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An exclusive interview with The Band Perry

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Kimberly Perry shares from their hotel room that she and her two brothers Reid and Neil are in Kingston Ontario and with no hint of hesitation to her voice inquires about the amount of snow and if we have at least two feet of it. I quickly tell her that it’s about 23 below zero, she says oh goodness! And goes on that ‘we were in -34 degrees a couple of nights ago, and it was so cold,’ and says ‘We’re from Alabama and you guys are tougher up north then we are down south’, and then she was like, ‘How do you even breath?! So crazy!’

Shannon: When you started out in music did it always come so natural?

Kimberly: So many of our earlier family memories were also musical ones, our parents were like our very first radio they would always have music playing in the house and I remember the first time that the three of us ever sang in three part family harmony, and we were on a family vacation, out to the wild wild south west in the United States they rented a really small RV and we went trucking across the southwest. One night our mother had the late night driving shift to keep her awake we huddled around her driver’s seat and figured out how to sing in three part harmony it was our first memory to making music together, very organic.

Shannon: So it kind of all happened on accident then, right?

Neil: Yeah, Kind of they had us in violin lessons and piano lessons, almost like you said almost accidently, joined different bands around the Mobile area and then 15 years later here we are up in three and a half feet of snow in Canada!

Kimberly: I always feel like there was one thing we were all meant to do, it was really cool as kids, our parents would shoot home videos of us, you know everything and I think it’s really cool to go back and see the little kids along the way whether it was me forcing my poor grandparents to listen to me sing at three o’clock in the morning like Neil was banging on pots and pans he was the drummer back in the day we have videos of all that stuff and I just think that’s it’s really cool to see these videos of the kids that led to the big stage if you will.

Shannon: Who were your musical influences when growing up, and have they changed since you are older now?

Neil: The three of us definitely have our own individual influences, growing up in the same household because we did listen to the same radio, we also enjoyed the same kind of stuff but I would say collectively one of our favorite artists and one of our biggest influences as far as songwriting was a lady named Bobbie Gentry who was from Louisiana she wrote songs like ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ she also wrote ‘Fancy’ which I think Reba McEntire eventually covered. We grew up on everything from Queen to The Rolling Stones and Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. Our mom also liked Motown so she threw in a little Michael Jackson as well.

Kimberly: I think our influences change though depending on where we are creatively, like as we start writing for a record, there are a few artists that we really lock in on and kinda wear out on our Mp3 players! For ‘Pioneer,’ it was actually back to what we grew up on as well, like Queen we used to listen to them all the time, and really have fallen in love with that band since we were kids, you know Freddy Mercury is the frontman. In country music we’re known as a vocal group in awards show, you know the vocal group of the year goes to, so we just added Pioneer to tip our hat to a pop country vocal group that is very apparent on a song like ‘Forever Mine Nevermind’

Shannon: You guys worked with Rick Rubin on this record, who has worked with Metallica, Jay Z, and Beastie Boys how did that come to fruition?

Reid: When we had the opportunity to work with Rick it was really just because to find what our sound would be for ‘Pioneer’ we actually we took a road trip from Tennessee all the way out to Malibu where Rick’s studio is, and we were writing along the way, and once we got out there we wrote a bunch of the songs for ‘Pioneer’ in Rick’s studio and then when it actually came time to record that record we decided to take that road trip back to Tennessee and work with Dan Huff because he’s in such a place of making such big sounding records and songs and the places we were playing at, at the time we were needing songs that would fill those places up that and Rick was in the middle of this big production at the time.

Shannon: Last year you had Eric Paslay opening for you who has diabetes. Was your awareness to the disease raised by touring with him?

Kimberly: Eric Paslay we call him the gentle giant he’s so much taller than all three of us put together. But he is such an amazing artist and songwriter. You know Nashville is a big songwriting community, and even before Eric had his songs on the radio, he was a filler in our songwriting community in Nashville and we heard so many songs that aren’t on a record yet, he’s just got so much heart you can truly see when he plays live he puts his whole heart and soul into what he is singing, night after night.

And with that our conversation ended as the group had to prepare for the night’s show.

The Band Perry with Easton Corbin and special guest Lindsay Ell will perform at the Sanford Center, Saturday night, February 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets can still be purchased at ticketmaster.com.

Shannon Northbird is a photojournalist with the examiner.com, and can be reached at shannon@wideeyedentertainment.com. Make sure to subscribe to his celebrity and music pages on examiner.com to be updated on the latest celebrity and music in happening in our local area.

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