As you may remember, we profiled the Jonas Brothers in our November issue and it may have been the last ever interview the trio gave before they disbanded—totally not our fault by the way. Anyway as the Jonas three part ways as bandmates and look to strike out on their own, they need to stay at the public eye while simultaniosuly ditching their parent-approved, Disney-produced, tween-friendly image.
Joe Jonas, perhaps eager to hear label execs cry “Joe Jonas is dead, long live Joe Jonas” or just wanting to set the record straight, took the first step to an all new, all grown up, Joe Jonas. In an interview with Vulture, Joe owned up to acts that would make PTA moms across the country snap their Kidz Bop CDs in half. While it wasn’t Miley’s VMAs performance—the PR equivalent of taking Hannah Montana to the public square and having her tarred, feathered, drawn, quartered, and then fixing her head upon a pike—some of the revelations were pretty scandalous. Here are the highlights:
1. The Jonas’s were forced to leave their church because of a scandal surrounding theft. The Jonas Bros’ dad was a pastor at the church and Joe and his family was forced stop attending because “a scandal had erupted involving stolen money, and it caused a big rift in the church.”
2. The Jonas Brothers didn’t want to sing their first Top 40 hit. “Everything completely changed when Disney entered the picture,” said Joe. “We made a music video for a cover song that we initially didn’t want to do because we hadn’t written it, called ‘Year 3000,’ exclusively for Disney.” The song, a heavily bowdlerized cover of a hit by UK pop punk band Busted, was their first single to chart and launched them to stardom.
3. Disney micromanaged their careers. Because of their Disney sitcom, Jonas, Joe had to shave daily, so he could look 16 when he was 20. Not only that, but the House of Mouse sent them through hard-core media training. “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!'” Joe told Vulture. “Playing dumb is the best way of getting out of anything. We also had a strategy for who would take which kinds of questions. If it was a serious question, Nick would answer it. If it was lighthearted, Kevin would. Nick and I took questions related to our music and explaining what certain songs meant.”
4. The promise ring thing was blown way out of proportion. “We couldn’t escape it,” said Joe. “It started when I was really young—I must have been 10 or 11.” A few years later, the rings became part of their image. “People were coming up to us, saying, “Thank you so much, I’m waiting because you guys are, too!” And we just thought, No! That’s not what we’re about.” Joe finally lost his V-card at age 20.
5. When Joe had his first experience with pot, he was in good company, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. “The first time I smoked weed was with Demi and Miley. I must have been 17 or 18. They kept saying, 'Try it! Try it!' so I gave it a shot, and it was all right. 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.”