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Take one listen to Maroon 5's "Songs About Jane" (Octone Records) and you'll instantly hear what a little bit of soul can do to the heart of alternative rock. Fronted by Adam Levine, a guitar wizard with a captivating voice and a strutting attitude, and backed by powerhouse players James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden and Matt Flynn, the band blends elements of R and B and funk influences into their rock and roll songs. Maroon5 is not here to shove their ideas down your throat, but when Adam's belting out a tune and the band is drawing a mesmerized audience into their world, you know they mean it.
Schoolmates since junior high school, Maroon 5 (formerly known as Kara's Flowers) played their first show at The Whisky in Los Angeles on September 16, 1995. Hundreds gathered to see their eclectic mix of pop, punk and rock music. It was their energy onstage that made the audience take notice. By summer of 1997, Kara's Flowers had released "The Fourth World," their critically acclaimed debut album on Reprise Records, and the band immediately set out on the road playing with bands like Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger. Kara's Flowers left Reprise Records in 1999 to start a new musical direction.
After years of experimentation and exploration (as well as the addition of guitar wizard James Valentine), the unique melding of rock, R&B and soul emerged that now defines Maroon 5's musical style. Their sound had begun to transform as the band members absorbed new influences through their college experiences.
From its roots as an alternative-rock band in the tradition of acts like Weezer and Nada Surf, Maroon 5 began to experiment and evolve. Hints of R and B and folk were gradually woven through the alternative rock fabric that was the band's musical base. New songs like the album's first single, "This Love," as well as "Sunday Morning," "Secret," and "Not Coming Home" reflect a sound evocative of the band's deep interest in soul music. "During the time between our record deals," Adam recalls, "I spent a lot of time in New York where I was exposed to an urban and hip-hop culture in a way that had never happened to me in L.A. It turned me on to an entirely new genre of music, which has had a profound impact on my songwriting."
After performing showcases for senior executives at many major labels, Maroon 5 ultimately chose to sign with newly founded New York City based independent label, Octone Records. Octone Records is distributed by BMG Music Entertainment and has a Joint Venture deal with Clive Davis and J Records. The band recorded "Songs About Jane" in Los Angeles with producer/mixer Matt Wallace (Train, Blues Traveler, Third Eye Blind, Faith No More) at Rumbo Recorders, the same studio where such seminal artists as Guns N' Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Smashing Pumpkins and John Mellencamp have recorded some of their best work.
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