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In Defense of the Jonas Brothers

Jill Pino

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If you’re a high school student in 2018, you likely have memories of either being in love with or absolutely loathing the Jonas Brothers as a kid. Formed in 2005, the Jonas Brothers were a pop rock band who blew up in 2007 with help from Disney Channel and young fans who found the band of teenagers very appealing. Similar to the The Monkees’ artistic dilemma (The Monkees were a band from the 60’s who weren’t taken seriously because they became famous from their TV show of the same name), the Jonas Brothers were quickly written off as a boy band because of how young they and their fans were, and because of their association with Disney Channel. However, as an avid rock ‘n roll fan myself, I would like to prove to you that the unappreciated Jonas Brothers were indeed a proper rock band who deserve more credit.

Believe it or not, the pin-up popstar looking band from New Jersey cites The Police, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and more as their musical inspirations. Being inspired by classic rockers, the Jonas Brothers wanted to be different from the other teenaged bands of the early 2000’s, by writing and playing their own music. At just 15 years old, Nick Jonas wrote the band’s first big hit “SOS” without any help. (It is rare that a young artist at the start of a career writes their own songs.) However, the Jonas Brothers self-titled 2007 album (their second album, yet the album that brought them fame) was written entirely by the Jonas Brothers themselves, with the exception of their cover of Busted’s “Year 3000.” Even rarer for young artists in the early 2000’s was musicianship. Kevin Jonas played lead and rhythm guitar, Joe Jonas played tambourine, guitar, and keyboard, and most impressively, Nick Jonas played rhythm, lead and bass guitar, drums, piano, and keyboard. Still, music history tends to put the Jonas Brothers in the same ball field as boy bands who played no instruments and wrote none of their own songs.

The Jonas Brothers also had a rock ‘n roll stage presence that boy bands did not have. Where One Direction tended to just stand at the microphone and occasionally gallop around stage with no instruments in their hands, the Jonas Brothers, had entrancing on-stage antics. Joe Jonas would swing the microphone stand around, slide down the stage on his knees, jump around, and kick his legs with a Mick Jagger-esque front man energy. Nick and Joe were constantly changing the instruments they were playing, going back and forth between flashy guitars. Also, Nick and their touring drummer would have drum solo battles. There were even some songs where the Jonas Brothers did backflips, cartwheels, and more on stage. The Jonas Brothers were exciting entertainers, as well as proper musicians and writers, unlike the boy bands with which they tended to be categorized.

Today, Nick and Joe Jonas have become more mainstream pop artists, at times ditching their instruments and appealing to the general pop-loving public. However, their current musical endeavors do not change the fact that 10 years ago, the Jonas Brothers were a talented rock band. In their prime, they were the youngest band to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, they performed with Stevie Wonder at the Grammy’s, and they covered the Beatles at the White House for Paul McCartney’s Gershwin Prize ceremony. In the years since they’ve disbanded, though, the band has been forgotten by the music world, and has been thought of as a teeny-bopper fad. I believe The Jonas Brothers deserve more credit for their musical and songwriting abilities, and the notion that a young, good-looking band like them cannot be viable artists should end.

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