"Done" by The Band Perry
The members of the sibling trio The Band Perry didn’t just fall into place because they’re family.
Band Perry lead singer Kimberly Perry remembers being given the requirements of a family band:
“I remember our parents sitting us down and saying, ‘You’re never going to be in a band because your last name is “Perry.” You’re going to be in a band because you earned your spot.’ That’s one thing we can be confident in, all of us in the Band Perry, we’ve worked hard to earn our spots and I think knowing that we share that level of commitment and workmanship, is something that’s really special among the three of us.”
The trio consists of Kimberly and younger brothers Reid and Neil. The siblings moved with their parents to Greeneville, Tenn., from Mobile, Ala., in 2002. The brothers began working as roadies for Kimberly when she was working with other musicians, but, eventually, Kimberly, Reid and Neil joined forces to form The Band Perry. The group released its debut album in 2010 and the single “If I Die Young,” which became a No. 1 country hit. The band followed with more hits, including, “Better Dig Two,” “All Your Life” and “You Lie,” and recently released a sophomore album, “Pioneer.” The group has also racked up a stack of awards and sold millions of CDs and downloads.
Reid says “Pioneer” was more difficult to create than the group’s debut.
“They say you have your whole life to make your first album and just a couple of months to make your second,” he says. “That’s true, but it’s also that you’re always out on the road and not really living life. On the road, time seems to stand still. Back home, people are getting married and having babies and their lives are moving on. So we had to make life happen on the road. We brought friends out so we would live life and learn from it and write about it. That was the process for the second album.”
“And, a lot of the idea behind ‘Pioneer’ is the journey — the moving from point A to point B,” says Kimberly. “In our world that was kind of on the heels of ‘If I Die Young’ and the success of the first album and figuring where we needed to go next. We had no idea what we needed to say or what it was going to sound like.”
She says some writers have said the songs on the album sound angry, but that’s not really what drove the disc.
“All of that came out of the spirit of feeling like the underdog. The three of us are inspired to write when we’re feeling like we need to rise above a particular challenge or circumstance. None of it was relationship-related, although a lot of our fans are using it for that. For us, it was about soldiering on and moving through some turbulent waters and marching forward.”
Kimberly says that fighting spirit has always been one of the band’s strongest assets:
“We had blind ambition from day one. We knew that wherever the stages were going to be, we were going to be playing music, whether that was for 20 people or 200 or 2,000 or 20,000. I think our love of what we do drove us, but it was also the idea that something could happen. And our parents were good at helping us keep focused on our ambitions and on the direction we were headed. Our parents have been our best friends along the way.”
“I don’t think in the beginning we necessarily knew how far music would take us,” says Neil. “I don’t think we expected we’d have the opportunity to play in front of the president twice or play in Europe. But now that we’re here we’re going to soak in the moment and enjoy it. That’s the advice a lot of our peers in music have given us — ‘Just enjoy the moments as they come.’ Because it’s so easy to let them go by without really soaking them in.”
All agree that there are advantages to creative endeavors with family members.
“We are genuinely respectful, but we don’t always have to be polite when we give our opinions,” says Reid. “I feel like you can adjust to opinions a lot quicker than if they were from strangers.”
The group also keeps a strong sense of place. The trio still consider Greeneville home and are always anxious to return, although they say it seems more like “vacation” now, considering the act is always on the road.
The group will have little time home in the coming months.
The band will embark on its first overseas headlining tour just after finishing up the current tour in the United States and the trio is already working on songs for the next record.
“For us, it’s all about the climb — continuing to push ourselves forward and always write taller songs and perform taller shows,” says Kimberly.
The Band Perry
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29
Where: Smokies Stadium, 3540 Line Drive, Kodak
Tickets: $35, $25, available at Knoxville Tickets outlets, 865-656-4444 and www.knoxvilletickets.com
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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