Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers in all walks of life. In episode 24, we spoke with Kevin Jonas, musician, singer, songwriter, and actor, who rose to fame in the pop-rock band, Jonas Brothers, with his siblings.

Listen to the full episode above (scroll down for the transcript) and see more from this series below.

This interview has not been edited for length or clarity.


Mike Sarraille:
Welcome to the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Sarraille. We’ve got a rapid fire with someone I highly admire, Kevin Jonas. Kevin, thank you for joining us.

Kevin Jonas:
Oh, thank you for having me really appreciate it, dude.

Mike Sarraille:
Okay, so you’re in the hot seat. Hey, Kevin, at the Everyday Warrior, we have a motto: “Get stuff done. Make stuff happen. Do it again tomorrow.” I know you’ve got some projects coming up. What do you got going on? Tell us about it.

Kevin Jonas:
So, well, I’m here today because I got to be partnered with Wells Fargo Active Cash card. I’m all about finding…prioritizing joy whether that’s passions, hobbies, all of those things. And with living as active a lifestyle as I have, and as busy as I am, finding hobbies I can do for myself outside of that is like therapy in a way. You know, I like my entire job. I’m very lucky not everyone gets to do this… their hobby becomes their career. Playing guitar for me was that, and so that’s why we’re able to talk today. I was able to come and talk to you and you know cash back is huge. So anytime you purchase things you love and care about, you get 2% back. You spend on yourself again.

Beyond that, we got a lot going on with new music. We’re going on tour again. We’ve got some shows in Vegas and Mexico.

Mike Sarraille:
That’s a lot. Did I hear there was a book in the works or did you recently write a book?

Kevin Jonas:
So we’ve been working on a book, me and my brothers, for a long time. We did a documentary. And me and my wife did a children’s book, which is really cool. I’ve always wanted to do that. We just wanted to wait till we had some kids to do that first and now of course we do. We had been working on a book for a long time, but something about the book just didn’t feel right. We kind of felt like maybe our story wasn’t fully complete yet, so we’re still working on it…still figuring exactly how that’s gonna roll, but to us, it’s, you know, it’s an ongoing journey

Mike Sarraille:
Of course, for everyone. When you put yourself out there, naturally there are people in the cheap seats as I like to call it, that, take shots at you guys. And you showed an amazing level of vulnerability, you and your brothers in the documentary. What was some of the feedback you got on that? I’m sure it was nothing, but pats on the back for being, I would say, morally courageous.

Kevin Jonas:
Yeah. I think sometimes it’s surprising. I think people forget that we’re actually brothers, right? I think sometimes people just, as you know, they know that clearly it’s in our title, but I think they forget the dynamics that everyone has with their family and how challenging that can be sometimes, whether it’s true family or best friend family. And we went through it, you know, we really did start to disconnect completely from each other. So when we were filming that documentary, it was—I’ll give credit when credit’s due. It was actually our manager, Phil. We were up in Mammoth at the house. My brothers had been for a while and we were snowboarding and just took a weekend together and we were having a conversation about doing the Jonas brothers again, This was like two years before we ever got back together.

Phil goes, What are you most concerned about? I said, getting my hopes up. And when I said that, I think it really bothered all of them. Cuz I think they realized that maybe we’re not there yet to actually do this. Like we don’t trust each other enough yet. Um, ‘cus this does take a lot of trust. It takes a lot of, you know, yes, you wanna work and you wanna make new great things, but you gotta be vulnerable in a way to be able to like share your story while you’re writing about it or leave your family for weeks at a time to go on the road with these guys. When you’re on the road, you’re on the road. I can’t even closely relate to what you probably dealt with in your past life working when you’re gone.

So this is family <laugh>, you know, like you have to live, breathe, and eat with these people. And so it’s hard and sometimes you need to be best friends and sometimes being best friends means you have to fight. And for us, we did a lot of that and we stopped being a family and I think it took this documentary. He said, how about we just film us going and just discovering who we are again. And through that process, we got really real and found each other again and found ourselves, and here we are today.

