Friday, August 17, 2007

Maroon 5 Performs in Canadian Idol

A week after Greg Neufeld was eliminated at Top 7, his favourite bands will take to the Canadian Idol stage: the platinum selling Maroon 5. Talk about unfortunate timing.

The look on Neufeld's face when next week's act was announced on Tuesday's show clearly indicated his disappointment, and who could blame him. One of the most popular pop/rock acts in the world right now, Maroon 5 are known for soulful vocals, catchy hooks and a string of danceable hits.

Based in Los Angeles, Maroon 5 is made up of Adam Levine (lead vocals, guitar), James Valentine (guitar, backing vocals), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards, backing vocals), Mickey Madden (bass guitar) and Matt Flynn (drums).

Their debut album "Songs About Jane" features hits "This Love," "Harder to Breathe," "She Will be Loved" and "Sunday Morning." It hit quadruple platinum status and earned the band two Grammy awards.

Now, after a four year interim period, they are promoting their second album "It Won't Be Soon Before Long." Their first single from the new CD, "Makes Me Wonder," is currently number one in Canada on Nielsen SoundScan's Hits Chart.

"We love Canada and our Canadian fans and are really looking forward to performing on Canadian Idol," said a statement issued by the band on July 12, the day CTV first announced Canadian Idol's guest lineup for the season.

The band will perform on Tuesday's results episode and will also be featured in Monday's performance show where they will comment on the songs the Top 6 has chosen.

If song selection on the show so far is any indication, they'll be facing a sympathetic demographic. Two Maroon 5 songs have already been featured on Canadian Idol performance nights: "Sunday Morning" was sung by Andrew Austin on Top 18 week and Neufeld's took on "This Love" on Top 22 week.

Maroon 5 Performs in Canadian Idol Wake Up Call

Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine has no illusions about singers who use a show like Canadian Idol to find their way into the popular consciousness.

During his visit to the show for pop/rock week, the platinum-selling singer spent some time musing with host and friend Ben Mulroney about what he would have done if Idol had seemed like his only way into the music business.

"I might have (tried out) if things didn't work out this way," said Levine, who formed the precursor to Maroon 5, Kara's Flowers, with three of the band's current members while still in junior high. "I don't know if I would have been able to. I'd probably try. I do wear tight pants on stage."

In his interview with CTV's "eTalk" during the Top 6 results show, Levine expressed an viewpoint that is becoming increasingly common among members of the music business: a respect for artists who use Idol to find success.

"To be totally honest with you, Idol is great," said Levine, whose band was the first to perform on both Canadian Idol and American Idol during the same year. "I see no problem with it. It's a good thing to have: a talent competition for singers."

Levine and his band, which also includes James Valentine (guitar), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards), Mickey Madden (bass) and Matt Flynn (drums), played two songs on the show for pop/rock week -- "Wake-Up Call" and "Makes Me Wonder," hits from their recent album "It Won't Be Soon Before Long."

As a preview to next week's theme, "My Own Idol," Mulroney asked Levine to define his own personal heroes.

"Musically, Stevie Wonder," Levine replied. "He is the all-encompassing idol. Musically (he's) one of my favourites in the world. As a human being he's one of the best people to walk the earth. He's just an incredible person and I really worship him for that."

Levine was also quick to tip his hat to his non-musical heroes: educators around the world.

"I think teachers are the most amazing people because they get paid no money to do an incredible service," he said, though sheepishly adding he didn't "want to give one of those generic answers that everyone else gives because... when you talk about heroes and they're not musical you start to sound like a Miss America speech."

These days, Levine and his band have been establishing themselves as heroes in their own right. They recently announced a plan to make their upcoming concert tour carbon neutral. One dollar from each ticket will be donated to Global Cool, an organization that promotes energy conservation.

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