Maroon 5 exploded back onto the music scene last summer with mega-hit “Moves Like Jagger.” A year later, they’re back at it again with “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa. The lead single off their new album Overexposed, “Payphone” sold over 493,000 downloads in one week and is currently the No. 2 song in the country.

The band’s lead guitarist James Valentine chatted with CBS Local about collaborating with Wiz and when he last used a payphone.

“The idea to work with Wiz was really brought to us by Benny Blanco because he had been working with Wiz,” he said. “Sometimes with those collaborations somebody comes in and it doesn’t work out so you try somebody else but Wiz came in and nailed it right away.”

Valentine admits he wasn’t in the studio when Wiz’s part was recorded, but wishes he was.

“I’m bummed because apparently it was a really good time and really interesting to watch his creative process which involved him putting on the headphones and then just closing his eyes and listening to the track over and over again. After a while he was mumbling what would become the words,” he said.

Wiz nailed the track in the first take and then everyone celebrated.

“Then they all popped champagne bottles and other things. Apparently it was a good time and I missed out. I’m bummed. So hopefully we’ll be able to do something again in the future so I can actually see it,” he added.

As far as the last time he actually used a payphone, Valentine thought long and hard before he could remember.

“In the early days of our touring in Europe we couldn’t afford to use our phones internationally because it’s ridiculously expensive, especially back then. Now it’s a little more manageable,” he said.

He confessed that the last time he talked on a payphone was back in 2004.

“I would get the calling cards and I would be calling my girlfriend from a payphone. That’s pretty romantic too, calling your girl from a payphone in Paris. I think that was the last time. It was a long time ago.”

While Valentine had trouble remembering the last time he used a payphone, he’s more certain of Maroon 5’s latest calling: teaching the world just who Mick Jagger is.

“Maybe that’s our role. Maroon 5 as educators. Because with ‘Moves Like Jagger’ we taught a whole generation who Mick Jagger was. Which, I wouldn’t have thought that that was a lesson that needed to be taught,” he said. “But it was amazing how many kids or even adults didn’t know. They were like, ‘What’s a Jagger?’ Which is crazy!”

While he’s astonished that some aren’t familiar with Jagger, Valentine admits not knowing what a payphone is might be healthy thing.

“So now we’re doing the same thing with payphones because this whole new generation they probably have never even touched a payphone. And it’s probably a good thing because payphones are disgusting.”

– Annie Reuter CBS Local


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