updated 10/30/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/31/2013 AT 8:15 AM ET
When the moment came to break up the Jonas Brothers on Oct. 3, Nick Jonas tells PEOPLE that he went “into a bit of trance.”
“You prep a million ways,” says Nick, 21. But once he admitted to his brothers how he felt, that he wasn’t sure the band could continue as it was, “there was sort of a shut-off that happened. It took some time, about 24 hours or so, before we could really talk about it.”
On Tuesday came the exclusive announcement to PEOPLE that, as a professional music team, the sibling trio are “over for now.”
At first, Joe, 24, and Kevin, 25, said they were shocked by what went down.
“Kevin and I thought we were going into a meeting about releasing some of the music we’d been working on,” says Joe. Instead, Nick told them he was considering calling it quits.
Joe says he didn’t say much at first, but Kevin and Nick talked late into the night. By the next morning, the brothers began to speak openly, in a way they never had before.
“There were tears and yelling from everybody,” admits Nick.
But, adds Kevin, “It was the most real, the most intense conversation that we’ve had in our lives together.”
Ultimately, the brothers decided, the best way to save their personal relationship was to break up the band. “Prioritizing our family is really important to us,” says Nick.
“We’re choosing our family because it was becoming toxic,” says Kevin, who admits his relationship with his brothers was suffering, in part, because his focus was elsewhere.
“I wasn’t contributing to the music the way I should have,” says Kevin, who, admittedly, is more interested in the business side of things.
For more on the Jonas Brothers’ decision to call it quits, including Joe’s reaction to false reports he had drug problem, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday