The Jonas Brothers' new documentary, Chasing Happiness, premieres June 4 on Amazon Prime Video

By Brianne Tracy
May 29, 2019 03:00 PM
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The Jonas Brothers are giving fans a look inside their lives like never before.

In the new documentary Chasing Happiness, which premieres June 4 on Amazon Prime Video, Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas detail their journey from humble beginnings to teen superstardom, their abrupt hiatus and their second coming as a reunited band.

A mix of home videos, concert footage and recent interviews, Chasing Happiness shows how the brothers were able to rebuild their relationships as siblings and rekindle the musical spark that inspired their upcoming studio album, Happiness Begins, which drops June 7.

Below, all the highlights and revelations in Chasing Happiness.

Inside Their Childhood and Falling Out with the Church

At the beginning of the documentary, the brothers sit on a beach in Australia as Nick says, “I often wonder how it happened. All of it, us. You know how many people in similar situations to what we all went through together can’t even stand to be in the same room. I mean, we were not supposed to get out of Jersey. ”

Home videos of Kevin, 31, Joe, 29, and Nick, 26, then start to play as they reminisce about growing up in New Jersey with their father Kevin Sr. — who was a pastor at Wyckoff Church in their hometown — and mother, Denise.

“From the beginning, my brothers and I were always really close,” Nick said. “We did love doing everything together — wrestling, backyard sports, every vacation. Most of the time, we would just run around the neighborhood.”

The family, as a whole, has been musical from the start. When Nick was 6 years old, he auditioned for A Christmas Carol and continued working from then on.

After Kevin Sr. and Nick wrote a song called “A Christmas Prayer,” Nick got signed with Sony executive David Massey. Joe and Kevin started joining their brother to write, and they came up with a song titled, “Please Be Mine.”

Nick then asked Massey to meet his brothers and after performing “Please Be Mine” for him, he added Joe and Kevin into the mix. Thus, the Jonas Brothers was born.

“I was in high school at this point, and I was so excited,” Kevin said. “But I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone that we were signed because my dad was a pastor of a church…We didn’t want my dad to lose his job potentially. We were signed to a secular label, and we weren’t making a Christian album.”

Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas
Amazon Prime Video

As the Jonas Brothers started to grow and gain more recognition, Nick said people at the church started talking “negatively” about their dad.

“I think there was some judgment on us for not being a Christian band,” he said. “Singing about girls started to become an issue…I realized our dream that we were chasing freaked a lot of people out in the church.”

People at their church started a platform to get Kevin Sr. removed and eventually, he resigned from his position as pastor. After this, the family lost their home and was forced to move to a nearby town called Little Falls. Around the same time, their label dropped them. (They later got a record deal with Disney, which propelled them to superstardom.)

“That was like the world was crashing on us,” Joe said.

In the basement of their Little Falls home, the brothers wrote hits like “S.O.S.” and “Hold On” inspired by their pain.

The Jonas Brothers
Amazon Prime Video

Joe Passed Out in the Hospital Room When Nick Was Diagnosed with Diabetes

As their career started picking up, Kevin Sr. said he started hearing from the band members that Nick’s personality was “getting more direct, more agitated.”

While on the road, their bassist Greg Garbowsky said Nick would demand to get a pizza and Diet Coke and say, “I need it.” Joe added that they would stop every 15 minutes for Nick to pee.

Then, one day, while the trio were changing in the same room, Kevin and Joe noticed there was something really wrong with their brother.

“I looked at him, and I could see every single bone in his body,” Kevin said.

During an appointment with his pediatrician, Nick was told to head straight to the hospital.

“I passed out in the hospital room because I couldn’t see him hooked up to all these wires,” Joe said. “It was a life-shifting moment for everybody.”

Their Hannah Montana Cameo Was Life-Changing for Nick

When the Jonas Brothers appeared on an episode of Miley Cyrus’ Disney Channel show Hannah Montana in 2007, Kevin said, “That changed girls for Nick forever. When he met Miley, I think that kid’s head exploded.”

After that, Nick said, “I started writing about love, and I actually knew what it felt like…For the first time, I was asking them the kinds of questions that only a younger brother could ask their older brothers.”

Nick and Cyrus went on to date from June 2006 to December 2007, and they briefly reconnected in 2009.

Doing Their Disney Channel Show Jonas Is One of Their Biggest Regrets

Before reuniting, Kevin, Joe and Nick decided to air all out all of their problems with a drinking game — and the cameras were there to catch it. They wrote a bunch of questions that they always wanted to ask each other on the back of cards, which they then took turns choosing and answering. After one brother answered a question, the other siblings rated how honest they thought the answer was out of 10. The rating then corresponded to the number of seconds the person had to drink.

When Nick picked up a card that said, “Do you regret anything?” He answered, “Biggest regret in regards to the brothers is season two of Jonas. It’s a big regret. We shouldn’t have done that. It really stunted our growth. I feel like it was just a bad move. It was just not the time and literally we couldn’t evolve because of it.”

