The Grammy-award winning Maroon 5 recently debuted on the Billboard 200 at #2 with their third album, Hands All Over, which moved 142,000 copies in its first week on the shelves.
Although the band is touring heavily in support of the album, guitarist James Valentine spent some time with Guitar Player magazine for a Q&A in their December issue.
“My role is to come up with guitar parts of all kinds,” answers Valentine when asked about how he contributes to the Maroon 5 creative dynamic . “Adam (Levine) might have an idea for how the main riff should be played or how the chords are voiced, but sometimes not, and I help figure out those kinds of things. In the studio, I also work out the ear candy and track whatever needs to be laid down. Adam’s mind moves so fast in the studio that I’ll wind up developing one idea into a full take while he bounces on to the next. Adam writes all the lyrics and melodies, so we’re always feeding him chord progressions and riffs that will spark ideas. ‘She Will Be Loved,’ from our first record, was born when Adam started hearing melodies over a Jobim-inspired bossa nova riff I was plucking. We straightened out the rhythm for the record.”
Asked about his main signal path used in the home studio, Valentine gets specific, saying that on new track, “Give A Little More,” he used a “Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster Relic through a ’65 Fender Deluxe, close miked with either a Shure SM57 dynamic or a Royer R-121 ribbon mic. We used the Deluxe for practically everything.”