Mike Sarraille:
So the process was cathartic in a way for you guys.

Kevin Jonas:
Think it was needed. I think we needed to go in, like we needed to have the tough conversations we were afraid to have and being on camera kind of forced it. There was actually a scene in this documentary that we did on Amazon that was us having like a drinking game, talking about things. And we, that was the moment, right? That was the moment where everything turned around and what’s crazy is when they showed us the first cut that wasn’t in there, they said it was just too hard to watch. Like it was too much. We felt like it was pushing too far. And we were like, if that’s not in there, we don’t wanna put it. We don’t wanna do this documentary like straight up. We were like that’s the moment. I think everything turns around the moment that Joe says, we felt like you were holding us back as hard as that is to hear. And as me being like, but what did I do to even hold you back?

Mike Sarraille:
You were living your life with getting ready for a family.

Kevin Jonas:
We just didn’t understand. Like I had to live life so I could understand your life. And I think that’s why it worked.

Mike Sarraille:
You know, what’s interesting is that mental health does not mean mental weakness at all. And mental health is a hot topic as we all know right now, but just the power of simply sitting down and having a conversation to clear things up. There are so many conversations I look back on and I’m like, Man, I just wish I had that conversation three years earlier. It’s things we wouldn’t have gotten to this point.

Kevin Jonas:
It’s so weird how simple it is to just talk. But it’s the hardest thing to do, right? We always say you have to jump, you have to really, you know, take that first leap. And sometimes you’re frustrated and I’ve learned quickly that I can bury it down. That’s who I am. I feel like I was like not raised, but what happened to me through my early years. And I just had to push it down cause I had to be strong for the whole family and we had to keep moving. And I think it had a lot to do with early days growing up as my dad was a pastor in a church and we needed to be that essential first family of the church in a way. And sometimes there are pressures there.

Kevin Jonas:
You’re still a teenager, young kid, like learning who you are. You mess up, you’re on display, but you didn’t ask for it. So I can relate to what my daughters may go through at one point when they’re like, “I don’t wanna deal with this—just because you’re in a band doesn’t mean I need to be on display at all.” And so learning those things, learning that dynamic is difficult, but there are times where I remember if I would’ve just been like, “I’m uncomfortable saying those words.” As men I think a lot of the time we don’t say it and we don’t ever admit to it, which is weird that we don’t. But I remember there was an interview and I just said, “Hey, I’m uncomfortable. Like this feels off. And I was like, I’m gonna go.” I had every right to do that. But in my past, I would’ve never walked away from something. I would’ve never said I’m uncomfortable. And then I would’ve been upset later. But I just was like, I’m going to start being real about how I feel. And it really opened up doors for sure.

Mike Sarraille:
It is so refreshing when people are very direct with how they feel, cus, you know, they don’t hold back. They’re gonna present their authentic, genuine selves,

Kevin Jonas:
I think the problem for me, let’s call it a celebrity. If you are direct or if you know how you feel, people take that as you being arrogant.

Mike Sarraille:
I thought you were gonna say that.

Kevin Jonas:
And it’s a little bit unfair. Or conceited even, right? And it’s like, no, I don’t wanna do this. Saying no sometimes is the most healthy thing you can do. We said yes so long that we drove ourselves into the ground where if we would probably say no a couple more times to doing things, we could have been like, ugh, it was always the next thing. We never enjoyed the moment. And I think, you know, we had to learn those lessons,

Mike Sarraille:
The power of no—it’s taken me years to figure that out as well. Uh, as you know, well, intentioned as you were when you said yes, right? Uh, if it’s not healthy for you, I mean, you’ve gotta take care of you first in order to take care of other people. Cause then you’re, you’ve got kids now,

Kevin Jonas:
The shell of yourself and you’re not really doing anything. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
Um, so you know, we also talk about success and failure in the Everyday Warrior, which you’ve had your share of both. And it seems like success is just sort of glossed over. And especially when you’re a celebrity, I mean, they just come in on those failures, but as you let’s start with success, have you, after you look back on all the years, what do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment…your biggest success?