Jonas aired on Disney Channel from 2009 to 2010. Kevin said the way the show was presented to them was, “[It] will help continue the brand around the world. It’ll keep it relevant when you can’t tour.” He added: “The show was not good.”

“It was not on brand for us,” he continued. “It was almost like two different identities… I think that affected the perception of the band as, ‘They’re a joke. They’re not real, they’re robots.'”

Joe shared a similar sentiment, “It didn’t feel like it was us anymore. It felt young and we were becoming adults.”

The Jonas Brothers: Chasing Happiness
Amazon Prime Video

They Were Disappointed About Being Mocked for The Purity Rings They Wore as Teens

Along with the criticism about Jonas, the brothers started to get mocked about the purity rings that they wore as kids and young teens. In 2009, South Park aired an episode titled “The Ring” in which Kenny and his new girlfriend are encouraged by the Jonas Brothers to wear purity rings, which is secretly a marketing tactic by Disney to sell sex to young girls.

“They were saying Disney created a band who were these cookie-cutter boy band brothers and that everything was perfect and that they used Christianity and purity rings as a way to sell music to kids,” Joe said. “I mean, they weren’t far off, that’s for sure.”

The Jonas Brothers in 2008
Steve Granitz/WireImage

“In the church, it was encouraged that we go through this program to wait for the right person or until marriage,” Joe added. “All the kids I grew up with were doing it so I was like, ‘This is cool.’ Probably by like 15, I was like, ‘What?’ That was not who we were, it was just something that we did when we were young kids. But we wore the rings through the first part of the band starting to explode and at that point, it was already too late because it was in the media.”

As the jokes continued about the rings and their virginity, Nick said, “It was embarrassing… When I would go to a sporting event, and they would put me on the jumbotron or us, they would boo us. As a sports fanatic, I would be so hurt.”

Kevin said, “It’s funny cause we never talked about the disappointment of those things.”

Nick and Joe Were Not Fans of Kevin’s Reality Show Married to Jonas

After getting married to Danielle Deleasa, Kevin was excited about being approached with an offer to do a reality TV show. Between 2012 and 2013, Kevin and Danielle’s show Married to Jonas aired for two seasons on E!.

“I wanted to do it,” Kevin said. “All of a sudden they sent a crew to our house in New Jersey, and we were shooting a pilot. It was the first time where I was like, ‘This is my thing.’ I felt like I could really do well in this environment. We filmed all this stuff, and then it all kind of changed when the Jonases show up and it’s all weird.”

Kevin and Danielle Jonas
Frazer Harrison/Getty

Joe and Nick certainly weren’t as thrilled as Kevin about the show.

“Our whole life was a closed-door meeting, and Kevin invited cameras into that meeting finally,” Joe said. “We felt like he was going to air out a lot of our s— that we didn’t want people to know about.”

“We didn’t like the idea that the reality show could dictate who were,” he added. “To watch it every Sunday was not fun for us.”

Kevin said, “Joe and Nick didn’t want anything to do with it. They were kind of forced to do the show.”

They Get Real About How Their 2013 Split Went Down

In reference to the time leading up to their 2013 split, Nick said, “We got the band back together because, in a lot of ways, we felt like we had to. But this time, everything was different.”

In 2013, the brothers released only two singles — “Pom Poms” and “First Time” — as a follow-up to their 2009 album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times.

“We thought because of the success we had or the familiarity of the name we had, we would have success,” Nick said. “We were wrong. We put out a couple of songs that really didn’t connect. We played some songs and fewer and fewer people were coming out.”

Kevin said, “We were three people living three different realities of what the Jonas Brothers were. We lost sight of the fact that we were just a band having a good time. People liked seeing us happy. We were not happy.”

Nick said that while they were gearing up to head out on tour at that time, the reality of it all was starting to hit him.

“We’re all so frustrated, and nothing is working,” he said. “We hate each other basically. I called my dad and he actually picked me up and drove me around for L.A. two hours. We were playing the night before where I had a full-on panic attack, and we hadn’t talked through it all. I was just full of anxiety.”

Kevin Sr. said Nick told him, “I feel like I’m fighting against something that’s not working. I’ve given everything I have to this music… I just can’t do it anymore.” He said, “It was scary because I’m not just the manager, I’m the dad.”

Nick said he decided in the car that he was going to be as honest as possible and told his dad that his brothers were “probably even anticipating this.” But, as Kevin Sr. puts it, “They were not.”

As Kevin explained, “Me and Joe sit down and Nick says, ‘As you guys know, things haven’t been the same, and the Jonas Brothers should be no more.'”

Joe added, “It was not, ‘My heart’s not in it, and I want to be real with you as band members and brothers.’ It was, ‘The band is over. I want to go do stuff without you guys and I’ve made up my mind.'”

Kevin said he remembers looking at Joe and being like, “Wait, what?”

“I felt betrayed, I felt lied to, I felt angry, numb,” Joe said.

At that point, Kevin said, “Joe has shut down. I’m looking at my brother being destroyed inside.”

