|City||Los Angeles, California, USA|
Kara's FlowersThe members of Maroon 5 had been friends since attending junior high school in Los Angeles. Adam Levine (vocals/guitar), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards), Mickey Madden (bass) and Ryan Dusick (drums) formed Kara's Flowers which played its first gig at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go on September 16, 1995
The band signed with Reprise Records and released its first and only album the Fourth World in the middle of 1997. Despite support slots on tours by Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger, the album failed to take off commercially and in 1999, the band parted company with Reprise Records.
Maroon 5Guitarist James Valentine joined Kara's Flowers and the band called itself Maroon 5. The band played show case gigs in New York City and Los Angeles. Adam Levine credited the interregnum for influencing the bands new style in an interview with VH1. ""During the time between our record deals, I spent a lot of time in New York where I was exposed to an urban and hip-hop culture in a way that had never happened to me in L.A. It turned me on to an entirely new genre of music which has had a profound impact on my song writing." The band signed with Octone Records, a New York independent label with distribution through BMG and an artist development deal with Clive Davis' J Records.
Songs about JaneThe band recorded "Songs about Jane" at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles with producer Matt Carroll who had also produced Train (band), Blues Traveler and Third Eye Blind. After the release of the album in mid 2002, the band toured with Michelle Branch and Nikki Costa. In early-Summer 2003, they toured with Graham Colton, John Mayer and Counting Crows.
The first single "Harder to Breathe" slowly started to pick up airplay which helped spur sales of the album. By March 2004, the album had reached the top 20 of the Billboard 200 and "Harder to Breathe" had made the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. Songs about Jane had also made the top 50 Australian albums charts while Harder to Breathe had made the singles charts in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The second single "This Love" had also made the US top 10 and Australian top 20 singles charts.