This November, the nice people who brought you Guitar Hero are upping their game with Band Hero, a slightly more all-ages version of the plastic guitar time-waster diversion, featuring some new technology — especially enticing is “Party Play,” in which folks can jump in and out of songs without worrying about saving world tours or characters or whatever — and tracks far flung from the usual hair metal/radio rock repertoire. Along with music from Jesse McCartney, the Go-Gos, and some chick named Taylor Swift, players will be able to jam out to Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” while a dramatically lifelike Adam Levine performs on screen. (See above. Nice ink!) “It was really a surreal thing going through the whole process,” says the M5 frontman. “They put you in this amazingly dorky suit with lights all over it, which makes you kind of look like what’s-his-name in Running Man, the big fat guy that lit up like a Christmas tree?” [NOTE: No one could remember this dude’s name. Please help.] “It’s really surreal lipsynching to your music in a concrete warehouse, with video game programmers staring at you and laughing,” Levine continues. “It’ll be pretty cool to play myself. It’s the height of video game narcissism, being your own avatar.”

Although Levine admits he was originally a bit of a button-pushing naysayer, this version of the franchise appealed to him because “it’s starting to venture out into various genres,” he says. “I’m a fan of so many different types of music, and I just thought it was cool that they were extending beyond their standard rock n’ roll tunes, and going into new areas. Basically, with the record industry being in the state it’s in, it’s nice to have a new and innovative outlet for your music.”

Speaking of, the next Maroon 5 record is still on track for 2010, and it’s currently being recorded in an undisclosed location. (Sorry, ladies.) “I don’t want to spoil it too much,” the frontman says. “But they always say you have your whole life to make your first record, and five minutes to make your second, which is kind of true. I like the second record a lot, I’m very fond of it. I think there are maybe things I would do differently now, if I had a chance to go back. But I think the third one is really great because it’s kind of taking the best elements of both the first and second one, and kind of striking a balance. I always think whatever record we’re putting out is our best one. So this one’s our best one. And our fourth will be better and so on and so forth until we finally reach Wyld Stallyns status.”

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