The Jonas Brothers have a couple of exciting releases happening this week, starting with the documentary featuring the three brothers,
Chasing Happiness, which debuted on Amazon Prime today. That comes right ahead of the the band's first album in 10 years, Happiness Begins, which lands this Friday. Based on the titles, you can guess that the documentary serves as a precursor to the new album, and the Amazon film will get you more pumped than ever for their comeback at the same time that it reveals some of the hardest times the family band has endured. These 24 Jonas Brothers facts from the documentary Chasing Happiness may surprise you, but they also demonstrate that the guys are really baring their souls this time around, both to each other and to their fans.
Kevin, 31, Joe, 29, and Nick, 26, each give interviews in
Chasing Happiness that recall their rise to fame, peaking in the late '00s, as well as the turn of events that led to their estrangement — and yes, they were really estranged. While Nick had spoken about initiating the band's breakup in the past, fans never really knew the details of what led to the band's dissolution.
But there's more about the band that even those who followed them from the very beginning weren't privy to until now. Read on for the 24 most mind-blowing takeaways from
Chasing Happiness. 1 They Didn't Hang Out With Only Each Other For Almost 6 Years Chasing Happiness starts off with the three bros reuniting and remarking upon how long it's been since the three of them spent quality time alone together. At different points in the film, they say that it had been six or seven years. 2 Joe Wanted To Be A Comedian As A Kid
Nick, Joe, and Kevin each reminisce about their childhoods and past aspirations. It turns out that Joe wanted to be on
All That or perform stand-up comedy, which makes a lot of sense. 3 They Repaired Their Damaged Relationship In Australia
The truly raw and honest conversations that the documentary shows went down in Sydney in 2018, when the brothers were traveling and reconnecting, including the truth-telling drinking game they spoke about in the press after the reunion was announced.
4 Kevin Was Bullied In School Rich Fury/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Kevin says that because of his "uncool" hobbies (magic, gymnastics) and the inexpensive clothes he wore, he "became a target" of his classmates. "They would call me 'gay,' they would call me 'f*g,' they would call me 'pisshead,'" he said. He got involved in commercial acting partly because he didn't feel like he "connected" at school.
5 Nick Got A Record Deal Through A Christmas Song Scott Gries/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
For the Christian family, a Christmas song was the perfect entrance into the professional music world. "Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)", co-written by Nick and his father, Kevin Jonas Sr., made its way to manager David Massey when Nick was just 10 years old. Massey appears in the doc and says he saw something special in Nick.
6 The Family Kept Their Work A Secret From Their Church
You may know that their father was a pastor, but you probably didn't realize that the family had worried about the community response to the band singing secular music and working with a secular label.
7 The Jonas Brothers Were Originally Supposed To Be A Punk Rock Band Scott Gries/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
They found a backing band and rehearsed intensively to fit the rock image the label wanted. Nick mentions that there's a misconception that the band was "manufactured" by Disney, but they weren't even involved with the company at this point.
8 Nick's Moodiness Led, In Part, To His Diabetes Diagnosis Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Their father tells the camera that the backing band told him that Nick's attitude was becoming an issue. Also, when the band was driving from show to show, Nick would constantly have to stop for giant sodas and to use the bathroom. These were symptoms of his diabetes, which, for a time, they kept a secret from their label.
9 Their Father Had To Leave His Job Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Once the band became more popular, Kevin Sr. was encouraged to resign from his post. That led the family into a period of financial hardship, made worse when Columbia dropped the Jonas brothers from the label. Their parents had put their savings into the band, so the whole clan moved into a two-bedroom house in Little Falls, New Jersey.
10 They Wrote Their (First) Comeback Album In The Little Falls House
From their lowest point in life, the band wrote some of the
biggest songs in their career, which came "out of the pain and the hurt and the abandonment," Joe says. That became the Jonas Brothers album, which was released after they were signed to Disney's Hollywood Records. 11 'Camp Rock' Wasn't Supposed To Star The Whole Band
Joe had been cast as the lead of
Camp Rock. Their father called the president of the Disney Channel to suggest that they include Kevin and Nick as well. And the rest is DCOM history. 12 They’re Not Embarrassed About Their Silly Videos
In fact, the Jonas Brothers say that the internet allowed fans to get to know them, leading to their overwhelming success.
