Before grabbing the American Idol spotlight this season by playing their No. 1 single “Makes Me Wonder”—and letting pal Blake Lewis rock their first hit, “This Love,” for his fans—Maroon 5 spoke to PEOPLE’s Jessica Herndon about girls, gambling and ghosts.
• In Good Spirits: The guys rented a studio in Harry Houdini’s allegedly haunted L.A. home to record their new album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. Valentine says he saw a ghost on the stairs but didn’t freak out. “It must have been benevolent—I never felt any bad vibes,” he says.
• Hollywood Square? Once linked to Lindsay, Jessica and Paris, frontman Levine is now dating civilian Rebecca Ginos. “The best thing is it’s not one of those relationships,” he says. “The sad truth is that person in the tabloids is way cooler than I actually am.”
• Let’s Go Crazy: The band is still blown away by a 2006 house call—Prince stopped by Levine’s L.A. home to jam with the guys. Says Madden: “Seeing him in this small space in the living room did my head in. It was jaw-dropping.”
• Debt to Society: Fresh from hitting Vegas’s high-stakes blackjack tables, Levine says, “I play big, which sometimes pays off big.” Or not. “Whenever I lose [a lot of] money,” he says, “I think I should’ve just gotten a briefcase full of cash and given it away on Hollywood Boulevard.”