Maroon 5 w/Neon Trees & Owl CityPop/Rock
Los Angeles CA | Pop
Adam Levine acknowledges that the title of the new Maroon 5 album is something of an inside joke—a wink at the Los Angeles-based band’s seeming omnipresence, particularly in the wake of the frontman’s joining the cast of NBC’s The Voice and of “Moves Like Jagger,” the 2011 smash that topped charts in 18 countries across the globe and became one of the most paid downloaded songs in history.
“It’s like, ’We get it—we’re overexposed,’” Levine says with a laugh. “We’re just trying to preemptively go where the conversation is headed anyway. We figured we’d get there first.”
Check this out, though: If Overexposed gets at the truth of Maroon 5’s sky-high visibility—perhaps you’re reading these words in preparation for spreading the word a little further yourself—the title carries another meaning, as well, one that runs a few inches below the surface of things. After a decade of activity in which the 3 time Grammy-winning quintet has gone from playing tiny L.A. clubs to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, this album captures Maroon 5’s decision to open itself up to risk.
“I feel like we’ve been standing on the edge of a cliff for a long time,” Levine says. “We’re a band that’s always been close to being full-on pop, but that’s rooted in a lot of other things: rock, soul, funk, the list goes on. Overexposed is the first time we’ve ever completely embraced the idea of making pop music—of making songs for the radio. We just said, ’Let’s not be afraid to do what we basically are.’”
The decision was more than a matter of mindset. “Moves Like Jagger” marked the band’s entrance into the waters of co-writing; until then Levine and his bandmates—guitarist James Valentine, bassist Mickey Madden, drummer Matt Flynn and keyboardist PJ Morton (currently filling in for Jesse Carmichael, who’s on hiatus)—had prided themselves on the fact that they handled all of the oufit’s music in-house. “But ’Jagger’ was an amazing experience,” says Valentine, “so we figured we’d try it again.”
The result, Maroon 5’s fourth studio set, contains collaborations with longtime hitmaker Max Martin served as the album’s executive producer, with additional tracks produced by Benny Blanco (Katy Perry, Gym Class Heroes) and Ryan Tedder (Beyoncé, OneRepublic).
“We gravitated toward certain people for various reasons,” Levine says, pointing to Maroon 5’s 2010 tour with OneRepublic as an example. “But when you get down to it, there’s a reason that the best writers in the world are as successful as they are. And there’s a lot of people on this record who had never been in a room together until we put them there. We were into making these strange concoctions that don’t exist in the rules.”
Indeed, cuts like the electro-reggae “One More Night” and lead single “Payphone,” with a guest verse by rapper Wiz Khalifa, demonstrate how difficult it is to categorize Maroon 5’s; the same goes for the funked-up ballad “Beautiful Goodbye” and “Doin’ Dirt,” a propulsive disco-rock jam with harmonies that Valentine says reveal the influence of Hall & Oates.
“I love how ’Payphone’ seems like a such sweet song until the chorus comes in,” Levine says, referring to the part of that tune where he declares, “All those fairy tales are full of shit / One more fucking love song, I’ll be sick.” “It’s totally subverting the song in this way that makes you lean in and listen,” he adds.
“I think I might be most stoked on ’Fortune Teller,’ which started on my laptop while we were in the lounge at Conway Studios in L.A.,” says Valentine. “We’re literally feet away from millions of dollars of the world’s finest recording equipment, and I’m in there working on this 10-dollar Korg mini-keyboard.” He laughs. “And yet we came up with this track that we just loved.”
As Valentine’s comment suggests, Maroon 5 worked surprisingly quickly on Overexposed, which despite the A-list hook-ups arrives just 21 months after Hands All Over, the band’s 2010 collaboration with producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. “We’ve taken a really long time to make our albums in the past,” Levine admits. “But I’m done overanalyzing and making things more complicated than they need to be. If a song is great, it’s great. Be done with it.”
“There’s a new focus that’s set into us both personally and as a band,” Valentine adds. “We had such amazing experiences the first 10 years of this group, and I think we spent a lot of time enjoying it, which was great. But now it’s like, ’Well, what do we do? We make records.’” The guitarist laughs. “Put it this way: In 2007 after the show we were definitely finding out where the party was. Now it’s more like, ’Hey, let’s go finish that song.’ That’s what’s more exciting to us.”
Levine says that of all the band’s albums, Overexposed feels “both most and least like Maroon 5. There’s lots of traces of the past, but it also hints at a new idea,” the singer explains. “More than anything I think this record says that it’s always cool to try—that you should always be willing to take a step beyond whatever feels comfortable.”
Like their name, Neon Trees are a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock, both melodic and hard-hitting, their anthems of adolescent angst, longing, love lost and found, delivered with the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve passion that only comes from hard work and commitment.
Formed initially by neighbors Tyler Glenn (vocals, keyboards) and Chris Allen (guitar, vocals), who both grew up in Murrieta, California, the band made its first home in Provo, eventually adding Branden Campbell (bass guitar, vocals) and Elaine Bradley (drums, percussion, vocals) to the lineup. David Charles also plays with the band as touring guitarist.
