BEVERLY HILLS, California — For Maroon 5, going to the Grammys (and winning) was fun and all, but there was just something weird about returning after being crowned Best New Artist last year. Maybe because “This Love,” which won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, was released in 2002.
“I feel like we’ve failed our senior year of high school and we’re back and we’re taking a freshman to the prom,” singer Adam Levine said.
“Being here [at Clive Davis' annual Grammy party] again right now is great, of course, but I wish we were in the studio right now,” guitarist James Valentine added. “I feel like we have a lot to prove right now and that we should be working instead of out here partying.”
To Maroon 5′s credit, the band has been writing new material since last summer with plans to start recording this spring (see “Maroon 5 Won’t Feature ’800 Guest Stars’ On Next LP” ).
“It’s a slow process, but it’s better that way, because we can really start to think about all the different material and lyrics and really analyze everything perfectly before we let it out in the world,” Levine said. “But we can’t wait to get another record out. It’s been like four or five years since we made the last one.”
With a lot of their material written, Maroon 5 are in the process of finding the right producer. “We started working with a couple of guys that we’re really excited about, we’ve sort of assembled this team of producers, and we’ll just say that it’s going to be amazing,” Valentine said.
In the meantime, the guitarist also spent some time in the studio with Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis, playing on her just-released solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat (see “Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis Gets Her Wilburys On With Death Cab Frontman” ).
“I was so honored to be on the record, ’cause she’s always been one of my favorite singers, and it was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Cursive), who’s in Nebraska and who I’ve known since I was 15,” said Valentine, a Lincoln, Nebraska native. “It was a great experience and I really love that record.”
Maroon 5 bassist Mickey Madden also appears on Rabbit Fur Coat, and he’s also been busy producing an album for rock band Vietnam in Los Angeles.
As for Levine, currently riding the airwaves on Kanye West’s “Heard ‘Em Say” (see “Move Over, Justin: Adam Levine Is Hip-Hop’s New Favorite White Boy” ), he’s no longer letting anything distract him from Maroon 5′s second record. “No more f—ing collaborations,” he declared. “I’m sorry, I’m cursing.”