“I was 25, 26,” Joe explained. “This is all I’ve known. This is what I loved more than anything. I loved doing this. And somebody that you loved and cared about so much could take it away from you so quickly, that was heartbreaking.”

Nick said Joe told him, “You get one taste of solo success and you forget about all the work we put in together.”

“What hurt the most was that it came from Nick because he is my best friend,” Joe said through tears. “I thought that me, Kevin and Nick were going to do this forever, and that it was us against the world.”

Kevin said Joe “finally broke down” and said, “You want to be done? Fine. We’re done.”

“That’s when I knew the band was over,” Kevin said. “Because Joe and Nick were thick as thieves.”

Joe added, “For a while, it was dark.”

Nick and Joe Jonas
Splash News

Joe Reveals Why He and Nick Continued to Play Jonas Brothers Songs Without Kevin After Their Split

At one point during the drinking game, Joe picked up a card which asked, “Why did you play a Jonas Brothers radio show after we broke up?” The question was likely written by Kevin, who went on to explain how hurt he was when his brothers continued on to do B96’s 2013 Jingle Bash and perform Jonas Brothers songs without him even after their split.

Kevin explains that before they did the show, his brothers said they were told by the concert organizers that, “If you don’t play these shows, we will never play the Jonas Brothers or any Jonas individually on the radio again.”

“It was like Joe’s going to play his music and then Nick’s going to do his music, no Jonas Brothers music so Kevin, it’s okay, you don’t have to be there,” Kevin explains. “[I said], ‘Okay, fine, we’re not playing together anyway.’”

To Kevin’s disappointment, Nick and Joe’s entire set consisted of them playing the Jonas Brothers songs together.

“All the big hits, all the big moments and I’m just not there,” Kevin said, and tearfully added, “I think that might’ve been the hardest moment of my entire life.”

During the drinking game, Joe explained that he and Nick felt like Kevin was “holding us back” at the time.

“I think there was moments that Nick and I wanted to do our own thing and we felt like your focus was not in it anymore and it was not a priority for you and starting a family was,” Joe said. “Your guitar playing kind of fell in the backseat and I think we both wanted to continue doing music and we had these gigs in front of us.”

“Now that I think back on it, I realize how f—ed up it is going to do a Jonas Brothers gig and you weren’t on stage,” he continued. “But it took me time to understand having someone in my life. I’ll do f—ing anything to see [wife] Sophie [Turner] for an hour. All of those years, our first love was music. Our first love was the band. So, for me, as a teenager and a young adult, to see you prioritize anything but was bad. But it took me a long time to understand that. You found love very young. I think you do know now it’s a balance. Back then we didn’t feel like you even that. We felt like it was just like, ‘The show’s done, I’m out.’ Sometimes just hanging with your brothers is so important. I love you, and I’m sorry that you had to go through that.”

In 2013, Kevin said he also “didn’t really” see his brothers for Christmas or the holidays that year.

“I think what was really hard was when [oldest daughter] Alena came, we weren’t really talking,” he said. “It was the first time that I saw my brothers since the breakup.”

Kevin Opens Up About Being Forgotten

While Nick was finding solo success with his single “Jealous” and Joe was topping the charts with his band DNCE’s track “Cake By the Ocean,” Kevin was living life under the radar with his family and welcomed his daughters, Alena and Valentina. During this segment of the documentary, a clip of an old interview Joe and Nick did with Billy Bush is shown in which Bush asked them, “Where’s Kevin?”

“I don’t think I fully comprehended what it would do to me after the fact,” Kevin said of their split. “Even to this day, I get asked if I’m Joe or Nick every day. ‘Are you Joe Jonas? Are you Nick Jonas?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m Kevin.'”

As Kevin is shown shopping for diapers for his daughter Valentina, he explained that his identity now is as a “father” and “a husband.”

“I got asked by someone, ‘You look really familiar,'” he said. “My daughter said, ‘Well that’s because he’s a Jonas Brother.’ A 4-year-old said that to this girl but that’s starting to become weird because that part of my life is dead now. That’s no longer my identity, and I had to get to a place where I could say, ‘Formerly of the Jonas Brothers.'”

Kevin Jonas

Their Significant Others Helped Propel Their Reunion

At the end of the documentary, the brothers reveal how the “Jonas Sisters” — aka their wives Danielle, Sophie Turner and Priyanka Chopra — made a positive impact on their lives and helped them get to a healthy place where they could reunite as a band.

“This is the year that I’ve grown as a person, and I’ve grown with my brothers,” Joe said. “It’s been a long road. We’ve been through so much. In finding myself, I also was able to find a partner. The impact of falling in love has made me want to be a better man, a better person and ultimately made me a better brother.”

Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas

Kevin said, “We all spent time apart truly coming into our own. I focused on my family, on being the best husband and father that I could be.”

As Nick put it, “The time apart was necessary. I was able to pursue different creative avenues and experiment with life in a way I never could before.”

“I was feeling inspired, and it led me to find something even greater than I could ever imagine: love,” said Nick, who added of Chopra, “This love has changed my life forever.”