Adam Levine, the singer for the band Maroon 5, has stated that “there aren’t any bands anymore,” and has called them a “dying breed,” prompting confusion from music fans.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on an episode of his Apple Music show, the singer was reminiscing about the music of the early 2000s, as he was speaking about his band’s 2002 breakthrough debut Songs About Jane. He revealed that he has been showing his daughter music and videos from that era: “It’s funny how you go back and rewatch like these old videos, and listen to these old songs, and I’ve been playing her a lot of Avril Lavigne records. Like, dude, I’m With You is like – it’s, yeah, that gives you tears,” he said.
He explained how he felt like Maroon 5, when they released their first album, did so into a music industry where “there were still other bands.” He added: “I feel like there aren’t any bands any more, you know?”
He then offered a perhaps confusing assessment of the state of things in 2021, saying: “that’s the thing that makes me kind of sad, is that there were just bands. There’s no bands any more, and I feel like they’re a dying breed.
“And so I kind of, in a weird way, as far as … I mean, there still are plenty of bands, and maybe they’re not in the limelight quite as much, or in the pop limelight, but I wish there could be more of those around.”
While bands, in general, may not have the prevalence on the charts they enjoyed in 2002, it’s hard to argue that they have left the limelight entirely. For instance, in the 2021 Grammy nominations for Best Album, three out of the eight nominees are bands. The current number one spot on the UK albums chart is held by Mogwai’s And The Love Continues, and not far below that is the latest Foo Fighters record.
Response to Levine’s comments online has reflected this disparity, or responded to his overarching statement about a general lack of bands.
Garbage tweeted “What are we Adam Levine? CATS?!?!?”
What are we Adam Levine? CATS?!?!?
— Garbage (@garbage) March 4, 2021
The band Eve 6 tweeted: “Adam Levine there are like 500k bands and they all think yer a nerd.”
adam levine there are like 500k bands and they all think yer a nerd
— hyper relevisation (@Eve6) March 4, 2021
Noise / sludge metal outfit Primitive Man tweeted: “Hey everyone he is right. If you want some classick rock & roll licks in the vein of Maroon 5, check us out.”
Hey everyone he is right. If you want some classick rock & roll licks in the vein of maroon 5, check us out.
— PRIMITIVE MAN (@PRIMITIVEMANE) March 4, 2021
The band Muna commented on his quote saying: “funny that we’re the greatest band in the fucking world.”
funny that we’re the greatest band in the fucking world https://t.co/mNSrY7nAYY
— MUNA (@whereisMUNA) March 4, 2021
His comments are reminiscent of the ever-controversial “rock is dead” debate, which has recently seen Alice Cooper rebuke Gene Simmons’ assertions that bands are not exciting anymore, and that “young fans” killed the genre. Like Levine, Cooper discussed how rock music might not be dominating the mainstream, but he thinks the genre is “where it should be right now.”
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