The Jonas Brothers Say Disney Beginnings Made It 'Tough for People to Accept Us as a Real Band'

Helen Murphy

The Jonas Brothers catapulted to fame on the Disney Channel, but they say it was “tough” for them to grow beyond their Mickey Mouse roots.

Brothers Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas starred in the Disney Channel original movie Camp Rock in 2008 and its 2010 sequel alongside Demi Lovato, and also acted in their own Disney Channel series Jonas, which premiered in 2009.

“We have a lot to thank Disney for,” Joe, 29, told Wonderland magazine for their latest cover story. “When we were getting started, we were in a position at one point where we were without a label and we didn’t really know what the next steps were going to be and Disney reached out with a huge opportunity for us to be signed by them and work on a TV show.”

Joe continued: “This was kind of a saving grace for us in that point of our career and we jumped at that opportunity. But of course as you get older and you’re a young adult and you’re still on the Disney Channel, that can feel a little uncomfortable.”

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The singer then admitted feeling “a little boxed in” while writing for a Disney audience.

“Creatively, you can feel like you’re a little boxed in and you can’t really expand and grow,” he said. “Lyrically, what you’re going through in that time in your life, you have to kind of protect your audience by only writing what Disney would approve. It was a little bit tricky as we got older, that’s for sure.”

The Jonas Brothers
Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas | Emman Montalvan

Nick, 26, agreed with his brother’s sentiments.

“I think generally what became challenging for us when we decided to grow, was that we had become known in a certain way for certain things and affiliations with Disney,” he told the outlet.

“It was tough for us when we felt like people had one perception of who we were and stories we were going to tell. I think just generally, Disney exposure made it tough for people to accept us as a real band at times,” he continued.

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It seems like the youngest Jonas Brother, for one, fondly remembers his Camp Rock days.

After the Camp-themed Met Gala earlier this month, Nick tweeted, “Honestly should have worn a Camp Rock inspired outfit tonight given the theme was ‘camp’ that would have been super tight.”

The Jonas Brothers officially disbanded in 2013, before reuniting earlier this year with a more adult sound in their single “Sucker,” a catchy pop hit about being head-over-heels in relationships. It’s been ten years since the trio released their last album, 2009’s Lines, Vines and Trying Times. 

“The fact it’s been 10 years is a crazy thought!” Nick told Wonderland. “One of the things from the first couple of shows that was so alarming to us, in a way, was getting out in front of the fans and seeing them all as adults and people that we had kind of grown up with in a sense.”

“Now they’re all adults and they’re having to save up their money to come to the tour and making sure they have money for drinks at the show! I love that! I was so excited about that,” he added. “To think about the fact that record came out 10 years ago and to know about how much we’ve all grown — fans included — and can now share it in whole new ways, it’s really exciting.”