The Jonas Brothers are back. But we didn't have to tell you that. If you pay any attention whatsoever to pop culture, the trio's return from a six-year hiatus has been inescapable. The brothers' comeback album, Happiness Begins, debuted in the number-one chart position in both the U.S. and Canada and spawned a number-one hit in the form of the stupidly infectious "Sucker". All of which goes to show that there's something to be said for the idea that being older and wiser doesn't mean you can't still crank out world-beating pop tunes. The Jonas Brothers play Rogers Arena tonight (October 11), and because their fans have also grown up, the bros' appearance on the stage probably won't be greeted by hysterical screaming. (But bring earplugs anyway. Just in case.)
SEXLESS IN EVERY CITY One of the biggest perks of being mega-famous in the music business is that you don’t need Tinder to get your rocks off. Because you’re in a band, folks will willingly sleep with you for no other reason that it’ll make a great Twitter post, and an even greater story one day for the grandkids. For proof of this, consult Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt, Anthony Keidis’s Scar Tissue, and the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods. Somewhat stupidly, the Jonas Brothers blew it right out of the gate. Perhaps unaware that they’d one day be the biggest band of heir generation, Kevin, Joe, and Nick made a big deal out of donning purity rings back when they were starting to sprout facial hair. “My ring represents a promise to myself and to God that I’ll stay pure until marriage,” Kevin told the Huffington Post in 2008 when he was 21. Eventually, the Jonas boys evidently realized they were missing out on the reason 99 percent of the population forms bands in the first place. Kevin reportedly ditched the ring right around the time the band broke up, no doubt to the relief of Joe, who told James Corden in a recent Carpool Karaoke clip: “When you’re about 15, 16, and start dating, and you go, ‘Wait a minute. What did I say I was gonna do?’”
ASSEMBLY OF INTOLERANTS. The purity rings—also sported back in the day by the likes of Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus—didn’t arrive out of nowhere. The patriarch of the Jonas family, Kevin Jonas Sr., put food on the table as a pastor at the Assembly of God Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey. (Feel free to make your Wackoff, NJ joke at this point—the people of the town are used to it). For those not up on their American churches, the Assembly of God is Pentecostal and abides by the Statement of Fundamental Truths, which includes pledging to “seek and save all who are lost in sin”. Evidently making a record that didn’t head straight to the Christian cutout bins at the Salvation Army was considered one of those sins. The documentary Chasing Happiness recalls the church shit-talking both the Jonas Brothers music and their dad for raising rock ’n’ roll-playing heathens struggling to make a name for themselves. Touching on the fact that Kevin Sr. eventually had to resign—leading to some seriously lean years for the Jonas family, Kevin says in the doc: “I think there was some judgment on us for not being a Christian band. Singing about girls started to become a bit of an issue.”
PARTY WITH ME PUNKERS. Before they signed with Walt Disney and conquered the world, the Jonas siblings looked more fixated in attracting the attention of the Warped Tour’s Kevin Lyman than every second lovestruck braces-sporting preteen in the American Midwest. In the early 2000s Nick, Kevin, and Joe were obsessed with emulating emo-punks Fall Out Boy and MxPx, to the point where they spent weekends loading into a van and playing house shows and beer-soaked clubs. Look hard enough on the Internet and you’ll be able to find grainy clips of the band in its fast-and-loud phase—a time whey the brothers sported faux-hawks and Hot Topic studded belts. Here’s footage of them blowing the speakers at New Jersey’s famous Stone Pony, as well as putting the pop-punk boots to the a song familiar to anyone who has ever been on the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland.
THE ACCIDENTAL BAND. When the Jonas Brothers started working on music together, it wasn't actually with the intention of starting a band. Early on the focus was almost entirely on Nick as a solo act. Something of a child prodigy, Nick was discovered in a hair salon where his mother was getting her hair cut; by the age of seven he was already performing in Broadway productions like Les Misérables, Annie Get Your Gun, and Beauty and the Beast. In 2004, 12-year-old Nick was working on his first solo album. As Joe recalled in an article he wrote for Vulture a few years back, that's when he and Kevin decided to get in on the act—in a strictly behind-the-scenes kind of way.
We never really had an idea of making music together, but years later when Nick was working on his debut album, Nicholas Jonas, Kevin and I genuinely wanted to write with him. So we wrote a song together in the living room called “Please Be Mine”, which we thought would just be for Nick. But when our dad heard us, he said we should play it for David Massey, who was A&R-ing Nick’s project at the time. He had signed a lot of brother bands—Oasis, Good Charlotte—and when we went in and sang the song for him, he told us he wanted to sign us as a group.
THE BONUS JONAS. Die-hard fans know that there aren't just three boys in the Jonas family. There is a fourth, named Frankie, who is sometimes referred to as the "Bonus Jonas". So, why is Frankie not a member of the band? Well, he was born in 2000 and his brothers started their little musical project in 2004. You do the math. Of course, Frankie has worked with his bros in the past. He co-starred in 12 episodes of their 2009-10 Disney Channel series Jonas. His role? He played Frankie, the kid brother who was too young to join his older siblings' successful band. Presumably it was a part that practically wrote itself. Frankie has done other acting work, including providing the voice for Sôsuke in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo and starring in two episodes of R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. And, as it turns out, he still lays claim to the title of world's biggest Jonas Brothers fan, as you can see in this Instagram post in which he busts a move to "Sucker":