Kevin Jonas:
I think, yeah, it might sound a little corny, but I don’t feel like it is my kids. I think it’s the fact that I’ve been able to prioritize their life and know that I’m not really doing any of this for myself. You know, my legacy, my journey, my goal is to always build them up…be the man I hope I can be a good example for my daughters. Right. Like we grew up in a house full of boys, right. Four boys, my mom, you know, it was just her.

Mike Sarraille:
That poor woman.

Kevin Jonas:
Yeah. We protected, I know that poor lady, we protected her. We looked out for her, but I never knew what it was gonna be like to have a household of girls. Right. So now that’s my life. And all I want to do is make sure they have a good example of what a man should be and treat them growing up and you know, do the best I can.

Mike Sarraille:
Well, at the end of the day, they are your legacy. So, you know, again, it seems like your failures are magnified by nature of your celebrity status. Man. What do you consider to be your biggest failure. And more importantly, what do you think you learned from it moving forward?

Kevin Jonas:
Um, biggest failure, I think not prioritizing good investment early in my life. Like it’s really interesting creativity in the sense of how to like how to operate financially when you’re making that much as an early kid. Like, like, I don’t know, we grew up, we were, you know, we were, we didn’t grow up very well, well off in any capacity. Right. Um, all of a sudden you wake up one morning and you’re 19, 20 and you’ve got money. It’s like, you don’t really, really know what to do. And yes, I think luckily we’ve had a great team around us for a very long time that has helped us and be conservative in the sense of being conservative, but also making smart and healthy decisions. Um, I think my biggest failure though, is sometimes you can focus on something and instead of realizing when it’s time to call it, when it’s time to put it to sleep versus like putting more money in…chasing your tail. Sometimes you’re better off walking away.

Mike Sarraille:
It’s funny. We had Dave, Bautista the famous WWE wrestler and actor on. He talked about how he blew through his money. He grew up very poor, and when he finally had it, he went through it. Now he’s learned, Hey, sometimes, time is the greatest mentor of all.

Kevin Jonas:
Really is for sure. <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
We, we all know that, man. I wish I could go back and talk to my 20 year old self. I’d have some harsh words for that individual. You know we talk a lot about mindset. Again, with all your success, what do you credit those either leadership principles or attributes or disciplines? What are your three top tenants of success?

Kevin Jonas:
It’s actually a phrase my dad taught us early on, which was “Even if you’re at the top, live like you’re at the bottom.” It wasn’t about money. It was about staying hungry and it was about, look, there’s always gonna be somebody better than you. It’s what you do with the opportunity that you’ve been given. And it was hard, right? Like I didn’t understand it until I’m in my late twenties, early thirties. And I remember playing, you know, Cowboys Stadium for X amount of people and being like 22 years old, I’m like this is wild. Also my life partner, my wife, uh, finding someone that understands me and understands why I am the way I am and understanding that I’m still figuring myself out.

We got married young. I’m about to celebrate my 13-year wedding anniversary, which is wild. I’m, you know, I’m not that old. Um, so it’s, we got married young, but we just felt like what we knew was right. And luckily we’ve been able to grow together. And that I think is about communication. Unlike a lot of relationships, they don’t talk as much as we do. We talk more than I think we should <laugh> but it’s healthy. And I’m proud that we have that relationship.

Mike Sarraille:
Those are powerful words. And especially with relationships as two people evolve, I mean, 13 years, first off, congratulations, man. And to have beautiful little girls that is all you need in richness in life.

Kevin Jonas:
Thank you.

