It’s hard to believe that Maroon 5 is only releasing their third album. The band have been on America’s radar since the pop perfection of “This Love” slowly wormed its way into our consciousness somewhere between its release in 2002, climbing the charts in 2004 and winning a Grammy in 2006. Singer Adam Levine also seems surprised that “Hands All Over,” which comes out in September, is only their third proper release. “It feels like our tenth,” he says.
You’ve never been afraid of being explicit, and there are a few suggestive phrases in “Misery,” the leadoff single. The album cover is pretty racy, too. Is there anything that makes your bandmates say, “That’s a bit much, Adam”?
I think that I’m a bit more overt in a lot of ways. But I think the band is OK with that. … They’ve reeled me in a ton, trust me. I’ve censored myself too. But sometimes it’s good to kind of have checks and balances.
Let’s talk a little bit about that album cover. That’s a new direction for you guys to go in. It’s almost psychedelic.
Our manager just Googled the phrase “Hands All Over,” just for the hell of it, and the first thing that came up was this amazing woman and her photo art. I guess she had named it “Hands All Over” just coincidentally. And we talked to her [Rosie Hardy] when we saw this photo and we said, “Oh my gosh, can we use this for our record?” And she was delighted. And it’s so cool because it’s hopefully launching her career now. She’s very, very talented. She’s 18 years old. Can you imagine having that happen to you? It must be an incredible feeling. I’ve never really spoken to her, but it’s so cool. That’s one of the good things about the Internet. It’s one of those things that kind of just brings people together, and art, too.
Did the title “Hands All Over” have anything to do with the Soundgarden song of that name? The music you make doesn’t sound like you’d be Soundgarden fans.
No, it was completely different, it was totally coincidental. That’s like back in the day, I think that’s on “Louder Than Love.” … I mean, we have really eclectic tastes. I grew up with Soundgarden and Pearl Jam and Nirvana and all those bands. ... So probably subconsciously somewhere in the back of my mind.