The Jonas Brothers are back and arguably bigger than they’ve ever been, landing their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as on the Pop Songs chart — which they’ve now dominated for two weeks.
Though the success of their comeback gets broken down in Billboard’s latest cover story, there were several takeaways from the interview that didn’t make the final cut. Ahead of the Jonas Brothers’ first-ever Billboard Music Awards performance Wednesday (May 1), check out the many revelations Billboard had during our interview with the sibling trio:
Nick thinks their documentary will be meaningful for fans beyond just telling the brothers’ story.
The guys hadn’t watched the final cut of the documentary prior to our interview, but they’d seen enough to know that it would be impactful for anyone who watches. “People are going to most likely watch the movie and immediately call their family or friends that they feel like they haven’t been on the best terms with and mend those relationships, which is the ultimate goal,” Nick says. “For us, it’s not a story about our journey and our career, it’s about our family and who we are, and that it’s possible to go through something with somebody — family, friends, whatever — and come out on the other side stronger than before.”
Their happy album title is intentional.
“Being able to get up and do these shows, there’s a joy and a happiness that I feel — that I think we all feel — that we want to share with the world,” Nick says of the album title, Happiness Begins. “We said early on we’re trying to bottle up happiness, it’s our objective with the music we’re going to make and the story we’re going to tell, because the world needs that and we want to bring that to them.”
Joe feels similarly: “I like to hear what people are releasing every week, and I’m constantly skipping through songs that are sad. It’s everywhere you look right now — it’s on TV, Instagram. Obviously there’s things that need to be discussed that we’re passionate about and that we want to talk about, but at the same time we also just want to make people feel good and create a safe environment.”
They already have enough material for two albums.
With Happiness Begins arriving on June 7, fans have plenty to look forward to. But there’s apparently plenty more where that came from, as Nick casually hints that their reunion talks produced a lot of music: “There were conversations where I was saying, ‘It could be whatever you want it to be — just shows with the old music. Maybe we do a song.’ Eventually it warmed up to, we’re making an album, we’re making two albums.”
Diplo may have a hand in a song or two.
When Ryan Tedder was initially asked to write with Nick and Joe, he accidentally double-booked one day with Diplo in Malibu. Instead of rescheduling with one, he decided to make it a collaborative writing session. “We knocked out three songs that day, one of which turned into something that is presently coming that I’m not allowed to talk about just yet,” Ryan says.
Performing “When You Look Me in the Eyes” feels different this go-around.
At the Jonas Brothers’ Minneapolis show, Joe had a revelatory experience with the group’s power ballad, “When You Look Me in the Eyes.” “It forever was our serious song,” he says. “We spent countless hours working on harmonies, and now — Nick has this adlib at the top of the chorus that’s almost like a lyric for fans, and he just laughed. I’ve never seen him laugh at that song before, that was always like ‘This is our boy band moment.’ Now, it’s just a fun time.”
Danielle Jonas was part of the reason Kevin was so inspired to reunite with his brothers.
“After Nick floated the idea at Christmas, [Danielle] came to me and she was like, ‘Do you want to do this again?’ Kevin recalls. “I said, ‘If the opportunity lends, I would love to.’ She goes, ‘I hope you know you have my full support. I’m here with you, I know it’s going to be different with the kids, but we’ll figure it out.’”
Their family dynamic expands beyond their relationships with each other.
When the guys arrived in Minneapolis, they had just been with their band and crew less than 24 hours prior, as they took over popular Penn State bar Champs the night before. Even so, the guys hugged each member as if they hadn’t seen them in weeks. Plus, their management team features former bandmates Greg Garbowsky and John Taylor, and even those who no longer work with the brothers are still around: Former keyboardist Ryan Liestman and John Fields — who produced the Jonas Brothers’ last three albums — were at the after-show hang.
Kevin admitted he was rusty when he first got in the studio.
As the only member to not continue with music after the Jonas Brothers’ split in 2013, Kevin wasn’t immediately comfortable with the studio process. “It was weird, I’ll be honest,” he says. “They had been working in the studio for so long by themselves, and then coming in and doing it again, I kind of sat back and watched. Nick pulled me aside and was like, ‘There is no pressure, that’s the beauty of it.’ It was almost a reminder that we were working together in it too, and that was the moment for me [when I realized] this was just about figuring it out. If we don’t get this right, there’s too much pressure, it is what it is.”
Their first single was almost a song called “Rollercoaster.”
Tedder explained that when he first started working with the brothers, they told him about a song called “Rollercoaster” that defined what they wanted their next album to be lyrically and thematically. Little did they know, Tedder was a co-writer on the song. “I think that gave me a bit of a leg up in terms of taking on the whole project,” the producer says. “It was a complete serendipitous series of events.”
But while “Rollercoaster” was a special song to the JoBros, Joe says it might have been a little too real to release first. “The song is kind of the nostalgic play of things, like, ‘Take me back to when we were younger,'” he explains. “It’s definitely an important song for the album — or whatever album it makes. I can’t wait to sing it, it’s a belter.”
Haim was in on the Jonas Brothers reunion secret.
Joe says that there were thousands of people that knew they were reuniting before the brothers officially announced their return on Feb. 28, and it meant a lot to them that no one leaked the secret. Three of those thousands happened to be the members of Haim, who are seemingly Jonas stans. “I bumped into Haim at a party in Paris for a fashion show and they were like, ‘Is it true? You guys doing it again?’ and I was like [shrugs], and they were like ‘C’mon!,'” Joe recalls. “After a few drinks, I told them, and they were cool enough to keep it quiet. It makes us feel really good that people stuck on our side with this one.”
Their partners are just as into this comeback as any fan.
According to Kevin, Joe and Nick, none of their significant others were Jonas Brothers die-hards before meeting their beaus. But now that the self-proclaimed “J Sisters” are a part of this reunion, they’re almost more into it than the guys themselves. “They’re just as invested,” Kevin says. Joe’s fiancée, Sophie Turner, doesn’t know any of the original JoBros material, but “reminds me every day that ‘Year 3000’ was a Busted song first,” he laughs. As for Nick, any song he writes is special to his wife. “Priyanka told me, ‘You’re not always the best at expressing your feelings or emotions, but your songs are your love letters to me,'” he says. “I was like, ‘I’ll take that.'”
When I asked if the guys envisioned the Jonas Brothers still happening when they were all married men, Joe says they definitely saw it happening — and now, it’s better than they could’ve imagined. “We enjoy it more,” Joe says. “We get to celebrate this with three other people that love it just as much as we do.”