What a Maroon

MIKE BELL

, Last Updated: 11:28 PM ET

How do you keep things fresh for everyone else when they're less than that for you?

That's a question the members of California rock act Maroon 5 have to deal with daily as they continue to support their almost two-year-old debut album, Songs About Jane.

"It's important to keep in mind that the repetition of a daily routine, doing anything else is far worse than this ...," says Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who just returned from a promo trip to England, where the disc was finally released in January.

"I get to play music and hang out with my friends for a living -- I'm a happy dude."

He has even more reason to be pleased -- the soul pop rock album has done incredibly well for the group, thanks to the massive single Harder to Breathe and tours with high-profile acts such as Sheryl Crow.

But as the time spent on this album would indicate, the success Maroon 5 has achieved hasn't been easy and isn't being taken for granted.

"We've been touring these songs for a long time, and touring our asses off -- we played 270 shows last year," he says.

"We've been working hard and we've earned this. I'm happy to be enjoying the fruits of our labour."

But now Levine wants a little conflict in his life -- or rather conflict in the recording process, which he's hoping will happen when they head back in the studio later this year to record a follow-up.

"We welcome that because that yields the best results," says Levine, who brings his band to the Back Alley Monday.

"We were being tugged in different directions creatively by the label, we were tugging ourselves in different directions ...

"You have to be nudged and pulled and messed with to unlock the things that would otherwise remain dormant ...

"So I'm ready to be pushed, and I'm ready to be stressed out (again) ... I love that."


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