The Band Perry Interview

Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry

Grammy-Award-winners The Band Perry, featuring siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry, perform at Stargazer Pavilion at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel on April 25 at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $45. The trio were born in Jackson, Mississippi but moved to Mobile, Alabama, where they formed the band in 1999. Ten years later, they were signed to Universal Republic. The band spoke to Sedona Monthly from the road about their upcoming northern Arizona appearance. – Erika Ayn Finch.

Sedona Monthly: First off, congratulations on winning your first Grammy in February. What was it like performing on that stage?
Kimberly: Thank you so much. Growing up as a family, the Grammys were always like the Super Bowl in our house. We watched it as a family. To be there this year and to finally be winners – our biography line has already changed. It was a special night for us.
Reid: We recorded Glenn Campbell’s Gentle on My Mind for the documentary Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me. That’s how we got to know the song. Two years later we’ve come full circle to be able to win a Grammy for recording it.
Kimberly: Paul McCartney was sitting in the front row. And the actual performance was special, but Paul was actually there for the rehearsal because he was a big fan of Glenn Campbell, who was actually on the White Album. All I remember was McCartney got out his cellphone and started taking pictures during rehearsal and the three of us were freaking out. We couldn’t believe we were on Paul McCartney’s iPhone.

Let’s talk about your show on April 25 at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel’s Stargazer Pavilion. You played Phoenix last September and you’ve also played Country Thunder music festival in Florence, Arizona. Does anything stand out about Arizona shows or audiences?
Kimberly: Some of our best experiences have been in Arizona. Phoenix was the very first place we heard a crowd sing If I Die Young back to us. We got there an hour before we had to take the stage, and when we pulled around in our 12-passenger van, we saw this long line waiting to get into the show. We asked our tour manager who else was playing, and he said they were here to see us. We also got to do the benefit with Dierks Bentley for the families of the firefighters who passed away. That was a poignant night as well.

Stargazer is a relatively intimate venue. After performing at the Grammys and then Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life – An All-Star Grammy Salute on CBS, is it going to feel strange to perform on a small stage?
Neil: The three of us love all sorts of venues for different reasons. We love going to big ones because you can have the production elements – the big stage, the lights, the pyro, the fog machines. But small venues are always fun because it’s like a sweaty rock ‘n’ roll show. You can have a one-on-one conversation with the crowd. Sometimes we’ll start talking with each other, and you come up with really cool moments in the show.

For those who haven’t seen you perform live, what can audiences expect?
Kimberly: We have a very modern show. We love the storytelling element of country music and the giant sing-a-longs. We have a modern performance style. We leave our hearts onstage. I can tell you that when we get off [stage] every night, we have to do a physical cool down because it’s like a workout. One time we figured it out that we move about 4 ½ miles in a 75-minute show. We’re moving a lot. We feed off the energy of the crowd. From the moment people step a toenail into the venue, they are going to have a great time. They will leave saying it was one of their favorite nights of their lives. That’s our goal every time we get onstage.

Country music is going through an exciting phase right now, and The Band Perry is at the forefront of what’s happening. Your last album was titled Pioneer. Do you feel like pioneers in the county music business?
Reid: Especially when it comes to performing, which is what we truly love and what we did before we were writing songs or giving interviews, our style comes from our influences. I love rock ‘n’ roll – Queen, the Rolling Stones – and a lot of Motown and pop like Michael Jackson. We try and take the different elements we like about those shows and [incorporate] them into our shows.
Kimberly: I also feel like country music has gone through so many waves since we’ve been a part of it – only in the past five years. I agree that it’s exciting how quickly everything changes, and country seems to be embracing more sounds then ever. But I think, on the other side of that, pop culture is embracing country like never before. We’re getting to make our new record and of course we are collaborating in Nashville, but we also have some collaborations in LA. It’s amazing to me how many people who you wouldn’t expect are country fans and adore our genre and want to be a part of it.

You are siblings. You tour together and spend a lot of time with each other. Have you always been close?
Kimberly: We have. Growing up under the same roof, our parents encouraged us to be gracious to each other. They made sure there was peace in the household and that we genuinely appreciated each other and had each other’s backs. I think it was a great life lesson but also for us it’s come in handy now that we share a tour bus for a good portion of the year. Everyone asks if we get along. I think that we have our moments from time to time, but I think we’ve discovered the energy is better expended in moving toward a common goal rather than battling each other.

So what’s the last song you listened to on your iPhone?
Reid: Luxury by Jon Bellion.
Kimberly: Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson got me going this morning, along with my coffee.
Neil: Fancy by Iggy Azalea [laughter].
Kimberly: Is that on the record?
Neil: Yeah, that’s on the record.

MORE SEDONA MONTHLY INTERVIEWS: Susan Sarandon, John Waters, Leighton Meester, Ed Asner, Tony Curtis, Joan Collins, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Lea Thompson, Don Black, Beatrice Welles, Frances Fisher, Gary Sinise, Rita Rudner, Michael Moore, Tim Daly, Maynard James Keenan, Richard Schiff, Connie Stevens, Don Hahn, Ed Harris, Marla Sokoloff, Bill Plympton, Robert Osborne, Jane Seymour, Robert Shields

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