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December 2nd, 2013
The Jonas Brothers announced their official break up a couple of months ago, shocking and saddening fans. Even though the trio appeared on Good Morning America to clear the air and answer questions about the break up, we still had many questions for Joe, Nick and Kevin.
In the latest issue of New York Magazine, Joe Jonas reveals all in a long, detailed article called “Joe Jonas: My Life as a Jonas Brother”. In it, he discusses everything from how the band formed to his love life and even dishes on a few of his notable exes.
In case you wanted a Coles Notes of what happened in the piece, here were the nine most shocking things we learned from reading this article.
1. The Jonas Brothers were almost called J3.
The name the band originally decided on was J3 because, as Joe says, “It felt like something a boy band would be called.” He admits that they hated the name, though, and therefore when he introduced the band onstage at their first concert he spontaneously blurted out, “Hey we’re the Jonas Brothers.” “Nice and simple,” he recalls.
2. Joe admits that the writing on their TV show, Jonas, was terrible.
“It just ended up being some weird slapstick humour that only a 10-year-old would laugh at,” Joe says, adding that the show cut out a kissing scene Nick had. In order to keep up his youthful look — he played a 16-year-old on the show, but was 20 in real life — he shaved every day. “When the show was done, I cut my hair off and grew as much of a beard as I could,” he reveals. “We went along with it at the time, because we thought Disney was our only real shot, and we were terrified that it could all be taken away from us at any moment.”
3. They went through media training, which was the absolute worst.
As many big-named artists do, the Jonas Brothers were put through media training in order to deal with the press in an orderly manner. Joe hated it, explaining that “they’d teach you how to change the subject, whenever you were asked an uncomfortable question, by saying something like, ‘Oh, that reminds me of my dog! I have a great story about my dog!’ Playing dumb is the best way of getting out of anything.” They even had a strategy of who would answer what types of questions.
4. Joe finally explains the true story behind the promise rings.
Joe and Kevin first decided to join a program called True Love Waits when Joe was 10 or 11 years old (Nick joined later). An initiative that would have you wait until marriage for sex, the promise rings became one of the biggest Jonas Brother stories and a wholesome angle many people in the press took immediately. “I remember this interview with this guy whose entire agenda was to focus on the rings,” Joe says. “He kept pushing the subject, and when we insisted that we didn’t want to talk about it, he told us, ‘I can write whatever I want,’ which terrified us. That’s the thing: We didn’t know any better, and we just wanted to make people happy. Now I know that I don’t have to answer any questions I don’t want to. Like, why do you even care about my 15-year-old brother’s sex life?”
Because of this, the band had to “sugarcoat” a lot of things in their public appearance and music. “If a lyric was slightly sexual, someone at the record company would tell us we had to change it,” he continues. “It felt like we couldn’t be creative, so we stopped listening to them and just started handing shit in.”
5. Joe lost his virginity when he was 20 years old.
“We decided to take the rings off a few years ago. I lost my virginity when I was 20. I did other stuff before then, but I was sexually active at 20. I’m glad I waited for the right person, because you look back and you go, ‘That girl was batshit crazy. I’m glad I didn’t go there.’”
6. He hooked up with a lot of girls.
“I did date a lot,” Joe admits. And though he doesn’t feel negatively towards any of his exes, he does tease fans here and there with lyrics in his songs that refer to past flings. In the article, he also brings up his past relationships with Demi Lovato (look at the next point), Ashley Greene and even a fan who he made out with during a one-time movie date.
7. He discusses his short relationship with Demi Lovato.
A girlfriend that meant a lot to fans was his one month relationship with fellow Disney star Demi Lovato. “We were both Disney kids, and because we played a couple in the Camp Rock Disney Channel specials—and fans liked seeing us together,” he says. “I really got to know her and got to see the ins and outs of what she was struggling with, like drug abuse. I felt like I needed to take care of her, but at the same time I was living a lie, because I wasn’t happy but felt like I had to stay in it for her, because she needed help. I couldn’t express any of that, of course, because I had a brand to protect.”
8. He first smoked weed with Demi and Miley.
When he was 17 or 18, he tried weed for the first time because Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus told him to. “It was all right,” he says. “I don’t even smoke weed that often anymore. I was caught drinking when I was 16 or 17, and I thought the world was going to collapse. But I was in another country, and it was legal there. My 21st birthday, I fell down a flight of stairs. I was unconscious that time, and my whole team was scared to death that somebody was going to get a picture. Now I appreciate wine or a vodka-soda at the end of the day every once in a while.”
9. His solo career wasn’t what he wanted it to be.
Joe on his shelved solo album:
One of my biggest career disappointments happened a few years ago, when I made a solo album that never saw the light of day. I recorded more than a dozen songs with a guy named Robert Schwartzman, who’s the lead singer of Rooney, and the album was kind of Hall & Oates–y. Had a Freddie Mercury vibe (he’s one of my biggest influences). I handed the songs in, and Hollywood Records was like, “This doesn’t work.” They said the songs were too weird and sounded like demos. The record company wanted me to use a team of Disney hit-makers—the people who wrote with Selena Gomez and Miley a couple of years ago. But it felt so fake to me. I called my manager and said, “I really want to slam my head into a wall right now.”
We reached out to some of the biggest producers in the business, Rob Knox and Danja, for the solo album that actually got released, called Fastlife. There was a track with Lil Wayne on which he said the word bitch, and when I heard the album was going to have a parental-advisory label because of it, half of me was thinking, Sweet! People are going to think I’m a badass. The other half thought, That’s going to alienate a lot of fans in Middle America. I’m not saying that’s the sole reason why the album ultimately didn’t do as well as my previous records had. But I think there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and I think it was rushed, and I couldn’t speak up because I was scared to. They wanted me to be this Justin Timberlake clone. Even one of the heads of Hollywood Records said, “He’s the new Justin Timberlake!”
Joe ends the piece by declaring his control over his own life, showing relief that he no longer has to be confined by the structure of Disney or his band. He says, “I don’t have to rely on anyone else’s opinion, whether good or bad, and hear them say, ‘No, no, you can’t go write with them. That’s too weird for us.’ Because weird works. Look at Lorde.” We can’t tell if that’s a compliment or not, though. He meant weird in a good way, right?Tweet