BEVERLY HILLS, California — Note to concert promoters: Maroon 5 are not available. Really.
"At a certain point, we just had to be like, 'No, we're not doing any more shows, we're not doing anything,' " guitarist James Valentine said a day after wrapping the recent Honda Civic Tour. "We just haven't had the time to breathe or even think about writing songs, and we need that, so this summer is the summer of love for Maroon 5. No work."
Well, almost no work. The band did commit to opening for the Rolling Stones on August 26 in Hartford, Connecticut, and August 31 in Detroit (see "Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Pearl Jam Join Rolling Stones Tour"), because how do you say no to the Stones?
And, well, there is that collaboration with the Ying Yang Twins, for the rappers' U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta), and singer Adam Levine's guest spot on Kanye West's "Heard 'Em Say," from Late Registration. But other than that, no work. Except for songwriting, but that's not really work for Maroon 5.
"Adam and I are renting a house right now that we've got drums and guitars and everything in, so we're just going to try and set up the vibe that we had when we were making the first record," Valentine said. "We all lived together in a house and just sort of hung out and wrote when we felt like it, ate when we felt like it and did whatever."
Maroon 5, who toured for three years behind Songs About Jane, did write some new songs on the road, which Valentine described earlier this year as "along the same lines, but different stylistically." "But we're really looking forward to making our whole lives about writing again," he said.
The band is hoping to have enough material written and demoed to go into a recording studio in the fall. "We want to get another record out there as soon as possible, but we definitely want to make it really good," Valentine said.
Once Maroon 5 have a new record, the band is confident that the thought of touring will be appetizing again. Especially since they consider the Honda Civic Tour the best outing of their careers.
"I think it's the product of being three years on the road — it's made us a better band than we've ever been, and it was great to be out there playing in front of the biggest crowds we've ever played before," Valentine said. "It was also the first time we had taken out our own production and lighting, and we had to make a lot more decisions than we've ever had to, because we had been used to just going up and setting up [in front of] whoever we were opening for. So it was great to have that control."