Adam Levine: Yes Douchebag or No Douchebag?

Adam Levine
Posted on 05/30/2012 at 1:34 PM

Related To: News

The Popdust Files: adam levine, douchebags, magazine interviews, maroon 5

Is he or isn’t he? That’s the question everyone wants to know about Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice coach Adam Levine, isn’t it? He generally comes off as a pretty nice and humble guy, you want to like him, but there’s always that cloud of douchebaggery hanging over him—perhaps not even his fault, but an unavoidable function of occupying the role in pop music (super good-looking frontman of none-too-rocking rock band and professional dater of supermodels) that he does. Perhaps the recent profile in Details, written by our very own Craig Marks, will include some clues? Let’s examine:

Quote: “In addition to the reality-TV gig, [Adam has] the collaborations with the Swedish hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback, the on-the-payroll yoga instructor, even the obligatory celebrity fragrance. ‘Nothing wrong with making money,’ Levine says. ‘I’m always quoting the part in Jerry Maguire when Cuba Gooding talks about the ‘kwan‘: ‘love, respect, community, and the dollars, too.’ I love that shit. Nobody has it all, but for me to even come close is amazing.”

Analysis: Nothing wrong with making money, indeed. Here, Levine shows humility and perspective when discussing his fantastic success—and gets bonus points for quoting CGJ, natch.

VERDICT: NO DOUCHEBAG

Adam Levine

Quote:” With the band jetting to Costa Rica tomorrow to headline a festival, Levine, a fearful flier, is eager to schedule a session. He starts to sing the chorus of Buddy Holly’s ‘That’ll Be the Day,’ a ritual meant to appease the gods who watch over rock stars traveling on chartered flights. (Holly was killed when his plane crashed in 1959.) ‘I hate flying,” Levine says. “Know why? Because no one really understands how planes actually work.‘”

Analysis: We don’t necessarily have an issue with Levine’s morbidly ironic choice of plane-whistling, but c’mon, Adam—there are probably some people out there who understand how planes actually work. Those things don’t get in the air on lucky guesses every time.

VERDICT: MAYBE DOUCHEBAG

Adam Levine

Quote: “‘A lot of people perceive our music as very safe,’” Levine says unapologetically, ‘but it was a reaction to the conformity I was rebelling against. When I graduated high school, I moved to the east side of Hollywood and everyone was hip and cool. Everybody wanted to be the Strokes, and I wanted to sound like Michael Jackson and write pop songs…We’re counting on the cultural-feedback loop to pull a Journey on us,’ he continues, half joking. ‘Journey wasn’t cool. Now I can’t go out one night without somebody screaming the words to that fucking song. That’s what we’re banking on. We’ll play Coachella in 15 years.’”

Analysis: Again, healthy perspective, and not unreasonable ambitions. There was indeed a period called the 1990s where Journey weren’t anywhere near the universally beloved retro stadium act they are now, and it’s possible that Maroon 5 will likewise find embracing after a similar grace period. We hope so.

VERDICT: NO DOUCHEBAG

Adam Levine

Quote: ‘I’ve never been interested in reality television,’ Levine says. ‘I accept the fact that there are Real Housewives out there, but I don’t need to watch a fucking television show about it. These people are living their lives publicly so they can become famous and rich. I despise that. But when you’re trying to become a singer, or even losing weight—anything like that I fully endorse. The Voice is built on positivity. Once we started filming, I knew that America was really going to love it.’”

Analysis: Those in glass swivel chairs shouldn’t throw stones at Real Housewives, Adam. You’ve hardly been drama-free on The Voice yourself.

VERDICT: YES DOUCHEBAG

Quote: ‘You know what yoga’s good for?’ Adam Levine asks, pausing in mid-thought as he discusses his healthful lifestyle. He draws to his feet, balances in the private jet’s narrow aisle, points at his crotch, and thrusts his pelvis like a porn star. ‘I’ll tell you what yoga is good for: Fuuuuck-ing,’ he chimes, in a singsong falsetto, then laughs.

Analysis: Nothing technically objectionable about this, and we’re not doubting the veracity of Adam’s claim. But…it’s not exactly an undouchey thing to say.

VERDICT: PROBABLY DOUCHEBAG

Adam Levine

Quote: “‘There’s two kinds of men,’ Levine posits. ‘There are men who are fucking misogynist pigs, and then there are men who just really love women, who think they’re the most amazing people in the world. And that’s me. Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much.’”

Analysis: There is never been a quote in the history of mankind in which a man claimed to “really love women” that was not a douchey quote. This is not even close to an exception.

VERDICT: YES DOUCHEBAG

Quote: “To his credit, Levine maintains that vow of silence the following week, when Vyalitsyna announces, via People magazine, that the pair have split. ‘Adam and I have decided to separate in an amicable and supportive manner,’ her statement reads. ‘We still love and respect each other as friends.’ The other tabloids scramble to catch up—US Weekly quotes ‘a Levine pal’ that the singer ‘was blindsided” and ‘heartbroken.’ The only public statement Levine offers, to Access Hollywood, is a gentlemanly reply to the actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, who volunteered on Ellen to be his rebound hookup: ‘It’s very flattering and very sweet, and it was lovely to hear.’

Analysis: Indeed, Levine deserves credit for not taking the Douchebag’s Way Out by firing public shots at Vyalistyna after their breakup, keeping their breakup as private as their relationship. We’re pretty sure he was on the horn to his manager as soon as that JLH quote broke, trying to make it happen.

VERDICT: NO DOUCHEBAG

Adam Levine

Quote: “Levine will be surrounded by producers, directors, assistants, team members, yoga instructors, friends, family, and probably a beautiful new girlfriend or three, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. ‘I love attention,’ he’d said on the plane. ‘I can’t stand not having it. It just has to be the right kind.’ He nodded over at his bandmates. ‘To do what you love, to be with the people you love? That’s all I want. That’s the ‘kwan.””

Analysis: Fine by us. Nothing wrong with admitting you want attention, especially if all your actions reflect as such, but good of Levine to acknowledge that it’s the “right kind” of attention that takes priority. This “Kwan” business is sounding pretty right on.

VERDICT: NO DOUCHEBAG

FINAL VERDICT: Photo finish, but we’re ultimately calling NO DOUCHEBAG on Adam Levine. Just think twice the next time somebody asks you about women or airplanes, Adam.

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