I guess we were freshmen or sophomores in high school. "We were like a shitty version of Weezer, you know, trying to be alternative radio."Still, he felt, the band was destined for success. "Or masking deep insecurity with too much security," he said. Modern celebrities are supposed to be hiding cellulite and driving Priuses, not driving flamboyant Ferraris and dating models and exposing extremely enviable, well-toned abs.And this producer was like literally walking his dog and heard us, and he came in and watched the show." The next thing they knew, they were on the actual performing at the Peach Pit and getting excused early from class so they could go into the studio with the guy who produced Green Day. It’s not like he believes in "The Secret or all that bullshit, which is total bullshit," he says, but "energetically, I always felt really positive, like good things were going to happen." All his band had to figure out was what kind of band they were going to be. Arguably, posing naked on the cover of a Russian magazine with his last Victoria’s Secret model girlfriend could fit the bill. Even though all those things, like weed and tacos, are objectively awesome.His enthusiastic coaching of aspiring singers on has made Levine a household name.
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"It’s funny to listen to their recordings from back then," says Valentine, who joined the band in 2001, around the time they changed their name to Maroon 5. It’s not "He’s very defiant in doing a lot of the things that make him happy," says Valentine. "Your opening line can be: ’You don’t have to like me, but I’d prefer it if you did.’ That’s kind of how I feel.
"Adam was trying to sing like Eddie Vedder, which is funny, because Adam is a baritone. "Like, ’I want to live the life I want to and I am not going to feel any guilt about it.’ And other people don’t really want to root for a guy like that."Just as, back in the ’90s, when Levine violated the rules of budding rock stardom by acknowledging his ambition, he has since broken the Just Like Us vow of celebrity: Never act like you are having too much fun. I’m not the easiest person to love right off the bat, you know.
We’re sitting at Blu Jam, a diner near where he lives in the nondescript Los Angeles suburbs.
We’ve been discussing his role in the new movie musical in which he plays a character kinda like Adam Levine: a talented, ambitious indie musician who, after achieving mainstream success, starts acting a little bit like a, well..know.
Later someone will post a sneaky cell-phone photo of this exact moment on Twitter, and a fan will comment: Adam Levine is one of the biggest pop stars in the country, if not the world.