Maroon 5 originated in Las Angeles, California. The four original members of Maroon 5 have known each other since attending Brentwood School in Los Angeles. While attending Brentwood School, Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael joined up with Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick to form Kara's Flowers, a garage/grunge band. The name was taken from a girl that the band had a "collective crush" on.
The band played its first gig at Whisky a Go Go on September 16, 1995. While they were playing a beach party in Malibu, indie producer Tommy Allen heard them play and offered to manage them and record a complete record with his partner, songwriter John DeNicola (Dirty Dancing). While shopping for a deal for the band, Bob Cavallo's management team heard the record Allen and DeNicola produced, which eventually led to their deal with Reprise Records and producer Rob Cavallo.
Very early on, their sound was what Carmichael called "Fugazi [the sound] meets Sesame Street [the lyrics]". However, by the release of The Fourth World in 1996, they had morphed into band with a style reminiscent of 1960s Britpop. Despite high expectations from the band and record company, the album failed to catch on and their lead single, "Soap Disco", was a failure. According to Levine, the failure of the album was "a huge disappointment" that nearly led them to break up in 1998. The album sold around 5,000 copies and they were dropped after only six months.
When the two returned in 2000, they brought those influences with them. Sam Farrar (bassist of the band Phantom Planet, which is currently on hiatus, and former roommate of Levine and Valentine) says that the Aaliyah song "Are You That Somebody?" affected the band and influenced the song "Not Coming Home."Producer Tim Sommer signed them to a demo deal with MCA records and produced three tracks with them in Los Angeles in the middle of 2000 with Mark Dearnley engineering.
Against Sommer's advice, MCA declined to pick up the band, and these tracks were never released. Jordan Feldstein, a friend of Levine's family and a junior agent at ICM, stopped by one of the band's rehearsals and was so surprised by what he heard that he quit his job in order to manage the band full time. The band put together a demo that was rejected by several labels, before falling into the hands of Octone Records executives James Diener, Ben Berkman and David Boxenbaum. While looking for talent for the new Octone label, Berkman was given a bunch of demos by the brother of a former colleague at Columbia Records and the song that caught his attention was "a genius song called 'Sunday Morning'". Berkman was surprised the song was credited to Kara's Flowers because they sounded completely different from the band he had heard while at Warner Brothers.
Berkman encouraged Diener and Boxenbaum to fly out to L.A. to watch a showcase gig at the Viper Room for the four-piece Kara's Flowers. After watching Levine onstage, they were convinced. Berkman told HitQuarters he believed what the band needed was a "fifth member to play the guitar and free up the singer, so he could be the star I perceived him to be." Octone immediately insisted that the band change its name to break with its pop-rock past. Also, the label began looking for a full-time guitarist to enable Levine to focus on performing as the frontman. James Valentine (from the L.A. band Square) was recruited for the job. On his joining the band, Valentine commented: "I became friends with them and we sort of started jamming together, it was very much like I was cheating on my band, we were having sort of an affair and I eventually quit my other band to join up with them."
Even still, the only songs of their repertoire that showcased the band's new direction were "Sunday Morning" and the soon-to-be-written "She Will Be Loved"—neither of which the label approved of as a first single. The band toured for a full year before entering the studio with producer Matt Wallace. Levine's frustration with Berkman's demands for a lead single inspired him to write just that—a song called "Harder to Breathe".
Current band members
- Adam Levine – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (1994–present)
- Mickey Madden – bass guitar (1994–present)
- Jesse Carmichael – keyboards, rhythm guitar (occasional), backing vocals (1994–present; on hiatus since 2012)
- James Valentine – lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2001–present)
- Matt Flynn – drums, percussion (2006–present)
- Additional musicians
- PJ Morton – keyboards, backing vocals (2010–present; previously a touring-only member; now temporarily replacing Jesse Carmichael)
- Former members
- Ryan Dusick – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994–2006)
- Songs About Jane (2002)
- It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007)
- Hands All Over (2010)
- Overexposed (2012)
|2005||"'Maroon 5"'||Best New Artist||Won|
|"She Will Be Loved"||Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal||Nominated|
|2006||"This Love" (Live – Friday the 13th)||Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal||Won|
|2008||"Makes Me Wonder"||Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal||Won|
|It Won't Be Soon Before Long||Best Pop Vocal Album||Nominated|
|2009||"Won't Go Home Without You"||Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal||Nominated|
|"If I Never See Your Face Again" (feat. Rihanna)||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Nominated|
|2011||"Misery"||Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal||Nominated|
|2012||"Moves Like Jagger" (with Christina Aguilera)||Best Pop Duo/Group Performance||Nominated|
Makes me wonder
Won't go home without you
She will be loved
One More Night