Jonas Brothers make tour stop at DTE on Sept. 1Written by Alan Sculley | | ASculley@toledofreepress.com
Nick Jonas has a simple piece of advice to young artists like Justin Bieber who are trying to follow in the footsteps of his group, the Jonas Brothers, and make it big in the music business.
“I think the important part of everyone’s journey is finding their own path and doing things in their own time,” Nick said. “We had to take time to learn how to deal with all that we’ve dealt with in our own time and at our own pace. And, I hope that every other artist that has a similar path to ours does the same.”
The Jonas Brothers play DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Mich., on Sept. 1.
For the Jonas Brothers, they’re entering what could be the most important part of their career journey. They aren’t the cute trio of brothers that first charmed millions of preteen fans with hit songs like “SOS,” “Burnin’ Up,” “Tonight” “A Little Bit Longer,” its four albums, their Disney television show or movie (“Camp Rock”).
Heck, Kevin Jonas is even married now (to Danielle Deleasa). And Nick, earlier this year, stepped outside of the group to test the waters as a solo act, releasing the album “Who I Am,” and doing a short U.S. tour to promote the album.
Many observers expect the next Jonas Brothers studio album to be a key step in making the transition from teen pop stars into a band that can appeal to an older music audience.
So far, brothers Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas seem to be taking their own advice when it comes to mapping out a next studio album and figuring out where to go next with their music. They’re not hurrying the process.
“Hopefully, 2011 is the timeline,” Nick said when asked during a recent teleconference about a release date for the Jonas Brothers next studio album. “We’re in no rush. We’re writing a lot of music, but in no rush to release an album in the (near) time period.”
Instead, the group is focused on the here and now. That means a major tour, the recent release of the soundtrack to the movie “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” and then the debut in September of the “Camp Rock 2” movie itself, which is the sequel to the 2008 original. The group has also been shooting the next season of its Disney television series, “Jonas L.A.,” and a soundtrack album for that is also in the works.
The new tour is being billed as the “Camp Rock 2” tour, and features one of the other main stars of the movie, Demi Lovato, (who had been dating Joe Jonas until the couple broke up in May) as the opening act.
Other Disney stars — Toledo native Alyson Stoner, Matthew “Mdot” Finley, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Roshon Fegan and Jordan Francis — are also said to be part of the show, although the three Jonas brothers avoided giving too many details during the teleconference interview.
They did say, though, that “Camp Rock 2” performances will be only one facet of the show, and the group will also play songs from its three previous studio albums
“I think the thing that really speaks to us about this film and about the music is that there’s something for everyone,” Nick said. “You know, there’s R&B, there’s Hip-Hop, and then there’s kind of our more pop/rock sound, Demi’s sound. So, so many different sounds, I think that’ll really attract people to the film.”
As for the visual side of the show, Kevin said the group has stepped up that facet.
“Each year when we set up a new tour, we kind of push ourselves to come up with new ideas and new exciting things,” Kevin Jonas said. “The thing we’re trying to do on this tour is we’re really trying to incorporate video. There are so many new ways to use video in a show, if it’s through LED screens or iMac, whatever it may be, and maybe some interactive video.”
Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas have been on the big stage and presenting a flashy show for several years now, but it took awhile for the brothers, who grew up in Wyckoff, N.J., to get the ball rolling on their career.
Originally signed by Columbia Records, the Jonas Brothers’ 2006 debut album, “It’s About Time,” was in the works for nearly thee years before it was released. Then it failed to make much of a dent on the charts.
Before making the self-titled second album, the group split with Columbia and signed with Disney’s Hollywood Records. Disney, which had already launched the career of Miley Cyrus, followed suit with the Jonas Brothers. A tour opening for Cyrus helped propel the second album past 1 million copies sold and set the stage for an even more popular third album, 2008’s “A Little Bit Longer.” Another chart-topping album, “Lines, Vines And Trying Times,” followed in 2009, and it found the Jonas Brothers starting to shift toward more of an adult-oriented modern rock/pop sound.
Nick then stepped outside of the group early this year with the release of his first solo album “Who I Am,” and a brief tour fronting his band, the Administration. The outside project prompted rumors of a Jonas Brothers breakup, but there was never an issue about the side project within the group, Kevin said.
“Nick went on a musical journey with that album, and me and Joe supported him fully, and are so proud of that project. And, Nick was able to follow his dreams through that. I think those influences on his record and the things he put into that music may very well come out in new Jonas Brothers songs,” he said.
Which brings things back to the subject of the next studio album, and how the Jonas Brothers are approaching the project and the prospect of where to take their music next.
Joe Jonas said he expects the group to follow the advice he received from one of rock’s most high-profile stars.
“The bands that we’ve been able to meet and the artists kind of all have similar encouragement, but I think the one that we look up to the most is probably Bono,” Joe said. “Since he’s pretty much been doing this for a very long time and been very successful at it we listen to what he has to say. He just told me ‘continue to do what we’re doing.’ And you know, you’re seeing that it’s working. And, I think when you are just true to who you are and your music, and you’re honest with your lyrics, your age group will grow up with you, but also a new set of ears will listen also.”