' love the guy.

Do you read your own press?
No. My press always gets regurgitated to me at some point and I'm like, Ugh, this is so silly. So, yeah, God bless 'em.

Lastly, Perez Hilton was talking about your comeback and the question he posed was, 'In 2010, is Maroon 5 still relevant?'
I didn't read it.

How would you respond to that question?
Scoreboard. We'll see. Who knows? Being relevant doesn't have anything to do with anything other than quality and good music. And as long as I go out there and play good music and play for our constituency and our fan base, I don't see us going anywhere. That's another thing that's really exciting, we've been doing this a long time and our first record came out almost a decade ago and we're still here. We're not trying to push the envelope, but we're definitely interested in quality and making good records and continuing to do that as time goes on and let people say what they say, it doesn't really matter. Like I said, scoreboard. Look and see. You always have that little fear in your mind and think, Shit, what if no one cares anymore? But I like to stay positive through all this shit. Because that's the one crappy thing about all of this: unwanted attention. The only thing I ever want attention for is music. Nothing about my personal life, friends, or family, who I'm dating and all that shit -- that's an unfortunate byproduct of what we do. But it's very important to a lot of people. I wish it weren't because things are a lot more important than that, guys, so start focusing on that a little bit.

Hands All Over is now in stores and available for download. For more info on Maroon 5, visit the band's official website.

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