Joe Jonas talks mentoring on CW's 'The Next' and the new Jonas Brothers album

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Joe Jonas has been "working the streets" -- his words, not ours. Working the streets for music, that is, and on his birthday, no less.

Zap2it chatted with the Jonas Brother on his 23rd birthday about his new role as mentor on the CW's " The Next."

As the network's take on competitive singing, "The Next" places viewers as the judges of talent, while Jonas and fellow co-stars,  Gloria EstefanNelly, and  John Rich serve as the mentors.

"It's like taking 'Simple Life' and 'American Idol' and throwing them into one," Joe tells us. 

How so? All four mentors get to spend 72 hours with their individual contestants in six different cities, truly immersing themselves in their mentees' daily lives rather than just advising them in a recording studio.

Thus far, we're told the experiences have been eventful, beginning with Joe's very own induction into The Baby-sitters Club alongside one contestant: "There were fifteen crazy kids that showed up! They destroyed the house. I'm sitting here like, 'I hope I can get out of here before the parents get home,'" he jokes.

But this won't be all fun and games. "The Next" is a competition show after all, and when searching for the next best talent, there are bound to be some hearts broken along the way.

"It's that honesty hour. You have to tell people if they're good or not. You have to be really honest because you have to send the right talent forward," he says.

On why he was drawn to the show: "You really relate with what [the contestants] are going through and their struggle. We've [the mentors] had ups and downs of our success -- even at a young age, to have different variables of what's good and bad in the business. So you meet these artists who have really only seen the bad, and you really want to help them out." He continues, "I've had the opportunity to mentor and produce other artists off-camera, but it's nice for me to be a little bit more vocal." 

As for the one thing he looks for in other artists, he stresses the importance of one's drive and motivation.

"You're obviously gonna have artists that are really talented... Do you have the drive to do this? Do you literally want to get up at 5 in the morning, get on the phone, and then go to the studio till 3 in the morning, get two hours of sleep?"

And the latest scoop on  The Jonas Brothers? Currently working on their fifth studio album, Joe informs us to expect a slightly different dynamic now that he and his brothers have grown up.

"We started out all really young guys, kind of jumped right into it like One Direction right now. As we're all adults now, we can write about different situations and relationships, even just getting deeper into lyrics, and kind of finding a new place as artists."

"I've noticed a lot of people hungry for [boy bands], and I know I'm hungry for it again. I want to perform tomorrow with [The Jonas Brothers]. We are ready," he says when asked about a potential tour.

Joe, who will be celebrating his birthday tonight, also spills that he's hoping he gets a new camera after his last one was stolen on vacation. Fingers crossed!

"The Next" premieres Thursday, Aug 16 at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images