We interviewed singer Nick Jonas when he was at his record company office recently.
How does it feel being on a TV show?
Being on a TV show is fun. We had an opportunity to shoot a show for the Disney Channel called “J.O.N.A.S.,” which is an incredible thing. Acting is something I definitely really enjoy, but it’s very different from music. It’s just about having that balance of being able to do acting and then a music project, which I really like.
What’s the difference between playing with your brothers and your new band?
There are a lot of differences. One of the main things is the traveling — something I’m getting used to — kind of being on my own. Obviously, Mom and Dad are there at times, but sometimes it’s just me and one of my friends who is on the road. Getting used to that and seeing what that’s like. Other than that, it’s pretty similar to go up and play a show every night, which is fun. Live out my dream and meet fans and all that. A good time.
Do you write your own songs?
I do. I write all of my music. Sometimes I write with friends and things like that. But I really like to write. It feels like it’s my way of expressing myself.
How did you come up with the name of your band?
Well, I have this kind of fascination with the presidency. And so the Administration was kind of like an inside joke — not an inside joke but a bit of a play on words, so we can have that connection with that. And there’s a lot of songs on the record that have that theme along with them as well. Songs like “Rose Garden” is one of them. “Olive & the Arrow,” “Conspiracy Theory,” “State of Emergency.” Lots of things that are kind of presidential themes that I was able to take and write songs that were real to me. Things that I was going through.
What is your favorite part about touring?
My favorite part about touring would have to be playing shows every night. Especially when it’s something new like this project, because it’s constantly evolving and becoming something different every night — which is always fun. When you get into a routine on a tour like we had last summer, which was in arenas and things like that. Some of the cities kind of blend together sometimes through the venues, because they all look similar. With this tour, everything was very different. The venues each night, these are like beautiful theaters, with interesting backstage scenarios, too. Dressing rooms are a little smaller. It’s different, but we’re having a great time. It’s fun to be able to go and do that.
Which “Saturday Night Live” skit was more fun for you, “The Doughnut Brothers” or “Ask the Wizard”?
They were both fun. I think that “Ask the Wizard” was probably the most fun. It was totally insane to dress up like that and get to do that. Just even being on that show was really an honor.
Is it fun being a star?
I think I look at it as more being able to do what I love. I always tell new artists and people like that when they get into it, it’s not about being famous. Make it about the passion for what you’re doing. As long as that’s your mindset going into it, then you’re good.
What do you like better, singing or acting?
I think, like I said, singing is probably my favorite thing. Not just singing but also producing, writing and things like that. Using all the different ways of music to kind of explore that route and acting is fun, but I like where I can combine them. “Camp Rock,” we have music and are acting. On our TV show, there’s music and the acting as well. Combining those two and having that be the way that they kind of tie them together is my favorite.
What’s your favorite instrument to play?
I think I have a couple of different favorites. Guitar is good for reading a crowd, being upfront so you could sing and play pretty easily. But drums are a lot of fun — just to go into your room, sit down at a drum and play for a couple of hours.
What was your experience when you did you first concert?
It was a great experience. I was nervous my first concert. Got over that pretty quickly once I realized this was something I wanted to be doing for a long time. I just had to go for it and you got to go up there and give it your best every night and not be afraid of what people might think. Work hard at it.
How did you hook with the musicians who worked with Prince?
Our producer, John Fields, who we worked with now for a long time is from Minneapolis and Prince is from Minneapolis. So it’s his band. The Power Generation. As so when thinking about who would be the right guys to be a part of this group, John Fields suggested some members of the New Power Generation, the recording of the record by a guy by the name of David Ryan Harris, who’s the guitar player on the record, who plays with John Mayer. So we got to Nashville and we worked on it together and really had an amazing time. And then when it came time to tour and make the album, packaging and all that David Ryan Harris had to leave and go to be with John Mayer on tour. So Sonny Thompson, who is another member of the New Power Generation came and filled his spot. So now it’s me and John Fields plus three members of the New Power Generation. Pretty fun.
We understand Joe wants to be in a James Bond movie. Do you want to do moving acting also?
Maybe. I think that acting is something Joe’s very passionate about. I think that he’s got a bright future ahead of him as far as that goes. For me my heart is and always has been music. Maybe they’ll be some acting projects in the future for me, but right now my focus is on the music and what I’m do with that.
Do you have any pets?
I do. I have a dog. His name is Elvis. He’s awesome. He’s a Golden Retriever. Had him for about a year and half now.
Did you write any songs for your new band yet?
Yeah, the record itself is actually done. We recorded it in April. I started writing for that record probably November, 2008 and just kind of progressed from there. I wrote about 8 songs before we got to Nashville to record the record. And once we were there I wrote 2 more for the album. That was it and it was a fun process.
Where did you first perform?
My first performance was actually in "A Christmas Carol." It was a Broadway musical I was in when I was 7 years old. So that was my first performance. As far as music goes, like recording music when I was about 12 years old I did my first performance with my brothers.
What would you do if you weren’t a singer?
I probably play sports. I’m a big baseball fan and big sports fan in general. So if I could I’d probably be on a team of some sort.
Who are the teachers that most influenced you and why?
I think my dad was a big influence for me. He’s very musical himself and he was always very supportive of my dreams and all my passion about music. He kind of turned that into something I was able to do everyday, which is really, really a blessing. So I have him to thank for that along with a bunch of musical inspirations I have, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Prince. Those were all my big ones.
What’s your favorite part about acting?
I think my favorite part about acting is being able to explore personalities, traits and kind of things you wouldn’t normally do in real life. Especially for me because I’m a more quiet, reserve person, kind of going out of my comfort zone and going outside my four walls. It’s a lot of fun
Is it hard to do school work and go on tour?
It was. I’m no longer in school. I’m done with school, which is great. Actually I finished up the week I did this album in April. It was, but I had a tutor when I was in school who made sure I was getting it done and made sure it was all straight.