Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers says he wasn't sure how ticket sales would go for his new side project, Nick Jonas and the Administration.
"It's so much different than anything I've done in the past, so I can never assume anything, and I didn't with this," Jonas says in a phone interview from Nashville, Tenn., the third stop on the Nick Jonas and the Administration tour.
"That's why we wanted to make sure we had a real intimate vibe, in case the tickets didn't sell. Once I saw it was selling, it was a relief."
The tour, including next week's Pageant date, is largely sold out, whether it's from the Jonas name, curiosity about Kevin and Joe's little brother or genuine interest in the music on his upcoming CD "Who I Am," scheduled for release Feb. 2.
The idea for the side band came about after he realized that new tunes he was writing didn't necessarily sound like Jonas Brothers songs, he says.
"These songs were just pouring out of my heart about things I was going through, and I sat down with management and told them my idea of doing the record," Jonas says. "It was about me branching out and finding my own sound."
"Who I Am" was recorded in about a week and a half, and "we recorded it like it was the '60s and the '70s, with a real raw rock feel," he says.
The "we" in this case are some former members of Prince's NPG band, who are also part of the Jonas' touring band.
"Those are musicians I was really inspired by," Jonas says. "I learned so much from them."
Asked who's likely to be the tougher boss — Nick Jonas or Prince — Jonas laughed. "I don't know. I think Prince is amazing and much more talented than I, and more opinionated."
Naturally, Jonas' detour has led some people to wonder whether there's trouble in the Jonas camp.
"It's just a side project I'm able to do," he says, adding that his brothers are supportive. "They were at the first couple of shows, right there singing along and cheering."
Jonas will squeeze in at least a few Jonas Brothers numbers in concert.
"I'll do some songs I like singing, that I have a connection with, and that the fans are more familiar with," he says.
But unlike a JoBros concert, which have been known to come with their share of frills, he says with this show "the focus is on the music and having a musical experience."