Jonas Brothers Talk Splitting Up, Reuniting and How Their Love Lives Influenced New Music
The Jonas Brothers are back and better than ever.
The trio -- Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas -- covers Billboard's latest issue for their first major joint interview since returning to music after a six-year hiatus with insta-hits "Sucker" and "Cool." The guys -- who recently announced their upcoming album, Happiness Begins -- split in 2013, largely at the behest of Nick, who pursued a solo career.
"We all wanted to create something on our own and were just trying to force it into what was going on. We were going through the motions, without the heart of it," Joe explains. "The way we communicated to each other wasn’t healthy anymore."
Despite being one of the big driving forces behind the split, Nick was the one with the idea to get the band back together, something he vocalized during Christmas 2017.
"There’s a different magic when we’re together that I wasn’t experiencing," Nick says of performing solo. "So I started sprinkling some Jonas Brothers songs into my set, but always thought, 'This would be a lot better with the other Jonas Brothers.'"
Kevin was quick to agree, largely because of what it would mean to his two children -- Alena, 5, and Valentina, 2, -- with his wife, Danielle.
"The idea of having my girls see me onstage with my brothers and experience that side of my life," Kevin says, was irresistible.
Joe, who was focused on DNCE -- which he promises is not disbanding -- at the time, was not so sure. As a compromise, the guys decided to tell their story through a documentary, something which eventually led to their musical reunion.
"The documentary was a way for us to figure out what we wanted to say and who we wanted to be in this new chapter," Nick says, adding that their reunion "would’ve imploded" if the documentary sessions hadn’t forced them to get all their feelings out in the open.
Fans are sure to love the doc when it drops on Amazon later this year. "I watched the teaser trailer and was crying like a baby," Joe admits.
Flash forward a few months to summer 2018, when the guys decided to get all their feelings out in the open once and for all. The trio wrote questions down on a piece of paper, drew them out of a bowl and answered them honestly. The less honest you appeared, the more you had to drink.
"Kevin had a few skirt-arounds," Nick reveals of his older brother. "So he had a few longer sips than Joe and I."
The reunion was finalized in Cuba about a month later when the brothers simply played some music together. "We were playing 'Lovebug' in this beautiful apartment complex," Joe recalls. "I was so happy. I looked at the guys and was like, 'I’m ready. Let’s do this, for real.'"
As for their reunion, there are many people the brothers could thank, but none more so than Sophie Turner and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Joe's fiance and Nick's wife, respectively.
"Priyanka and Sophie love pop music and listen to Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits or Apple Music all the time. So they were a really good gauge, like, 'Does this sound good?'" Nick says of the Jonas Brothers finding their new sound.
It's not just advice that the women are helpful with either, Priyanka and Sophie both influence the music too.
"Nick describes 'Hesitate' as Joe’s love letter to Turner, while 'I Believe' is a synth-heavy slow jam that alludes to his own whirlwind romance with Chopra: 'People saying that we move too fast / But I been waiting for a reason, ain’t no turning back," Billboard writes.
Those influences and the guys' renewed brotherly love have them thoroughly enjoying their comeback.
"It feels like the second bite of the apple is potentially going to be even bigger," Nick says. "Because we’re in a healthy place, we’re enjoying the ride. And I think the music is a reflection of that."
Happiness Begins is due out June 7.
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