CD: Square "This Magnificent Nonsense"
Perhaps best known as the former band of Maroon 5's guitarist James Valentine, Square formed in 1999 in Lincoln, NE. Sean Beste (vocals, keyboards) and Ryland Steen (drums) completed the lineup, and the upstart trio moved to southern California in 2000 to peddle their Steely Dan-influenced jazz-rock to a wider audience. Square won a national battle of the bands competition that same year, and their newfound exposure resulted in friendships with other local bands. One such band was Kara's Flowers, who had recently been dropped from Reprise Records and were looking to revamp their sound with a new guitarist. Valentine was asked to join; although a difficult decision, he left Square in 2001 (effectively dissolving the group) and joined the band that would soon become Maroon 5. Steen went on to become the full-time drummer of Reel Big Fish, while Beste pursued work with other Orange County groups and opened an in-home recording studio.