In a lengthy and candid interview with New York magazine's Jennifer Vineyard, published Sunday, the 24-year-old musician and middle Jonas discusses life behind the curtain of Disney's star factory -- including drug use with Miley Cyrus and his relationships with Demi Lovato and Ashley Greene.
"Being a part of the Disney thing for so long will make you not want to be this perfect little puppet forever," Jonas said of the network that made him famous.
Eventually, I hit a limit and thought, Screw all this, I’m just going to show people who I am. I think that happened to a lot of us. Disney kids are spunky in some way, and I think that’s why Disney hires them. “Look, he jumped up on the table!” Five, six, ten years later, they’re like, “Oh! What do we do?” Come on, guys. You did this to yourselves.
Though all three Jonas brothers famously wore promise rings, vowing to reserve sex for marriage, Joe said he and his brothers had to "sugarcoat" their real lives for the press.
"Because of our age, because of Disney, because of those rings, there were so many things throughout our career that we had to sugarcoat," he said. "If a lyric was slightly sexual, someone at the record company would tell us we had to change it. It could be the most innocent reference, like “I’m alone in a room with you,” and it would have to go."
"We decided to take the rings off a few years ago. I lost my virginity when I was 20. I did other stuff before then, but I was sexually active at 20," he said.
Jonas first tried marijuana with his Camp Rock costar and one-time girlfriend Demi Lovato.
"The first time I smoked weed was with Demi and Miley. I must have been 17 or 18. They kept saying, 'Try it! Try it!' so I gave it a shot, and it was all right," he said.
"We had been friends forever," Jonas said of his much-publicized romance with Lovato, who famously struggled with her own demons.
We were both Disney kids, and because we played a couple in the Camp Rock Disney Channel specials—and fans liked seeing us together—we eventually dated for a month. I really got to know her and got to see the ins and outs of what she was struggling with, like drug abuse. I felt like I needed to take care of her, but at the same time I was living a lie, because I wasn’t happy but felt like I had to stay in it for her, because she needed help. I couldn’t express any of that, of course, because I had a brand to protect.
He also discussed the nature of the Jonas Brothers' breakup -- which came to a head over their musical direction.
"Nick also had a louder voice than me and Kevin when it came to music and major decisions—he took a leadership role in the band, which got to us after a while," he said.
You can read the whole interview over at New York mag.