Fans of the Jonas Brothers were shocked when the band announced they would be breaking-up. But for the brothers it was a long time coming. Joe Jonas opened up about his life as a pop star in a tell-all for Vulture magazine, and gave fans an inside peek at the familial problems fame brought and why he and his brothers decided to part ways.
Joe reveals that he and his older brother Kevin kind of fell into this life as it was Nick who, at the age of 12, was offered a recording contract. But, after the three brothers began writing songs together, the forces that be realized that together they made quite the boy band. But, it wasn't until the Jonas Brothers caught the attention of Disney that they really found fame. But, signing a contract with Disney also meant giving up a lot.
"Being a part of a company like that comes with certain expectations. Not overtly, but there was a subtle vibe," Joe said. "We were working with Disney in 2007 when the Vanessa Hudgens nude-photo scandal happened. We heard that she had to be in the Disney offices for a whole day because they were trying to figure out how to keep her on lockdown. We’d hear execs talking about it, and they would tell us that they were so proud of us for not making the same mistakes, which made us feel like we couldn’t ever mess up. We didn’t want to disappoint anyone—our parents, our fans, our employers—so we put incredible pressure on ourselves, the kind of pressure that no teenager should be under."
That doesn't mean they were always innocent and never messed up. After years of being squeaky clean, Joe decided he had to be himself, despite what Disney might want from him. He started living his life the way he wanted, but was still worried about the press getting hold of certain images and stories.
"The first time I smoked weed was with Demi [Lovato] and Miley [Cyrus]. 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," he revealed. "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."
After years of working with his brothers, both Joe and Nick decided to do solo projects. Joe talks about loving being able to perform with his brothers and that it was nice to have them there for each other when they were sick, overwhelmed or tired. But recently, underlying issues were brought to the surface and Joe, Nick and Kevin realized their relationship as brothers was simply more important.
"Things came to a head when we had a meeting where we thought we were going to talk about how to release our new music and it ended up shifting into this huge fight. That was the first time we were really honest with one another about a lot of stuff we weren’t happy with. The fight got loud. I was screaming. When Nick presented the idea of closing a chapter and moving on, I freaked out. I didn’t know whether to pick up and leave or just punch something, because I was furious. I’d spent so long working with my brothers on this band, and in my mind, it felt like we were just giving up. It didn’t make sense to me."
But after thinking it over, Joe realized it was the right decision. He wanted to work on his relationship with his family and going on one last tour didn't feel right for any of them.
So now, Joe is going back to the drawing board for his solo projects and he's giving himself the creative freedom he was never awarded before. He said he is going to embrace the weird and not worry about anyone else's opinion.