LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - “Look at him!” shrieks the 11-year-old girl in the shocking pink tutu and stripy tights, as Joe Jonas, of the American pop-rock trio the Jonas Brothers, executes a Marty McFly knee slide across London’s O2 Arena stage. “He’s well lush.”
For British tweens right now, “well lush” (rough translation: “My, what an attractive young man”) is perhaps the ultimate compliment. Trouble is, at a time when much of the old British pop infrastructure (“Top of the Pops,” Saturday morning kids’ TV, Smash Hits magazine) has been axed, there’s been a distinct lack of pop hunks upon whom to bestow the epithet. Which is why much of Avril Lavigne’s crowd of 20,000-odd primped-up “punk” princesses are reacting to the opening band like they’ve just taken hormones.
Homemade banners flutter in the front rows and deafening high-pitched squeals fill the arena every time Nick, Joe or Kevin Jonas venture anywhere near the front of the enormous stage.
“Mum, I need the toilet,” Miss Tutu and Tights’ kid sister demands.
“You’ll have to wait,” Mum snaps, with a scary glint in her eye. “I‘m enjoying this.”
And when you’ve got the Mums hooked, you’re really in business.
The Jonas Brothers took time off from making little girls’ hearts pitter-patter to chat with Billboard about touring in Europe, the film “Camp Rock,” their new album titled “A Little Bit Longer,” and more.
Q: Right now you’re on tour in Europe, opening for Avril Lavigne. How are the European fans treating you?
Joe Jonas: The show at the O2 Arena was amazing last night. We’ve been hearing so much about it since we came here last time, so we were definitely ready to go and play it. The response was amazing. What was so cool was that it’s all still fresh and new -- it’s nice to meet the new fans ... it seems like one by one there’s a few more people showing up at the venues, and few more people waiting outside of the hotel. It’s really cool and really exciting. It’s really fun and we’re looking forward to the rest of the concerts.
Kevin Jonas: We are driving through the streets of London and we’re on our way to Dublin tonight. We’re going to keep blogging everywhere we go!
Q: Are you gearing up for the premiere of the Disney Channel movie “Camp Rock?”
Kevin: “Camp Rock” was an amazing experience. We were definitely so pumped that we had the opportunity to do a movie for the first time -- we were blown away by that. We have a week until the premiere, we’re counting down the days now. For us, it was really exciting and being together on that film.
It’s kind of just how our careers have always gone, and it’s worked out pretty well for us so far.
Q: And you’ve formed kind of a cool professional partnership with your “Camp Rock” co-star, Demi Lovato.
Nick Jonas: Working with Demi was incredible. She’s a great actress and an amazing singer. We really connected. We knew that she was going to be making a record, so we brought her out on the road for a week on our Look Me In They Eyes tour this past spring, and basically wrote about 10 songs with her. And then right before we left for Europe we went into the studio for a week co-producing those songs with John Fields. It was incredible. Being able to co-produce was really cool and definitely something we’ll be doing a lot more of.
Q: Tell us about the recording of your new album, “A Little Bit Longer.”
Nick: The writing of the record started when we were shooting “Camp Rock” up in Canada. We had about 10 to 15 songs that we wanted to record, but we didn’t have any time that we could schedule in the studio. We met with our managers and we said, ‘Where can we record these songs, because we’re going to be so busy?’ So what we did is they retrofitted a Gibson guitar bus to be a studio, and they brought it out and our producer John Fields started working on the road. We did that for about two weeks on the bus, and then we went into the studio for about a week after that for a couple last things, and then the record was done back in January.
Q: And then in 2009, you guys get your own 3D movie from the folks that did the “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds” concert film.
Kevin: We’re absolutely excited. Filming a movie in 3D is going to be an incredible experience, (especially) having it be a live concert performance.
We’re always really excited about sharing our lives with our fans, and the fact we can do that through the Disney Channel, our little reality shorts, our YouTube videos, whatever it is. But of course now to go on this grand scale of doing a movie, it’s just going to be phenomenal.
Q: What have you been doing in your spare time on tour?
Joe: When we have downtime, we’ll go golfing or we’ll chat with friends. The music over here is so amazing. We’re always in the CD store, buying things.
The new Zutons record -- it just came out here -- and it’s unbelievable. We’re going to promote it up. It’s just an unbelievable record.