Joe Jonas Talks Jonas Brothers Breakup and Smoking Weed with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato
Following the breakup of the Jonas Brothers, Joe Jonas is opening up about his experience with the band, with Disney and growing up in the spotlight. In a new essay published in New York magazine, Jonas talks about trying marijuana with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, losing his virginity and the pressures of being a teen sensation.
“We were just kids. That’s the reality,” Jonas, now 24, says. “We were frightened little kids. So you got all this responsibility that’s foisted upon you and you’re expected to be perfect.”
The Jonas Brothers became superstars seemingly overnight in 2007. But the clean-cut image that made them famous began to wear on the three brothers after a while. “I had to shave every day because they wanted me to pretend like I was 16 when I was 20,” Jonas writes. Then there are those promise rings everyone was always talking about:
“The topic that dominated news coverage of us for a long time was the whole promise-ring thing. We couldn’t escape it. It started when I was really young—I must have been 10 or 11. There’s a program people do in some churches called True Love Waits, where you wait for marriage to have sex. Kevin and I decided to join—Nick tried it later. Fast-forward a few years, we’ve started playing music and we’re working with Disney and we have these rings.
I remember this interview with this guy whose entire agenda was to focus on the rings. He kept pushing the subject, and when we insisted that we didn’t want to talk about it, he told us, “I can write whatever I want,” which terrified us. That’s the thing: We didn’t know any better, and we just wanted to make people happy. Now I know that I don’t have to answer any questions I don’t want to. Like, why do you even care about my 15-year-old brother’s sex life?”
Jonas states that he lost his virginity at 20. He also talks about rebelling against the clean-cut Disney image, smoking weed for the first time with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato:
“The first time I smoked weed was with Demi and Miley. I must have been 17 or 18. They kept saying, “Try it! Try it!” so I gave it a shot, and it was all right. I don’t even smoke weed that often anymore. I was caught drinking when I was 16 or 17, and I thought the world was going to collapse. But I was in another country, and it was legal there. My 21st birthday, I fell down a flight of stairs. I was unconscious that time, and my whole team was scared to death that somebody was going to get a picture. Now I appreciate wine or a vodka-soda at the end of the day every once in a while.”
Jonas goes on about Lovato, whom he dated for a month, while she was struggling with substance abuse problems. ” I really got to know her and got to see the ins and outs of what she was struggling with, like drug abuse,” he writes. “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.”
Jonas also explains his recent split from the band that made him famous, saying that the “Jonas Brothers’ breakup was going on for a lot longer than a lot of people thought.”
“We hit a place where we just weren’t jelling on the same things, and we didn’t want to become a band that was worried about the fact that people didn’t understand how cool we were. The whole situation was breaking us up as a family, and we ultimately felt like we were holding each other back. I wanted to go sexier with a video, for example, and Kevin wasn’t comfortable with that, for his reasons. I mean, he’s married, and I get that. Nick also had a louder voice than me and Kevin when it came to music and major decisions—he took a leadership role in the band, which got to us after a while.
Things came to a head when we had a meeting where we thought we were going to talk about how to release our new music and it ended up shifting into this huge fight. That was the first time we were really honest with one another about a lot of stuff we weren’t happy with. The fight got loud. I was screaming. When Nick presented the idea of closing a chapter and moving on, I freaked out. I didn’t know whether to pick up and leave or just punch something, because I was furious. I’d spent so long working with my brothers on this band, and in my mind, it felt like we were just giving up. It didn’t make sense to me.
But once I started peeling back the layers, I understood. There were a lot of dysfunctional things going on. The music was getting stale, too, because we’d write it and record it and then it would sit around for a long time. After that meeting, we took a night to think about things, met again, and nothing was resolved, so we decided to take a week and think about it. Then we canceled the tour. It would have been really tough for me to go on a last-hurrah tour. I didn’t care about the money; I just wanted to figure out the right, healthy way for us to be good as a family.”
So what can we expect next from the middle Jonas?
“Now that I’m 24 and have control of my life, I’m going back to the drawing board. I’ve been through a shit-ton of stuff, but I’m genuinely excited because now I can go back to the studio with those people who I used to work with. I don’t have to rely on anyone else’s opinion, whether good or bad, and hear them say, “No, no, you can’t go write with them. That’s too weird for us.” Because weird works. Look at Lorde.”
I guess a duet with Lorde?