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James Valentine On Maroon 5’s Racy Lyrics

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(credit: Jeffrey Staab)

(credit: Jeffrey Staab)

It’s no secret that Maroon 5’s songs are filled with suggestive lyrics. In fact, their latest release Overexposed features a parental advisory on the cover for explicit content.

Guitarist James Valentine admits he’s more reserved than frontman Adam Levine and explained to CBS Local just why he doesn’t mind taking the backseat during concerts and interviews and why Adam’s the perfect man for the job.

“I come from a very conservative family so I think when we put out the first record there were definitely some raised eyebrows at some of the lyrics,” he said. “It’s pretty funny because I guess I’m a bit more reserved than Adam but over the years I’ve become a little bit more comfortable with it.”

Levine doesn’t shy away from sexually suggestive language — but where does he get the nerve?

“Adam loves just to make people uncomfortable, that’s kind of one of his things,” Valentine confessed. “That’s just a part of his personality. That’s a lead singer sort of thing. That sort of charisma or fearlessness is necessary to be out there in front of the band and to sell those songs.”

James said that the band is lucky that Adam is confident enough to take the spotlight.

“I don’t think I really have that inside of me. I’m a little more reserved and happy to be in the background,” he said. “I’m a little uncomfortable right now with all these cameras just on me. Usually I sit down next to Adam and I don’t have to say anything because he loves to talk.”

So does the rest of the band mind that Adam is often considered the face of Maroon 5?

“We always knew that Adam was going to get more attention,” James said. “In certain bands the reason they break up is because everybody is really dying for that front position in the spotlight. If you knew the rest of the members in the band, we just don’t really have that in our personalities but it kind of makes the band work.”

Valentine is currently on the road with his side project, JJAMZ, but don’t think you’ll be seeing him or any of the other band members as frontman anytime soon.

“We’re like, ‘Okay, you go. You be in front. You do this because somebody needs to do it,'” he said. “It’s a lot more work for him. We’re all good with that. We’re all very happy with our roles within the band.”

-Annie Reuter, CBS Local

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