Agenda: Keeping up with Jonas
1. Younger brother Nick goes at it alone with solo act
If you know the name Nick Jonas, it may be because you’re 12 years old. But if you don’t immediately recognize the 17-year-old creative leader of tween heartthrobs the Jonas Brothers, then you’re just the person that Jonas hopes will check out his new, more mature solo act, Nick Jonas & the Administration, which plays the Beacon Theatre Thursday and Friday, and releases its debut album Feb. 2.
Why did you want to do a solo project?
It’s not that I wanted to do a solo project, but that my new songs weren’t stylistically right for the Jonas Brothers. So I thought maybe I could branch out a little.
How are these songs different?
They have more of my roots as an artist and musician. Not that the Jonas Brothers sound doesn’t, but [influences] like Stevie Wonder, Prince and Elvis Costello played a big role in this record. It was like, “Let’s make a record that sounds like the ’60s or ’70s, record it raw, do minimal overdubs and give it that rock, raw feel.
Some might be surprised to hear that Elvis Costello is an influence.
I named my dog after him. As an artist, he does an incredible job in his lyrics of not opening up too much about his personal thing. He tries to paint a picture or disguises his experience with metaphor. As a writer, I’ve always been inspired by that, and that’s what I tried to do with this record.
How did you come up with the name the Administration?
Going along with my fascination with the presidency, the Administration felt like a perfect name. Also, going back to the Elvis Costello influence and Elvis Costello and the Attractions, the “A” at the beginning of the name has such a strong ring to it that I thought it would be cool to come up with something with an “A” at the beginning.
What’s your fascination with the presidency?
Because I’ve had the opportunity to visit the White House in two different administrations, I’ve just been taken by all that goes into it. It’s not so much politics I’m interested in, but more just his role, and the important part he plays in this country.
Three-quarters of your band used to play with Prince. Have you heard any great stories about their Prince days?
A couple. The things they talk about are nonchalant, like how I would talk about hanging out with friends. It’s crazy, because if I ever had an experience with Prince, I’d be bragging to everyone. But they talk about it as if it’s nothing.
By LARRY GETLEN