Grateful for Success, the Band Perry Kicks It Up a Notch
Santa Ana, Calif. — The magnitude of their success doesn’t seem to have fully sunk in for the Perry siblings.
They’re gracious and polite and understandably thrilled with everything that’s happened to them during their rise to country music stardom in the past three years under the moniker the Band Perry. Vocalist and guitarist Kimberly, the eldest, even took a moment to humbly thank me for doing this interview — something that rarely happens, especially right out of the gate.
While amiably undertaking a slew of phone chats in a few hours, the 30-year-old with wavy blond hair — who was on the line with her brothers, bassist Reid, 24, and drummer and mandolin player Neil, 23 — actually remembered my first name and where I was calling from. Letting out a sigh that included an “I still can’t believe how awesome this all is” laugh, she described what life has been like since the release of the group’s sophomore album, Pioneer, which arrived in April.
“It’s been a really great summer,” she says sweetly, comparing every weekend to summer camp. The Band Perry served as supporting act on the final leg of Rascal Flatts’ Changed Tour earlier this year and has rejoined the group for its Live & Loud outing.
The outing has taken the group to dozens of new places, and when they’re not on the bus working on fresh material, Neil says they’re out experiencing the local fare.
“We’ve gotten to go to some really cool towns,” he says, “so we’ll get dressed up, like incognito and go out to antique stores or music stores. We’re also big on trying out the local restaurants as well. We like to be tourists.”
Growing up in Mobile, Ala., and later relocating to Greenville, Tenn., the Perrys began making music together while in grade school. With countless hometown gigs under their belts, they branched out and officially formed the Band Perry in 2005.
Three years later, they had a chance meeting with Garth Brooks’ manager, who turned them on to Republic Nashville, a just-developing branch of Universal Music Group. The group signed with the label the year it launched, 2009, and released the single Hip to My Heart before issuing a self-titled EP in May 2010 and an eponymous full-length effort in October that year.
A handful of singles followed: You Lie, Postcard from Paris and two No. 1 hits, All Your Life and the inescapable If I Die Young, which Kimberly penned on her own. Their second effort has received a similar response, with the haunting and biting leadoff single Better Dig Two topping the country chart while the boot-stomping anthem Done has quickly become a radio favorite.
Reid says he’s happy to beef up the band’s set list and see the audience singing along to the latest material: “It’s given a whole new energy to the live show.”
“One of my favorite moments in the show right now is on a song called I’m a Keeper,” Kimberly adds. “It hasn’t been a single yet, but the crowd already sings it back to us like it is. I’m not quite sure where they’re finding it —on YouTube, maybe — but it’s one of the favorites on iTunes and people are drawn to it.”
Greater success has given them a larger budget for stage production, so the Perrys have splurged on more elaborate effects, including light-up stairs and fog jets that shoot a thick mist 10-12 feet into the air.
“We like spectacles,” Kimberly says with a laugh. “We grew up loving rock ‘n’ roll shows like AC/DC and the Rolling Stones, all of that sort of stuff. Everything we do, it always comes back to the live show. That’s where we were before we were writing a bunch of songs or doing interviews — we were playing live music since we were little kids, and that’s one of the mediums we feel the most creative in.”