Life as a Disney kid isn't all that fun, says the newly free Joe Jonas.
Most of us Millenials vaguely remember when the Jonas Brothers were a thing, but now, in a shocking development, Joe Jonas has come out with some curious confessions about his life as a Disney golden boy. Now don’t act all surprised, there was obviously something going on behind the purity rings and the clean-cut all-American image. Still, the candidness of the middle Jonas brother’s recent exposé for Vulture is a bit unusual.
A career with Disney isn't as easy or glamorous as it looks.
It starts out with Joe explaining his early beginnings in music, from listening to the church choir, to going wild (well, relatively) at punk shows, to eventually penning a song with his brothers, which was intended just for Nick (the youngest). After the David Copperfield-like beginning, Joe gets to the meat of the story – the band’s life and work with Disney.
According to him, it was definitely a life with Disney, as the company had a say in some of the most intimate aspects of the brothers’ lives – from how often they had to shave to how much and which parts of their personal lives they were allowed to reveal. In Joe’s own words: “Being a part of the Disney thing for so long will make you not want to be this perfect little puppet forever. Eventually, I hit a limit…”
The JoBros constantly had to conform to a certain image, says Joe.
There are several references to Jonas’ former flames, some of whom also worked for Disney at the time, but we have to hand it to Joe – he keeps it classy and spares us the explicit details or naming specific people in specific situations. For the most part, at least. There is a brief mention of Demi Lovato, in which Joe explains how much pressure he felt to maintain certain relationships: “I felt like I needed to take care of her, but at the same time I was living a lie, because I wasn’t happy but felt like I had to stay in it for her, because she needed help. I couldn’t express any of that, of course, because I had a brand to protect.”
At least they had their legions of adoring/mildly creepy fans.
Then again, Ms Lovato has spoken out about her struggles with drug abuse and other issues, so maybe Joe should get a free pass on that one. There is the occasional saucy moment, like Joe admitting to having dated fans or the explanation behind the now infamous promise rings (bottom line: “No! That’s not what we’re about”) or that time that Joe’s solo album didn’t get picked up by Disney, because “the songs were too weird and sounded like demos.”
But the pressure (and the pastel clothing, thankfully) is all in the past now.
Overall though, it’s what you might expect from a former Disney star. That was then, this is now. The Jonas Brothers were young, impressionable and overly managed, but now Joe has control over his own life and music. Oh, and he’s writing new music. And he apparently likes Lorde. Good on him, we suppose.
Joe and his bros (no longer an outfit) are among the few to make it through the Disney mill relatively unscathed.