Justin Timberlake is a serious actor now –which is just as well, because 22-year-old Joe Jonas, on a break from Disney’s power-pop trio The Jonas Brothers, is stepping up with ‘Fastlife’, an album of slick electropop club bangers.
The Jonas Brothers used to get verbally abused by elderly pensioners. ‘In American malls, at 6am, elderly couples will show up in their workout clothes and pace the mall because they don’t want to walk outside or in a park. 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; some were hitting us with canes saying, “Stop that horrible music!”’
On ‘All This Time’, Joe sings: ‘I put it right in your face girl, it’s yours, all you have to do is reach out and grab it.’ Sounds like he’s being rude. ‘It’s funny, we really didn’t intentionally write it like that. 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. It’s really funny. The girls are like, “Mmm, okay!” I mean, it’s a good thing! I mean, uh, it’s love!’
He needed 66 stitches between his eyebrows after running into a wall. ‘Four years ago, we were playing a concert with Miley Cyrus. At the end, we’d come back on and play with her. Before we went back, we were filming this video for YouTube and had this stupid idea: “Guys! I can run through walls!” I was supposed to run into the wall and fall down. I know how to do stage hits –but that day, for some reason, my head wasn’t on straight. I smacked right into it and was gushing blood. I had to get taken on a helicopter to New York to get surgery. I kinda dig scars though.’
He’s got a passion for cooking. ‘My buddies always get excited when I cook fish tacos. A lot of my friends are chefs so I try and 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 him 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 about me putting it out there like that. Will I be forgiven? We’ll see. I have 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 must’ve been 12. I looked back and saw my brother Nick, who also didn’t have his seatbelt on, and out the window I saw the wings of this 18-wheeler truck. I grabbed Nick and the wings came through the window, shattered the glass all over us 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. Someone was definitely watching out for us.’