13 Miley Cyrus Was Nick’s First Real Love
Kevin says that the band's guest appearance on
Hannah Montana and meeting Miley Cyrus "changed girls for Nick forever." Nick recalls finally understanding the love that he and his brothers were singing about and asking his older brothers for advice about the budding relationship. 14 Joe And Nick Predicted That Kevin And Danielle Would Get Married Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The doc includes a sweet clip from 2007 where Kevin is calling to give Danielle Deleasa, now Danielle Jonas, info about one of the band's shows. Joe and Nick are coaching him about what to say. Joe calls her "Kevin's future wife," and Nick defends their meddling by saying, "We're just really excited, 'cause she's your wife." Kevin and Danielle married in 2009.
15 They Wish They Hadn't Continued Their Disney Channel Show
During the drinking game, Nick says that he regrets signing onto the second season of their Disney Channel show,
Jonas, which, he believes, impeded their evolution as artists. Kevin says the series was "not good," and Joe agrees that it contributed to their reputation as being naive and prudish, on top of the ridicule of their famous purity rings. They wanted to be seen as real musicians, not kid stars, and, in retrospect, feel as though this wasn't the right move. 16 The Response To Joe's First Solo Album Was "Embarrassing" To Him
He says he was excited to express himself outside of the band, but his solo effort
Fastlife wasn't a hit. He calls it his "first failure," which made him fear he couldn't accomplish anything outside of the band. 17 Joe And Nick Didn't Want To Be On Kevin's Reality Show
"Joe and Nick didn't want to have anything to do with it," Kevin says of his E! reality series. "They were kind of forced to do the show." Joe says that he didn't want "the reality show to dictate who we were" and that watching the series "wasn't fun."
18 The Brothers "Hated Each Other" For A Time Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
After Nick and Joe's solo efforts, the band tried to regroup for their next album, but their new singles weren't hitting with fans. "We lost sight of the fact that we were just a band having a good time," Kevin says. "People liked seeing us happy and we were
not happy." Nick says that, as they prepared for a new tour, things were really tough. "We hated each other, basically." 19 Kevin And Joe Were Blindsided When Nick Wanted To Break Up
Nick told his dad that he thought his brothers were expecting his announcement, but Kevin and Joe say they were blindsided. "I felt betrayed, I felt lied to, I felt angry. Numb," Joe remembers.
20 Kevin Was In Fact Very Hurt By Nick And Joe Performing Without Him
Of all of the harder moments the Jonas Brothers reflect upon in the film, the most awkward to watch is Kevin talking about being considered the "other Jonas" to Nick and Kevin. It didn't help that
his brothers performed some of the band's songs at the B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash in 2013 without him. "I think that may have been the hardest moment in my entire life," Kevin says. Joe admits that, at the time, he and Nick thought that Kevin "was holding [them] back," had new priorities, and wasn't progressing as musician. Now, Joe says, he realizes how "f*cked up" it was. Falling in love with wife Sophie Turner helped him understand Kevin's new perspective as a husband. 21 The Brothers Weren't Talking When Kevin's First Daughter Arrived
Meeting Alena was the first time all three had seen each other since the band broke up. They hadn't even gotten together for Christmas.
22 Nick First Initiated The Reunion Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
In the doc, Joe recalls Nick mentioning that he missed playing with his brothers, but assumed he was just saying it in passing. Eventually, that comment led to more serious discussions of reuniting.
23 They Now See Their Time Apart As A Necessary Break
As much as the brothers hurt each other's feelings to varying degrees, they each acknowledge that their time apart helped them become more confident as individuals. Now, they can approach making music together as something they're doing because they really want to. Nick expresses that he wants to "enjoy every moment" this time around.
24 Frankie Jonas Is Still Their No. 1 Fan
OK, maybe this isn't surprising. But in the credits, the
youngest Jonas brother declares that he knows every word of the band's discography and every part of their history. So think twice before you declare yourself the guys' most dedicated fan.
Even casual Jonas fans will get some major feels from the new documentary. The three brothers have clearly been through a lot together and it's heartwarming to watch them work through their issues and reconnect.