Nick Jonas and The Administration: An unlikely alliance
Nick Jonas and the Administration
Where: Beacon Theatre, Broadway and 74th Street, New York
When: Thursday, Jan. 7 and Jan. 8 at 8 p.m.
How much: $39.50-$49.50. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit LiveNation.com
Prince’s New Power Generation band is having a reunion. The weird thing is, it’s doing so on the upcoming tour by Nick Jonas, better known as the dreamiest third of the tween sensation the Jonas Brothers.
Three members of Jonas’ backing group, the Administration — drummer Michael Bland, keyboardist Tommy Barbarella and guitarist Sonny Thompson — were original members of Prince’s NPG band, which was formed in 1991 and still exists, with a different set of musicians (it has undergone many lineup changes over the years).
Prince “is and always has been a big influence for me. This record, especially,” says Jonas, 17, referring to the Nick Jonas and The Administration album “Who I Am”, which is due out Feb. 2. (His tour with the Administration begins tomorrow in Dallas, and comes to New York’s Beacon Theatre on Thursday and Jan. 8.)
He says that Bland, who played on the Jonas Brothers’ 2009 album “Lines, Vines and Trying Times,” helped sign up the other former NPG members for the project, and that the album has a “raw, rock-funk feel.”
Jonas says the Jonas Brothers — who have been hugely popular, particularly among pre-teen girls, from 2007 on — are still very much together, and that his new songs conceivably could have been recorded by them.
“It’s not that I thought it couldn’t be done by the Jonas Brothers,” he says. “It was just about me branching out, and showing people who I am as an artist and a musician. I think all of us have individual dreams and ambitions, along with dreams as a group.”
His Jonas Brothers bandmates, Kevin (who got married on Dec. 19) and Joe, were very supportive, he says, and will tape more episodes of their Disney Channel show “JONAS” and, possibly, tour later this year. There probably won’t be a new Jonas Brothers album until next year, though.
Nick — who grew up in Wyckoff and lives in Dallas — cites Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen as other influences on the album: Costello for his lyrics, and Springsteen for both the big sound of the E Street Band and the iconic look of his album covers. The cover of “Who I Am” features a black-and-white shot of Jonas, clutching his guitar and looking serious, with an urban skyline behind him.
“Who I Am” includes a remake of “Tonight,” from the Jonas Brothers’ 2008 album, “A Little Bit Longer,” and Jonas says he will probably perform at least a few Jonas Brothers songs on the Administration tour.
“I’ll be doing some Jonas Brothers songs that I feel a personal connection to,” he says. ” ’A Little Bit Longer,’ a song I wrote about my diabetes, might be one. ‘Black Keys,’ from the last album (‘Lines, Vines and Trying Times’),
I really like playing live. It’s all up in the air right now. But I will play the whole record by Nick Jonas and the Administration, and some covers as well, and we’ll see what happens.”