Mike Sarraille:
Talk to me about, again, you guys lived a crazy schedule watching that documentary. I do not envy you whatsoever. And I think a lot of us only see the highlights of you guys on stage. Tell me what you learned from that lifestyle and how you’ve, you know, what your daily routine is now to maintain. Let’s say a more physically, mentally, and spiritually fit life.

Kevin Jonas:
I think it really has to do with, um, as brothers. Oh, kind of silo it, right? Yeah. From my work life to home life. Um, so like when I’m on, on the tour, when I’m on working, we always have other things going on. What people don’t see is like, yes, we all have individual projects outside of the band. Right. We’re on the road, but I might not be in that city until literally minutes before we hit the stage. Um, so we might be having a million things going on, but we really try to spend at least one or two times a week, just the three of us, um, me and my two brothers. So we can, whether that’s golf, something we all care about and love mm-hmm <affirmative> whether that’s just going to a bar and having a drink together and just kind of like talking it’s sometimes having that moment together allows us to reconnect and be stronger, cuz we all still go our separate ways.

Kevin Jonas:
And in, in home life, I think it’s about finding passion for myself, working out, eating well. Um, I’m a very big avid golfer. Not still trying to be better as we all are aren’t we, um, this was, you know, I was in love with golf prior to the pandemic, but it only got better cuz that was the only thing to do. Um, but it’s a way for me to, for myself, you know, relationship with friends, but it’s also me versus the game, which is really wonderful. It’s, you know, it’s one thing I always did sports growing up that were really weird, but it was always a team sport, but it was always individual base. So I was a, uh, I was a gymnast, which is obviously team sport, but it’s about you. I was a varsity pole vault in high school and a bowler. So I always did events that required you to succeed as an individual, but for the team. Yes. So it was really weird and I think that translated to my life long term.

Mike Sarraille:
Beautiful. What, what’s the first thing you do in the morning? What’s your routine?

Kevin Jonas:
Um, first thing I do in the morning, I am just instantly into coffee. It’s just like my, you know, bread and butter. Um, but I really do try to get up, try to go to the gym right away. Um, but really the first thing I do nowadays is I, if I am home, I am up whether I take the red eye or whatever, but I’m home and if I can be home and I can be there for breakfast, be like, I love to do breakfast for the girls. Um, because I know the rest of my day might be complete, you know, completely gone. Even if that means I’m up, I do breakfast and I go back to bed. Cause I only got in like four in the morning. Doesn’t matter. Like I really do try to do the breakfast with the kids. Well,

Mike Sarraille:
At least, uh, um, it’s a positive to hear you knock your out out as early, uh, as possible. Uh I’m I’m the complete, uh, same way. So Kevin, let me, let me close this out. When all is said and done 50 years from now and you’re at that moment, how is Kevin Jonas going to assess whether he lived a life of purpose and impact?

Kevin Jonas:
I think it’s going to be with the love of our family around us, that we didn’t lose each other, which we could have done a long time ago. I think when we maybe one day stand up in that stage 50, you know, when we’re in our fifties and we have our kids, our grandkids all around us and we’re a family first. That’s how we won. It was a family first before anything else?

Mike Sarraille:
No objections to that. Hey Kevin, I can’t thank you enough for joining the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast rapid fire. You are a good man, sir. And hopefully we can cross in the future, man.

Kevin Jonas:
Absolutely. Man. See you at a show next time.

Mike Sarraille:
Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show and pick up a new issue of Men’s Journal magazine. Men’s Journal magazine has features on health and fitness, adventure and travel, style, and my favorite, the coolest gear hitting the market today. Until next time. I’m Mike Sarraille and thanks for listening.

Episode 25

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 25: Actor David Boreanaz
Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with
Play
Flip podcast card

Episode 26

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 26: Erin Andrews
In episode 26 of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast, we spoke with sportscaster and TV personality Erin Andrews.
Play
Flip podcast card

Episode 27

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Season 2 Episode 1: Dan Marino
Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with
Play
Flip podcast card