Maroon 5’s Adam Levine on the front line of fame

Lead singer Adam Levine says he is surprised at Maroon 5's consistent success, with their last album V topping the charts upon its release in August last year.

Adam Levine, the lead singer of pop-rock band Maroon 5, performs at a concert in California in 2013. Danny Moloshok / Reuters
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Another summer means another Maroon 5 hit.

Just when you thought the insufferably catchy hooks of Sugar had receded from your mind space, the Los Angeles group are invading the airwaves once again with their latest single This Summer's Gonna Hurt.

Well, that’s the abbreviated name as the full title is too scandalous to print.

“We are sorry about that,” jokes frontman Adam Levine from the final days of Morocco’s Mawazine festival at the weekend.

“Despite some of the bad words, I think it is just a great, fun summer song. The way the song feels is that the bigger the audience we play it to, the better it sounds. We love it and I hope people love it, too.”

Judging by the more than 50,000 people who showed up to their sold-out gig later that evening, the song is set to be a new live favourite – no matter what the weather.

The accompanying video clip also got people talking (and watching, with over three million views since its premiere on June 1) courtesy of Levine, once again, liberally baring his flesh.

The 36-year-old doesn't mind the attention, though. It is certainly better than the talk surrounding the wedding crashing video to Sugar.

Since its premiere in January, the band faced accusations that it was staged.

Levine confirms it was a bit of both. “I do want to clear up something about the video,” he says. “Half of the weddings we crashed and the other half were set up, we did that to cover our bases and to make sure we had all the footage. I would say 65 per cent of the video was real. It was crazy and a lot of fun.”

Formed in 2002 from the ashes of their previous group, the Britpop-sounding Kara's Flowers (featuring four of the band's six members, including Levine), Maroon 5 have been a mainstay in the charts courtesy of singles such as This Love, One More Night and Moves Like Jagger, showcasing a hotchpotch of influences ranging from disco and funk to rock.

Levine says he is surprised at the band's consistent success, with last album, V, topping the charts upon its release in August last year.

“It has been more peaks than valleys,” he says. “I mean, I was very cocky and I was too ­confident when I was young that we would be successful, but where we are now is so far beyond what I thought would happen that I am very humbled by that. I am still constantly in shock. I am 36 years old and our first album came out when I was 22; to have that much success over this long in this business is astounding.”

A major contributing factor to Maroon 5's durability is Levine's present role as coach in the American version of The Voice, a stint that so far had him mentor the winning contestant in its 2011 debut season and 2013's season five.

Back in the coaching chair for season nine – reportedly to debut later this year – Levine says the programme is as revelatory to the judges as it is to the contestants.

“That’s another thing where I was so surprised by its success,” he says.

“The show is real fun and ­inspiring and it changes our lives, too. It doesn’t make all our dreams come true necessarily because we have achieved certain success already, but I did learn a lot about myself from the experience.”

Despite the continued success, Levine says he still has a few regrets. Ever the achiever, he laments the one part of his life where he lacked the effort.

“I should have had better grades at school,” he admits. “If there is one thing I can change, it would be getting a good education because I never paid attention in school. I didn’t study and I didn’t do my homework and I barely graduated and that was a mistake. But I mean, I know that I did OK, but I got lucky, too.”

UAE fans may also require some good fortune in order for Maroon 5 to return after a four-year absence: Levine says they are booked up with gigs until October.

“We don’t have plans to come back at this point, but I am sure we will because we had a lot of fun when we were over there.”

sasaeed@thenational.ae

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