James Valentine Talks About Success, The Voice & More

James says 'Overexposed' was the polite title for Maroon 5's new album

Yes, Maroon 5’s James Valentine acknowledges, the title of the band’s fourth album — “Overexposed” — was intended as a jab at frontman Adam Levine, star judge on “The Voice.”

The success comes for an album that’s markedly different from its predecessors. After the chart-topping domination of the 2011 single “Moves Like Jagger,” which teamed the once self-contained Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera and producers Shellback and Benny Blanco, the group opened its ranks for “Overexposed,” working with an array of other producers and co-writers — which Valentine says was rewarding once the band members wrapped their heads around the idea.

“As a band, of course, we were always reluctant to work with outside writers and we always prided ourselves on doing it as just the band,” says Valentine 34, who co-founded Maroon 5 in 2001 from the ashes of the previous band Kara’s Flowers, with the 2002 debut “Songs About Jane” going four-times platinum. “That served us well on our first three records, I think, but at this point, 10 years in, I think we had to switch it up, and we needed some new inspiration.”

Valentine says the transition was rough at first. “As band members, I think we were a bit territorial, thinking, like, what does this mean for our roles or are we simply fulfilling the prophecy that everyone said from the moment we got on the scene that, oh, Adam’s gonna go solo? Is this just a version of that?” he explains.


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