Now on a break from Disney’s power-pop trio The Jonas Brothers, 22-year-old Joe Jonas is chasing Justin Timberlake’s fanbase with Fastlife, an album of slick electro-pop club bangers. Not familiar with his work? We sat him down to learn the essentials.
The Jonas Brothers used to get verbally abused by pensioners.
‘In American malls, at 6am, elderly couples in their workout clothes pace the mall because they don’t want to walk outside. When me and my brothers first started, we’d play anywhere and everywhere – including malls. So we’d set up a stage, soundcheck early in the morning, then play in the afternoon. The mall walkers would get so mad. They were booing us, saying, “Stop that horrible music!”’
He needed to have 66 stitches between his eyebrows after running into a wall.
‘Four years ago, we were playing a concert with Miley Cyrus. We were filming this video for YouTube and I had this stupid idea: “Guys! I can run through walls!” I was supposed to run into the wall and fall down. But I smacked right into it and was gushing blood. I was taken on a helicopter to get surgery. I dig scars though.’
Every time they perform ‘All This Time’ they end up laughing.
‘It’s funny. We wrote it like, “Reach out, my heart is here, my love is here for you, you can grab it.” But now we’re singing it on tour, we’re looking at each other and laughing. The girls are like, “Mmm, okay!” I mean, it’s a good thing! I mean, uh, it’s love!’
He gets personal cookery advice from British chef Jamie Oliver.
‘My buddies always get excited when I cook fish tacos. A lot of my friends are chefs so I try to pick up things from them. I know Jamie Oliver – he gives me recipes and I show him what I’m making. We’ve never actually met in person. It’s like online dating.’
Joe’s girlfriends have included Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Camilla Belle and Ashley Greene, and his song ‘Sorry’ is an apology to an ex.
‘I haven’t said who it’s about. I don’t know if they’ve heard the song yet. I’m pretty sure they’ll know. They’ll like it. I don’t think they’d be upset. Will I be forgiven? We’ll see. I’ve been honest about the situation. When I wrote it, I was definitely heartbroken.’
He’s had the Bono talk.
‘He was just like, “Write songs that are honest and don’t hold back. Look at us, we’ve had countries mad at us before. We don’t care. As long as you’re true to yourself, you’re fine.” Hearing that made it much easier for me to write about relationships. When I write with my brothers, it’s easy to hide who I’m writing about. But for any solo artist, maybe they’re writing songs about the person they’re dating that they’re not happy with.’
He nearly died once.
‘My family was driving back from vacation and I didn’t have my seatbelt on. I’m an idiot. I must’ve been 12. I saw the wings of this 18-wheeler truck – the wings came through the window, shattered the glass and the car spun out. The guy must’ve fallen asleep at the wheel. If he’d hit us anywhere to the left or the right we could’ve been run over – but, because he hit us dead on, our suitcases got smooshed. Someone was watching out for us.’