Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Interview: Jingle Ball's Joe Jonas tastes second-round success with DNCE

It's been one heck of a year for Joe Jonas.

After an unsuccessful stint going solo, the ex-Jonas Brother is hitting a serious stride as the frontman for pop-funk band DNCE, a reinvention of sorts for the former Disney phenomenon.

The band picked up a Best New Artist win at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, had a summer smash hit and released a self-titled debut album. Jonas and drummer Jack Lawless, guitarist JinJoo Lee and bassist Cole Whittle will play the Jingle Ball at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday. It should be a piece of Cake (by the Ocean) for Jonas, 27, who is no stranger to the holiday tour.

The concert, with a free pre-show outside, is one of 12 iHeartMedia Jingle Balls around the country. Tampa's lineup includes Pitbull, Fifth Harmony, the Chainsmokers, Lukas Graham, Daya, Martin Garrix and Jon Bellion.

Jonas, on-brand with his band's positive message and up-beat funky vibes, couldn't help but stay happy while talking about his new musical venture and Round 2 at viral success.

Congratulations on your Best New Artist win. How does that feel?

Feels great. We've had quite a few nominations recently. It's been a fun and incredible year and I'm just glad it's still going.

You've known Jack, Cole and JinJoo for years. But what's the biggest difference between working with family versus working with friends?

I think probably the biggest difference with family is that you can be brutally honest at times when it comes to songwriting. We always ended up figuring out ways to balance the writing process, but there would be days when all I wanted to write was a happy song and all Nick wanted was a sad song. And sometimes there would be too many cooks in the kitchen. With DNCE, we don't have as much compromising. We're just having a blast during that process and taking every second to enjoy it.

And how does Tampa stack up to other Jingle Balls around the country?

I would say it's definitely going to be a warm holiday. It's fun because you go to all these freezing cold cities, then with Tampa you can go to the beach before if you want to — before a holiday show — which is always interesting.

Now that you've done a number of Jingle Ball gigs, how do you feel about the format? Do you feel like it still works? Or is it getting a little stale?

Honestly, I really do love it. I think it's kind of nice just have this amazing artist community come together and play a show. And it works because it's different from what you're used to. You get to celebrate a year, particularly with artists you don't get to see together unless you're at an award show. You'll finish one show and then be like, "Okay, see you tomorrow."

Anyone in particular you're excited to share the stage with?

Our friend JoJo is playing a couple of the shows. She's so talented and it's always good to see her. And Niall (Horan) is playing a few Jingle Balls and I love that new song he's got out there.

DNCE is known for doing a lot interesting covers, but now you have a full album to pull from. Can Jingle Ball guests still expect a cover or a Christmas jam?

Oh, definitely. We're going to bring up a couple Christmas songs just for fun. It's always fun to see those crowds sing along to a Christmas or holiday song, mainly because it's pretty easy to remember the words. And since we have so many new songs, the audience being able to sing all together with us is great.

Speaking of new songs, that EP was a great taste of DNCE, but you guys really took your time putting out the full album. What was the thought behind that decision?

Some songs needed that time for us to be able to ease into them and watch how they kind of unfolded. We grew a lot as artists and people and songwriters. I think it was released at the right time. But there were moments when I would forget that the music wasn't out, since we were constantly touring with the music. I'm just really thrilled to have it out there in the world. I think it was a year in the making, which was good for the writing and recording process to really have that time to make sure it was the sound I wanted it to be.

I'm sure you can look back at some of your phases and laugh at yourself. What's your most cringeworthy moment?

I've had a few fun memories, probably some hairdos that I look back and laugh on. Like, what was I thinking?

Comments
Spin Doctors’ Chris Barron talks touring at 50, being the ‘Two Princes’ guy and more

Spin Doctors’ Chris Barron talks touring at 50, being the ‘Two Princes’ guy and more

Go back and read Rolling Stone's 1993 cover story on the Spin Doctors — yep, that's a thing that actually happened — and the first quote from singer Chris Barron jumps out."I don't want to be 50 years old and be out on the road with my vo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
SoundBytes: Coheed and Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Dua Lipa, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and more

SoundBytes: Coheed and Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Dua Lipa, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and more

— Prog-punk and emo will meet this summer when Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday embark on a summer tour that stops at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 7. The Story So Far will open. Tickets are $29.50 and up. Click here...
Published: 02/20/18
Hernando symphony tackles old and new favorites

Hernando symphony tackles old and new favorites

BROOKSVILLE — From Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars and Carlos Santana — tunes from all over the musical spectrum.Those are a taste of the old and new favorites audiences can enjoy when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents its Spectrum...
Published: 02/20/18
Snoop Dogg, T.I. to headline inaugural Halftime Music Festival in Tampa

Snoop Dogg, T.I. to headline inaugural Halftime Music Festival in Tampa

Are you ready for an all-new hip-hop festival in Tampa?Snoop Dogg and T.I. are scheduled to headline the inaugural Halftime Music Festival on May 5 in the North Lot of Raymond James Stadium. Also on the bill: Karol G, Baby Rasta y Gringo and Brytiago...
Published: 02/20/18
SoundBytes: Glass Animals, Katt Williams, Natalie Prass, Lee Ann Womack and more

SoundBytes: Glass Animals, Katt Williams, Natalie Prass, Lee Ann Womack and more

— British alt-rock outfit Glass Animals is coming to the Ritz Ybor on July 24. Knox Fortune will open. Click here.— Katt Williams is returning to the USF Sun Dome on April 14. Tickets are $49 and up. Click here.— It's been a while s...
Published: 02/19/18
2018 Safety Harbor SongFest lineup: Fantastic Negrito, Josh Ritter, more

2018 Safety Harbor SongFest lineup: Fantastic Negrito, Josh Ritter, more

Folk, blues, even a little bit of rock: The 2018 Safety Harbor SongFest has a little something for everyone.Organizers on Sunday night announced the lineup for Safety Harbor's fifth annual festival, which returns April 7 to Safety Harbor Waterfront P...
Published: 02/19/18
Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Kelsea Ballerini has a story to tell. It's the story of the last three crazy years of her life, from a breakup to the Grammys to a marriage and all the "life, growing up, self-discovery" in between.If you heard her new album Unapologetically, it's a ...
Published: 02/17/18
Review: Rufus Wainwright makes magic from melancholy at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Review: Rufus Wainwright makes magic from melancholy at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

It wasn't Carnegie Hall; it wasn't even Milwaukee. But for a certain kind of lover, there was no finer place to spend Valentine's night than the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater."What a wonderful little town," said Rufus Wainwright, playing his first Ta...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Colin Quinn suffers heart attack, postpones Saturday’s show at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Colin Quinn suffers heart attack, postpones Saturday’s show at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Comic Colin Quinn has postponed his concert on Saturday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, but at least he has a valid reason: He suffered a heart attack on Valentine's Day."My heart goes out to all the people who bought tickets to my show. Litera...
Published: 02/15/18
Smashing Pumpkins’ reunited lineup coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Smashing Pumpkins’ reunited lineup coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

If you're a Smashing Pumpkins fan, today is the greatest day you've ever known.After weeks of speculation, the band is getting back on the road with a mostly reunited classic lineup led by frontman Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy ...
Published: 02/15/18