Jonas Brothers Kevin and Joe decide it’s time to talk
06/10/2014 11:40 AM
06/11/2014 5:08 PM
The difficulty with interviewing Kevin Jonas, eldest brother of hit 2000s boy band The Jonas Brothers, about a speaking tour in which he and middle brother Joe will tell intimate stories about their lives is that he doesn’t want to give away the best moments of the show.
So, asked in a telephone call from his New Jersey home to, for example, recount The Jonas Brothers’ decision last October to cancel a comeback tour the day before it was to start and three weeks later to dissolve the band, Kevin says, “You'll get to hear more about that story once you see us.”
Asked what it feels like these days after having been an the top of the music world, Jonas says, “That’s a little bit what we’re going to be talking about.”
Or asked why he and Joe decided to undertake a speaking tour, Kevin says, “We have a lot of stories that no one’s ever heard – a lot of things that people would definitely, I think, like to know how we responded to the things, how we got through those moments.” But he doesn’t share any.
What he does say is that it will be “an open opportunity for people to engage with us, talk to us about where we came from, how we got to where we were, where we’re going now – and really be interactive in a way and be a part of this part of our life.
“A lot of our fans and a lot of people who have always followed the Jonas Brothers may know a lot a lot about us, but never actually got to know the nitty-gritty, the deep-down, dirty details of things that sometimes our perspective on things that you never heard.”
For those who can’t wait, Kevin does reveal some things.
He says, for example, that people shouldn’t think that the reason youngest brother Nick isn’t part of the speaking tour is because he was the one who chafed at touring without new music, which led to the band’s demise.
“There’s no other reason than he is actually in the midst of filming a TV show,” Kevin says – a new, original-content cable show in which he has the lead.
“So he is actually in production, and me and Joe are both in transition and flying and traveling. I’m building a couple things of my own, which you'll be hearing about. So is Joe. So we will be talking about those things, as well.”
Here’s what is best-known about the Jonas Brothers: The trio, then just ages 12 to 17 and living in New Jersey, were signed by the president of Sony Records, who heard a song written and sung by Nick, who by then had been on Broadway.
The group’s first album sold underwhelming numbers, and Sony released them. Disney’s Hollywood Records picked them up in 2007, and the group’s self-titled next disc went platinum, hit No. 5 on Billboard, and produced two Top 25 songs.
The Jonas Brothers’ sophomore disc, 2008’s “A Little Bit Longer,” also went platinum and topped the chart, with the Top 5 song “Burnin' Up,” and the group became a bona fide boy band phenomenon. Disney gave the group its own TV show, and it toured constantly.
It even had two Disney Channel “Camp Rock” movies and two theatrically released concert films – the second of which introduced current country phenom Taylor Swift, who was then dating Joe Jonas.
The group’s final disc, 2009’s “Lines, Vines & Trying Times,” also went platinum and hit No. 1, but failed to have a Top 30 hit and marked the decline of the Jonas Brothers’ popularity. The Disney show was canceled in 2010 and the group left Hollywood Records in 2012.
Nick and Joe Jonas both released solo albums, then Nick returned to acting, appearing on “Hawaii Five-O” and other TV shows. Kevin got married and starred in the E! Channel reality series “Married to Jonas.”
Last year’s tour was supposed to mark their return to music. Instead, the group announced on its website on Oct. 31 that, “It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that our time as the Jonas Brothers is over. … The time has come for us to move forward on individual career paths.”
“We decided to no longer make music together, so going on tour was probably not going to be the right choice,” Kevin says, laughing, in one of his few detailed responses.
“We really wanted to become brothers again and not a band. The band, it was really ripping us apart and we were becoming no longer, we found, the kind of people we wanted to be. So we decided just to take a different route.”
Asked whether the Jonases ever will play music again, Kevin says, “Um, possibly. Maybe as individuals. I know Joe wants to, and is working on new music. I’m working on other things in a different direction. But you never know. There might be music from each one of us; it’s just not the time for us right now.
“For me, the music is not a high priority. But you never know what the future can hold.”
As for the possibility of doing music as a duo with Joe, Kevin says, “That’s not something that we’re thinking of doing right now.”
While only three speaking tour dates are scheduled, Kevin says, “We'll see what happens. We really wanted to get our feet wet, doing this out of the gate. We’re doing something kind of unique and seeing if it goes well. And if we feel comfortable doing it, who knows?”
Asked why no music will be performed, Kevin says, “You never know, something might happen. But we’re really when it comes back to is that was sure a big part of our life for so long, I think we have more to say, and more to showcase.
“We don’t really have new music to share, and if we were performing, it would be back to what was happening, probably,” he says with a laugh, referring to the band breakup.
In fact, Kevin says he’s more interested in other things in life – such as being a father. He and wife, Danielle, became parents of a daughter, Alena Rose Jonas, on Feb. 2. In the phone call, he says he’s leaving the gym to go feed her.
“It’s just amazing,” he says. “It’s incredible having a daughter and being a daddy. It’s highly different but it’s a lot of fun. Right now, I get to focus on being who I want to be and doing what I’ve always loved – and also being a father.”
In fact, he says he’s so focused on family that he put E! reality TV series “Married to Jonas” on hiatus. “For the time being right now, we kind of just wanted to have the baby, kind of enjoy that time.”
“We'll consider that in the future, but for right now, I decided it wasn’t going to be the right thing for us in the moment, just so we could just be a father and a mother and have the time to get used to it, because getting used to it is hard enough without having cameras everywhere you go.”
That leads Kevin, now 26, to reveal a bit more of what the transition from teen star has been like – and maybe a bit more about the new stage show.
“The transition’s great,” he says. “We get to do amazing things. We had amazing partners, amazing contacts, amazing times. So no matter what you want to do, no matter where you want to go, the door’s always open for us.
“We make these life transitions. We have these mountains that we go over – we’re at the top and then you’re in the valley and you go back up and you go back down.
“Life is amazing and I think the thing we’ve learned to do the best is just taking every single moment and enjoying those moments because this is it. We were somewhere so, so insanely high for so long and it was an amazing time in our life. And now we get to look back and be a little nostalgic on that.”