From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Jonas Brothers turn disappointment into wild success
They may be young, but the Jonas Brothers understand the power of second chances.
Two years ago, the musical siblings – Kevin, 20, Joe, 18, and Nick, 15 – were dropped from Columbia Records after their debut album sold a disappointing 65,000 copies.
But last year, Disney’s Hollywood Records scooped up the pop-rock trio and turned them into an entertainment force of nature with the power to sweep preteen girls into a squealing frenzy.
“It was an amazing opportunity,” Kevin Jonas told The Oklahoman in recent teleconference. “We got very lucky, and we were really honored with how amazing our family is now at Hollywood Records. … They believed in us, and they let us make the record we definitely wanted to make. And they let us be the Jonas Brothers.”
The Jonas Brothers will launch their new headlining tour, titled “The Burning Up Tour,” July 4 in Toronto. It includes a July 8 stop at the Ford Center, 100 W Reno.
Along with the hits from their platinum-selling 2007 self-titled album, the band plans to play songs from their upcoming CD “A Little Bit Longer” on the summer tour.
“We’re thrilled with this record. It’s kind of a continuation of the ‘Jonas Brothers.’ … This record was definitely inspired by some of the artists we look up to – like some Prince and Elvis Costello influences and a little piece of funk in some songs. So we’re very thrilled for the audience to hear it,” Joe Jonas said in the recent teleconference from Paris, France where the brothers were touring with Avril Lavigne.
The New Jersey-bred siblings were last in Oklahoma City in December as the opening act for fellow Disney sensation Miley Cyrus. It was a mere warm-up for the trio, who are getting the type of cross-platform treatment the Mouse House provided for Cyrus, the star of the popular Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana.”
On the music side, the band became the youngest act ever to sign with concert promoter Live Nation in January, and the multimillion-dollar contract includes 140 shows worldwide over two years.
Like Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers also are becoming fixtures on the Disney Channel. Along with their reality show, “Living the Dream,” the brothers also starred in “Camp Rock,” a “High School Musical”-style TV movie that premiered last week.
In addition, they soon will have their own series, “J.O.N.A.S.,” on the cable network.
“We’re working out all the details right now. The writers strike, like, kind of pushed things back a little bit, and then we decided to go on tour. … We should start shooting some time in September,” Nick Jonas said.
The brothers stay so busy that they have only slept in their own beds at their California home for about three weeks in the past 18 months. Compared to their busy touring schedule, shooting “Camp Rock” was almost like a break.
“Filming a movie was so much fun, definitely a dream of ours,” Nick said. “We got to kind of relax for about a month and a half and have some time to play golf, hang out with the cast, that’s what’s incredible. So it was really a lot of fun, and we loved the way the movie turned out.”
Along with their busy schedules, the passionate reactions from their fans have given their lives a surreal quality. Nick still finds it funny when people approach them in restaurants as their dining with their mom.
“It’s amazing they’re so supportive and that they’re just always there to show us they like our music,” he said.
The Jonas Brothers first got the sense that their old lives were about to get swept away last year at a concert in Norfolk, Va.
“We had been there a couple of months prior, and I think there was a hundred of people at our show and then we went there and we kept asking, ‘How many people are here?’ And our management said, ‘You know what? Just wait,’” Nick said.
“So we went out and there are 3,000 people and I think for all of us that was kind of like ‘Oh, OK.’… Then the whole summer tour that we went on was incredible.”
The hype is burning hot now, but the siblings – who write songs and play their own instruments – have no intention of being a flash in the pan. They are already thinking about the where their career will be in 10 years.
For instance, Nick wrote the title track for “A Little Bit Longer,” which is set for Aug. 12 release, about his experience with Type 1 diabetes.
“This music really is us. We’re not like a manufactured version. It’s really truly us and we hope people will have a totally different take on us as a band,” Kevin said.
No matter where their whirlwind career takes them, from performing on the “American Idol” finale to playing at the Eiffel Tower, the brothers said they wouldn’t trade for a so-called normal life.
“If I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably be working at Starbucks,” Kevin said. “We know that we’re living so many people’s dreams every single day.”
And just to cap the dream: “It’s About Time,” their first album on Columbia, now is considered a collector’s item, with a used copy recently offered for $135 on Amazon.com.
Who: Jonas Brothers.
When: 7 p.m. July 8.
Where: Ford Center, 100 W Reno.
Tickets/information: 235-8288 or www.okfordcenter.com.