They first started playing under the name Neon Trees in late 2005 with five original members, Tyler Glenn and Chris Allen from California, and three veterans of the Utah music scene, bass player Mike Liechty, drummer Jason Gibbons and keyboardist Nathan Evans. The band's name originates from the lighted trees on the In-N-Out Burger signs, which inspired Tyler Glenn. In a strange twist of fate, it was later learned that Branden Campbell's father, Steve Campbell, installed the exact Neon Trees in the In-N-Out that inspired Glenn while working for a sign company out of Las Vegas. The band is well known throughout Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah, where it was formed. All four members of Neon Trees are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
They released an EP called Becoming Different People in 2006 during the time of their first tour through California. The EP featured promising songs like "Snap the Flash," "Sister Stereo," "Modern Romantics". They also recorded other unreleased tracks during the "Treehouse Sessions" in 2006.
The band's lineup soon narrowed down to four members with Branden Campbell and Elaine Bradley joining the group on bass and drums, respectively. Shortly thereafter, The Killers' drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr., went to watch the band play at a small club in Las Vegas as he had been in a Ska band called "Attaboy Skip" with Neon Trees bassist Branden Campbell prior to joining The Killers. Ronnie was impressed, and as a result they were chosen to open for The Killers for a string of dates on their 2008 North American tour. Vannucci later helped the band sign to major label Mercury Records, which was announced in late 2008. Additionally, the group was voted Band of the Year in 2009 by City Weekly, a popular Salt Lake City publication.
Although they had several prior independent releases, the band released its debut album at Mercury/Def Jam, Habits, on March 16, 2010. "Animal" was chosen as the lead single and was shortly thereafter featured as the Free Single of the Week on iTunes in March 2010. They performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 23, 2010, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on May 14, 2010, Lopez Tonight on October 18, 2010, Live! with Regis & Kelly on November 4, 2010, and TBS' Conan on November 24, 2010. They performed a second single 1983 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on January 13, 2011 and another stint on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Jan 18, 2011. They performed third single "Your Surrender" on Late Show with David Letterman on May 5, 2011 and a third appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Jun 10, 2011. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 selected Animal as his Spin Magazine Pick of the Week.The song has also been featured on a commercial for Las Vegas and remixed by popular American DJ, Kaskade. The group has also released a digital EP of four remixes of the song, one of which by Tyler Glenn.
In 2010 the band covered Justin Bieber's song "Baby" as well as Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" Throughout the Spring of 2010 the band, along with Mutemath and Street Drum Corps, opened for the Thirty Seconds to Mars tour Into The Wild. Subsequently, they headlined the Summer 2010 Bang The Gong Tour with Paper Tongues, MeTalkPretty, and Civil Twilight, performed a set to 7,000 at Lollapalooza, and are heading back out on tour with Thirty Seconds to Mars in the Fall.
In November 2010, the band released a Christmas single called "Wish List." It was available for free on iTunes the first week it was released. In November 2010, Tyler and Elaine appeared as Neon Trees on Daryl Hall's monthly Internet concert series Live From Daryl's House. They performed four songs from "Habits," including "Animal" and "1983," as well as the Fleetwood Mac hit "Dreams" and Hall & Oates songs "Head Above Water" and "Adult Education."
Neon Trees released a live album "iTunes Live From SoHo" in November 2010 featuring eight live tracks: Calling My Name, Animal, Your Surrender, Never Tear Us Apart, In The Next Room, 1983, Love And Affection, and Sins Of My Youth.
They opened a show for Panic! At The Disco in Central Park in September 2011. From March 31, 2011 to April 23, 2011, they are also expected to open for My Chemical Romance during the North American leg of their World Contamination Tour. In September and October 2011, they opened for Duran Duran on the North American leg of the All You Need Is Now tour.
The band's song "Animal" was also performed by the cast of Glee in season two, episode fifteen, entitled "Sexy".
On December 7, 2011, an article published by Rolling Stone's website streamed the band's new song "Everybody Talks". On February 10, 2012, a video was posted on their official YouTube page, titled Neon Trees - Picture Show Teaser One / The New Album April 17, advertising their new album is to be released on April 17, 2012.
In March 2012, Neon Trees and their single "Everybody Talks" were featured in a commercial for the 2012 Buick Verano.
The single was covered in episode 5 of season 4 of Glee.
Neon Trees' second studio album "Picture Show" was released on April 17, 2012. On June 28, 2012, Neon Trees was the opening act for the Flaming Lips concert poolside at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi as a part of their Guinness World Record for the most concerts in different cities (8) in a 24-hour period. On August 29, 2012, Neon Trees performed "Everybody Talks" on the America's Got Talent live results show.
In early fall 2012, the band toured with The Offspring and Dead Sara. In 2013 they joined Maroon 5 in their world tour alongside Owl City. In November/December 2013 they were a support act for Taylor Swift's three concerts in New Zealand and four concerts in Australia.
The band was featured on NBC's coverage of the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They performed an abbreviated version of their hit single "Everybody Talks". The second single from the album is the track "Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night)" with the collaboration of American record producer and D.J. Kaskade.
On January 10th Neon Trees third studio album was announced. The album called "Pop Psychology" is set to be released on April 22, 2014.
The first single of Pop Psychology is titled "Sleeping With a Friend," available in digital download format. The band performed the single on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on January 22, 2014.
"Sleeping With a Friend" will be solicited to U.S. Contemporary hit radio by both Mercury and Island Records on February 25, 2014.
Owatonna MN | Electronic
Owl City is an American electropop musical project by Adam Young. Young started out making music in 2007 in his basement in his hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota, United States, later developing a following through his MySpace profile before being signed to Universal Republic. Young has released four albums under the Owl City moniker: “Maybe I’m Dreaming” (2008), “Ocean Eyes” (2009), “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (2011) and “The Midsummer Station” (2012). Young’s 2009 single “Fireflies” reached #1 in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and The Netherlands.