Today, at this very moment probably, Maroon 5 are in a studio somewhere in Switzerland recording tracks for the follow-up to 2007’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long with legendary producer Mutt Lange. And while frontman Adam Levine is rather mum about what fans can expect, he did joke about the LP during a recent chat with Rolling Stone: “It’s kind of like a better version of Mozart.”
Levine says the band has been working on new tunes for months, and there’s no indication they’ll be finished with the sessions anytime soon. “We don’t have our return flights booked,” says Levine, before adding that he can’t say much about the record because “it hasn’t necessarily taken shape yet,” and that fans should not expect collaborations with other artists. But it does sound like Maroon 5, he promises. “It’s what it is,” he muses. “It’s us, just newer, better, fitter, happier, stronger. It’s going to be good.”
Before he started working with Maroon 5 on new tunes, Levine and the band hit the studio for iTunes to record a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” The song is part of a project orchestrated by iTunes, and includes a number of other artists tackling their favorite numbers from the Chairman of the Board. Levine’s cover, along with A Fine Frenzy’s version of “The Things We Did Last Summer,” the Fashion’s take on “Something Stupid,” Josh Radin’s tribute to “Fly Me To the Moon,” the Kills’ cover of “Willow Weep For Me” and the Kooks’ rendition of “Stormy Weather” appear on His Songs, Our Way, which is available for download starting today.
“I nailed it,” boasts Levine, before demurring that he was actually quite “terrified when I went in there, because, it’s intimidating, especially because you know there’s like dozens of secrets and tricks you can do to enhance things. But I wanted to go for it, and try and make it legitimate, and do it in a take, with a band performing live, and have it all be one live take.”
Maroon 5 laid down five separate takes at Capitol Records’ studios, where Sinatra himself had recorded, and “I think the third or fourth one was really magical and kind of amazing,” Levine says. “I didn’t fix anything except the very, very, last, last, last line, which I probably shouldn’t admit, but it was all one take other than that.”
Levine jumped at the chance to be part of the tribute, and describes himself as a massive Sinatra fan. “He’s really one of the best, and what makes him the best, to me, is the attitude,” Levine says. “It was kind of one of those intangible things. This quality he possessed that no one else had. He’s just truly unique. He’s not necessarily technically the best singer in the world. He was just one of these rough, no bullshit, excellent guys, and was spot-on every time he got onstage and started singing. He commanded everyone’s attention and that’s the kind of stuff I love.”