james valentine

Photo by Galen Higgins

Maroon 5’s James Valentine interviews the modern rhythm guitar master and PG podcast host about his creative chase and trademark sound, and how they fuel his inventive new album, The Lucky One.

Was it on Facebook? Instagram? Wherever it was, it came at me from a dozen of my friends—both musicians and non-musicians. It was “Dean Town” by Vulfpeck, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was as if the deliberately grainy footage had been created in a lab to directly appeal to my particular musical interests. I wanted to know all about Cory Wong, that fresh-faced guitarist with the blue Strat in the leather jacket. He effortlessly jumped from the fusion-inspired lines of Weather Report’s “Teen Town” straight into Jimmy Nolen-style chord stabs. This was an introduction to a new Marvel-style musical universe, as each member of the band branched off into stylistically diverse and inspiring directions. Not to mention just how much music, entertainment, and unbridled joy was coming from Cory himself.

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