The Band Perry living and breathing its music
By Luis Gomez
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 7:51 p.m.
Before reuniting for dinner at their parents' home during a recent break from touring, the three siblings who make up The Band Perry — known best for their quadruple-platinum hit “If I Die Young” — and their parents, who regularly join the band on tour, agreed to act like a normal family and stay away from talking about music.
“We sat in silence for a half hour,” says Kimberly Perry, adding that they eventually got back to talking music. “We could not get away from it.”
Music has been a big part of the family's life long before the country trio's self-titled debut album sold 1.5 million copies and the band was nominated for best new artist at the 2012 Grammys. The Band Perry currently is touring with Rascal Flatts and performs Sept. 6 at First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown.
Kimberly was part of a band with high school friends when she was 15, and her brothers, Reid and Neil, then 10 and 8, opened up for them with their band. In October, the siblings will celebrate the 15-year anniversary of their first show.
Once Kimberly's bandmates moved on, she formed The Band Perry with her brothers in 2005 — which she said was always in the cards. As the story goes, their parents were just waiting for the siblings to get closer in height. Asked if her ex-bandmates regret their decision to part ways, Kimberly says, “They all moved on to various, cool jobs” before admitting, with some prodding, “Maybe a couple of them wish they stuck around.”
Kimberly and Co. have come a long way from their early shows, which took place at churches, restaurants and fairs. In 2005, they played acoustic shows at Walmarts across the country as part of the New Faces of Country Tour.
“We played anywhere and everywhere we possibly could,” Kimberly says. “There were so many shows we played where there were more people on stage than in the crowd. But we were encouraged to play for two people like it was 200 people, and eventually the right people (would) cross our path. And it was true. We did a thousand shows before we had a song on the radio. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. The live element is our first love. We're able to handle whatever comes our way because it's probably already happened on stage.”
Kimberly suffered bruising and an abrasion to her leg, not to mention a ripped dress, when overly excited fans pulled her toward the barriers during a show earlier this summer in Bowmanville, Ontario, outside of Toronto.
In April, the band released its sophomore album, “Pioneer,” which includes the singles “Better Dig Two,” “Done.” and “Don't Let Me Be Lonely.” All three band members agreed, in unison, that this album, which has sold more than 400,000 copies, was more difficult to make than their 2010 debut. That might explain, in part, why they waited three years to release it.
“There were moments when (the album) was our best friend and moments when it was our chief nemesis, but it was always our teacher,” says Kimberly of “Pioneer,” which changed producers during the recording process.
“We learned to be creative on the go. We were forced to be inspired on our days inside a tour bus and were talking about life rather than living it.
“We definitely felt a responsibility to top (our debut album). Having the opportunity to record a second album is a gift. We rewrote the song ‘I'm a Keeper' four times. It was really challenging. But in the end, it all paid off.”
Luis Gomez is a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Symphony struggles to increase revenues, reduce costs
- Expect ‘feminine’ album from Lambert in June
- Review: Swiss troupe’s performance sheds ‘Lux’ on choreographer’s artistry
- Sean Forbes sees himself as more than just a ‘deaf rapper’
- Drummer Owens explores variety in music, bandmates
- 2014-15 PNC Pops season drops Thursdays, adds more film to schedule