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Nick Talks To Time Out New York

When we let teen-pop superstars the Jonas Brothers guest-edit the Music section of Time Out New York last July (TONY 719, July 9–15), we asked the guys what music they admired most. Along with the expected tally of chart toppers (Shania Twain, Kings of Leon) and not-so-expected buzz acts (the Zutons, Phoenix), Nick Jonas, the group’s youngest member and musical brain trust, made a more surprising admission: “I’m also a big fan of Minneapolis funk,” he told us, adding for emphasis, “Love the funk.” Little did we know at the time that Nick had already snuck away to Nashville with the Administration, a new band stocked with former members of Prince’s New Power Generation, to knock out a funk-steeped debut album, Who I Am, in slightly more than a week. Nick and his group are playing two shows at the Beacon Theatre on Thursday 7 and Friday 8; the initial single, “Who I Am,” is out now, with the full album due in February. We recently sat down with Jonas to find out how the record came about—and to admire his tight-lipped secrecy about it.

Time Out New York: You told us that you were into funk when you guest-edited TONY’s music section last July, but I don’t think any of us expected it to manifest itself quite so quickly. Where did the process for creating Who I Am start?
Nick Jonas: The writing started about a year ago. I started to write these songs—“Rose Garden” being the first song I wrote, and “Who I Am” and the rest soon after that—that stylistically weren’t necessarily like the Jonas Brothers sound. Just from the writing of it on acoustic guitar, piano or whatever it was, I could tell that it was going to be different. I had about six or seven songs done, and I met with our management team and told them about this idea I had to record this record with a band of guys who are experienced and well-versed in this style of music.

Was there a specific reason you did it in Nashville?
There was a studio there that I’d heard about, and there were a couple different projects that we even thought about going to record there at one point, but we never got the opportunity. I just think it was also about getting away from me being in my element, somewhat. I talked to my brothers and they were excited and very supportive of it. Then I met with John Fields, our producer, and told him the idea and played him some of the songs. He loved it, and we worked together to put together the band. His Minneapolis connection with [drummer] Michael Bland and [keyboardist] Tommy Barbarella, that’s how that got started, and then he’d done a session with [guitarist] David Ryan Harris on a Jon McLaughlin song. We all went to Nashville and recorded this in about eight days. It was recorded like a real raw record from the ’60s or the ’70s, before they had Pro Tools.

It’s commendable that you were able to keep this completely buttoned-up when we spoke before.
It was pretty quiet. I was actually surprised that it was that quiet for that long. I was super-protective of it, and I still am very protective, just because I always wanted it to be the right setup. The way it came out was a bit of a shock to a lot of people, including us, but I think that it was kind of great the way it happened. We’re just excited now that people will listen to it, and hopefully they’ll like it.

Read More Of The Interview Here.

Source: Time Out New York

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