Getting harder to breathe? Don’t worry: That’s a common reaction to seeing or hearing Adam Levine, frontman for Maroon 5, the 2005 Grammy Award winners for Best New Artist. But is Levine just another oversexed playboy out to tempt gay men? Regardless, when the band’s sophomore album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, drops on May 22, he will still be loved.
By Brandon Voss
The Advocate: Were you surprised when The Advocate asked you to participate in Big Gay Following?
Adam Levine: Not really. We like everybody. The more people that like our band, it’s amazing.
Do you have a lot of gay people in your life?
Yeah, I do. It’s funny how there are actually magazines that are gay magazines and you focus on a specific type of person in your demographic. Just because I’ve never been that way, it’s funny to have that conversation. Yeah, there are important gay people, straight people, blue people, orange people.
Do guys ever hit on you?
Not outwardly. Not “Hey, you wanna make out?” It doesn’t happen to me. I don’t know why. But I never really pick up on when I’m hit on anyway — unless I’m into it, and then I just convince myself that they’re hitting on me.
So we shouldn’t expect a sequel to your first album, Songs About Jane, called Songs About Dick?
No, I’m not into dick. I wish I were. It would be so much easier. Because, you know, men have a certain camaraderie with each other that’s easygoing and kind of simple, when you think about it. Sometimes men and women clash mentally, although physically it works out.
If you were into guys, who would be your type?
Oh, there are beautiful men out there. Antonio Banderas is gorgeous. Well, maybe not so much anymore. He peaked around Desperado. I mean, every male secretly wants to have sex with Brad Pitt, but that’s a given.
It’s hard enough to lust after an unattainable celebrity without his simulating sex like you did in the racy “This Love” video. Are you trying to torture fans — particularly gay men?
Yes, the whole reason I started playing music was specifically to torture gay men. No, I’ve always been a very sexually open person. America has a problem with sexuality, and it all seems too preposterous to me — even debating over it. I’m most definitely straight, but I grew up with amazing parents who taught me what’s really important: character. It makes no difference to me what someone’s sexual orientation is. If they’re a dickhead, they’re a dickhead.
How did you feel when they made the video PG-rated by covering you up with computer-generated flowers?
That was ridiculous. That was Janet [Jackson] and Justin’s [Timberlake] fault. That whole thing happened — I don’t know even know what it was. I just know her tit was hanging out. All of a sudden we were in the ’50s again. I’m all about public displays of nudity, but if you’re going to do it, don’t do it that way. It just seemed kind of odd. I wish they had gone further with it and done the song naked.
Have you always been an exhibitionist?
Yeah. Part of that has to be with being comfortable with myself and comfortable with my sexuality in general. I like to do things like that. For no reason? No. But artistically there’s a tie-in to what I do because the lyrics that I write are pretty sexual.
You also steamed up your “She Will Be Loved” video with Kelly Preston. What did her husband, John Travolta, think?
I met him, and he said to me, “If I was ever going to let anyone make out with my wife, it would be you.” I thought he was going to kick my ass, but he was totally cool.
If anyone has a sex tape just waiting to surface, it’s totally you, isn’t it?
No. Everyone thinks that! You don’t make a sex tape if you’re a celebrity. The only reason why you would make a sex tape is if you secretly wanted it to get out. Listen, if I wanted to have a sex tape out there, I’d have 10. But it’s just in poor taste to divulge the gory details of your sex life in public. It’s just really not attractive to me. It’s not that I’m a square or anything. There are just some things you need to keep sacred and private.
Your old band, Kara’s Flowers, performed once on Beverly Hills, 90210.
We were 17, yeah, and I had been obsessed with that show. Any young boy knew that in order to start talking to girls, you needed to be into 90210. So we went on the show, and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen thought we were all on blow. We were just excited! She said, “You guys are partying, right?” We’re like, “We’re 17, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. What are you talking about?” Tori Spelling hung out with us backstage and gave us the lowdown. Brian Austin Green kept telling us about his music. Ian Ziering was kind of a dick. Maybe he was having a bad day.
Now Ziering’s on Dancing with the Stars.
Hey, good for him, man. That’s awesome. I could never do that. I don’t understand how men are capable of learning how to dance. I feel so silly when I try. Dancing is an attempt to really express yourself, but when the music moves you, you have no choice — you just move.
You’ve been friends with Jake Gyllenhaal since childhood. Why do we never see you hanging out with him, Lance, and Matthew McConaughey?
I don’t know. I’m not a cyclist.
The Advocate, May 2007.