Siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry headline country music fest on Aug. 3 with Rascal Flatts
By: Nick Krewen Music, Published on Fri Aug 02 2013
Heartbreak and attitude.
While those two qualities don’t spell out the entire musical proclivity of The Band Perry, the sibling trio from Mobile, Alabama, that has been taking the country music world by storm, this is a group that enjoys flaunting its ornery side.
Big sister and lead vocalist Kimberly Perry may laugh at the suggestion there’s a defiant attitude displayed on the threesome’s sophomore album, Pioneer, but she doesn’t deny it.
“I think the three of us bring different forms of personality in, even though we’re brothers and sister,” responds Perry, who takes to the stage with brothers Reid (the bass player) and Neil (drums in the studio, mandolin onstage) Saturday night at the Boots and Hearts Country Music Festival.
“I think you can find a bit of them all in Pioneer. I will say that there were some tones in this project that were really heavy-handed, stemming from the three of us feeling most inspired from the position of the underdog, because we were travelling and recording and writing all full-time.
“It was a whirlwind and we had to figure out how to rise to the occasion of really digging for this record and making it happen. Songs like ‘DONE’ which seems like a relationship song, actually stems from that circumstance and really feeling like we had to beat the process and make it to the other side. So that’s where a lot of that spitfire attitude comes from.”
Neil (The Band Perry conducts their phone interviews as a collective) says he’s amazed at just how strongly their attitude songs have resonated with the public.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “I remember we were playing a show in Missouri and after the show one of the spotlight operators came up to our mom and told her, ‘Tell your kids that “DONE” helped me get through a tough situation: my husband beat me three times and put me in the hospital, but after I heard “DONE” I decided that was it and I left him.’ So that was pretty cool getting to hear how even our attitudinal songs affect people.”
“They all make them their own soundtracks,” Kimberly chimes in.
The Band Perry has been going strong since 2005, when the brothers, who had their own little combo going, and Kimberly, also fronting a different ensemble, decided to make it a family affair.
Their self-titled debut, released in 2010, sold over one million and a half copies in the U.S., more than 75,000 here in Canada, generated hits with “You Lie,” “If I Die Young,” “All Your Life” and “Postcard From Paris” and nabbed them three Country Music Association Awards, including one for New Artist of the Year.
They toured with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, and were poised to record Pioneer with heavy-hitting producer Rick Rubin but, later, former Giant guitarist Dann Huff ended up being a better fit.
“Rick was more involved on the songwriting end of our process,” Kimberly explains. “In fact, most of the songs that you hear on Pioneer were penned in his studio and under his counsel and direction. We actually call him ‘The Song Doctor’ because he taught us everything from really tightening down our rhyme scheme to forgetting about the words and really focusing on the heart in the music.
“Ultimately, though, when we looked at production, Rick in his current incarnation is a minimalist, but to grow our touring business and be honest to our live show we had to have macro production. For that, Dann Huff was on speed dial.”
Reid adds: “Dann was great because he actually came out to see a live performance, the first producer to do so.
“You’re going to get the truth about The Band Perry when you see us live. We are very vulnerable in our songwriting, but I feel like we portray it in a very rock ’n’ roll sense. We have tons of electric guitars and big drum beats, and Kimberly makes a lot of extra noises when she sings, so when Dann came out to the show he realized all of this and he was able to take that into the studio.
“It’s honestly taken our live show to the next level as well.”
As for those rumours that have Kimberly Perry sitting next to Urban as a judge on the next round of American Idol?
“We saw that story,” she replies. “I have not had any meetings with Idol, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled and see what happens.”
Boots and Hearts Day is on at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville until Aug. 4. Tickets priced at $114.99 have been released for the remaining days, headlined by Jason Aldean and Dean Brody Aug. 2; Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry on Aug. 3; and concluding with Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley and others on Aug. 4. See http://bootsandhearts.com/ www.bootsandhearts.com for more details.