Nick Jonas says his new band, the Administration, allows him to "explore a little more of my roots as an artist and musician" and play songs that he "didn't think were necessarily right for the Jonas Brothers sound."
"With this record, the overall template was 60s and 70s funk-rock and, at times, soulful rock," the youngest Jonas of the trio tells Billboard.com about "Who I Am." The first album by Nick Jonas & the Administration will be released Feb. 2 with the band hitting the road for a 14-date tour beginning Jan. 2 in Dallas. "I got a little deeper with that and (influences) like Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Prince...really just discovering myself in this project and working with these (Administration) guys to draw out our individual inspirations and experiences to make this record."
The Administration includes drummer Michael Bland, keyboardist Tommy Barbarella and guitarist Sonny Thompson from Prince's New Power Generation and John Fields -- who produced the album in Nashville -- on bass. David Ryan Harris played guitar on "Who I Am," whose title track is currently available online as the album's lead single. In addition to the tour dates the group will also be the house band at the 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards airing Jan. 15 on VH1.
Jonas wrote four of the album's 10 songs himself, collaborating on others with Fields, Jonas Brothers band bassist Greg Garbowsky, Jonas collaborator P.J. Bianco and others. "Who I Am" also includes a remake of "Tonight" from the Jonas Brothers' 2008 album "A Little Bit Longer." Jonas says the Administration will play the entire album at its shows, as well as "a couple of covers...and then maybe a couple Jonas Brothers songs that I feel kind of a connection to."
Jonas says he's already written "two or three more" songs for the Administration and views the band as a going concern alongside the Jonas Brothes. "My thought is the two can definitely exist," he says, noting that "2010 will be a year of learning" for he and his brothers. "We all have individual things that we'll be doing and just learning how to balance each one of our individual dreams along with our dreams together." He says oldest brother Kevin will be focusing on his new marriage to Danielle Delesea while Joe will focus on acting opportunities.
The group, meanwhile, will be seen in a second season of the Disney Channel's "J.O.N.A.S." as well as the "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" film that's due out this summer. The trio also plans to tour, although Nick says a followup to this year's "Lines, Vines and Trying Times" probably won't surface until 2011.
"I think after releasing four albums in three and a half years and then me releasing ('Who I Am'), we kinda said, 'Let's maybe take it easy,' " Jonas explains. "There'll be a lot of material out there from 'Camp Rock 2,' so that'll work, and I think maybe not this year but next we'll record another album."
The full tracklist for "Who I Am" includes: "The Rose Garden," "Who I Am," "Olive & An Arrow," "Conspiracy Theory," "In the End," "Last Time Around," "Tonight," "State of Emergency," "Vespa's Goodbye" and "Stronger (Back on the Ground)."
Nick Jonas & the Administration's tour itinerary includes:
Jan. 2: House of Blues, Dallas
Jan. 4: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
Jan. 6: Warner Theater, Washington, DC
Jan. 7: Beacon Theater, New York City
Jan. 9: Tower Theater, Philadelphia
Jan. 12: Orpheum Theater, Boston
Jan. 15: Critic's Choice Awards
Jan. 16: Fox Theatre, Detroit
Jan. 17: Rosemont Theater, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 19: The Pageant, St. Louis
Jan. 20: Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee
Jan. 21: State Theatre, Minneapolis
Jan. 23: Paramount Theatre, Denver
Jan. 26: The Wiltern, Los Angeles
Jan. 30: Zellerbach Auditorium, Berkeley, Calif.