Catching a band between albums can be a good thing — for both hard-core and casual fans. When Maroon 5 performs Sunday at Charles Koch Arena, the pop-rock band will preview a few cuts from its forthcoming but as yet untitled album, which will drop in early 2010. The band will also render the hits.
"I think this is a situation where everybody wins," guitarist James Valentine said while calling from Fairfield, Conn. "We get to go out and try a few new songs. We'll definitely be playing this new song, 'Last Chance,' which has gone over well.
"It's just good to get out there. We took almost too much time off. If you're not out and it's approaching two years, that's too long for me. We need to get out to keep up our chops as musicians. It's only a three-week tour, but it's something we need to do. We need to stay sharp and get it together before we go back to Switzerland."
That's where the band, which also includes vocalist-guitarist Adam Levine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bassist Mickey Madden and drummer Matt Flynn, has been recording with veteran producer Mutt Lange (Def Leppard, AC/DC).
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As a result, the new songs are a bit different from the soulful rock-pop Maroon 5 has performed during its career. Those elements are still in the mix. However, the new offering is shaping up to be the most straight-forward rock disc in Maroon 5 history.
"We're excited about that," Valentine said. "That's how it goes, working with Mutt Lange. He wanted to work with us, and when you look at what he has done, we didn't say no. We just jumped right in with him, and it's a great experience. As a band, we're morphing."
But the members of Maroon 5 aren't that different from their early days in 2002, when the band was just getting started. Before connecting with the masses with such hits as "Harder to Breathe," "This Love" and "Won't Go Home Without You," the three-time Grammy Award-winning act, which has sold more than 14 million albums, was composed of nice, laid-back guys.
And, says Valentine, they still are.
"We're just a bunch of regular guys, who are pretty easy-going," he said. "We don't cause a fuss with people, and we try to give back."
Evidence of that is the food drive Maroon 5 has organized with Wichita State University for the night of the show. All canned food, nonperishable items and monetary donations given that night will be delivered to the Kansas Food Bank.
If you go
Where: Charles Koch Arena, Wichita State University
When: 7:30 p.m. Sun.
How much: Tickets are $48, $41 and $33. For more information, call 316-978-3267.