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Jonas Brothers hope absence made fans' hearts grow fonder

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013

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The Jonas Brothers are happy, and a bit relieved, that their fans' hearts have stayed fond while the group has been absent.

It has, after all, been four years since the sibling pop trio and Disney Channel champion's last album, the chart-topping "Lines, Vines and Trying Times." And the group took two years off the road between November of 2010 and October of 2012, a daring hiatus that certainly allowed other groups -- such as One Direction, the Wanted and Big Time Rush -- to step into the breach.

But the crowds have been coming back since the brothers returned to the road, and the Jonases are making new music once again --including the singles "Pom Poms" and "First Time," with the group's fifth album "completely finished" and "definitely" coming this fall according to oldest brother Kevin Jonas.

"You always worry -- well, not necessarily worry, but you don't know what to expect, and luckily for us we were very blessed and very honored we got the opportunity to (take time off)," says Jonas, 25. "It's been a dream come true that people have been there and have received us the way they have."

The Jonas Brothers were certainly in a rarefied position when they decided to take some time off as a band. "Lines, Vines and Trying Times" was their second consecutive No. 1 album and third Top 5 entry. The group has sold more than 20 million records worldwide and also set a Guinness World Record for the most singles to enter directly into the Billboard Top 20 in a single year (2009). The brothers also starred in a pair of hit "Camp Rock" movies for the Disney Channel, while its 2009 "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" was the fifth highest-grossing concert film of all time.

The New Jersey-formed group's break was as much about business as creativity, however. After "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" in 2010 the Jonases parted ways amicably with Disney and its Hollywood Records label, which also shuttered the trio's Jonas Records imprint. Nick Jonas, 20, went on to record and tour with his solo band, the Administration, while Joe Jonas, 23, released a solo album, "Fastlife," in 2011 and Kevin and his wife, Danielle, launched the E! reality series "Married To Jonas." The three regrouped in February of 2012, according to Kevin, but he says the initial sessions "didn't feel right. It was like, 'Ugh, it's not happening yet,' So we took some time off. We were able to say, 'OK, this isn't right for us yet,' and that was fine." The brothers reconvened around June of last year and "First Time," their current single, was one of the first to surface.

"We came back together and wrote that song and then everything changed," Kevin says. "We were like, 'Right now we know what we're looking to do. Things are a little bit different' and the focus, the album, all of it changed and it really triggered some forward progress." The Jonases wrote nearly 60 songs since then, and Kevin is confident fans will notice some fresh flavors surfacing in the new songs.

"In the past we used influenced that inspired us -- the Beatles, the Jackson 5, things like that," he explains. "This time around we used influences that were happening for us now, new music, things that were getting us inspired to get in the studio and right. We really listen to a lot of Frank Ocean, Miguel, Calvin Harris, artists that were doing something unique in the moment we were writing this album.

"It really adapted to the way we were thinking and where we were at. We were just trying to be who we were and who we are, and I think that (music) really helped."

The group has been playing several of the new songs -- including "Meet You In Paris," "Let's Go" and "Wedding Bells" -- during its live shows. Full details about the album should be out soon, Kevin says, adding that he and his brothers are happy to controlling the group's own destiny now.

"We just felt like it was time we could make some decisions on our own," he explains. "We had great partners in the past, but now that we're able ot be back and perform the way we want to perform and release music that we want to release and not have anyone breathing down our necks telling us 'You need to do this' or that, it's it's a big deals.

"So we're just very, very happy and I'm really excited that this is our new phase and our new journey."

The Jonas Brothers and Karmin perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $32.50-$62.50 pavilion, $20 lawn with a $72 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

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