The Band Perry
Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m.
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, 875 Beach Blvd. (Biloxi), www.beaurivage.com
Tickets: $79.95-$94.95, available through Ticketmaster
Six years ago, siblings The Band Perry returned to the Azalea City to introduce their hometown to their debut album. Siblings Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry took to the stage at a nightclub called Pure and performed songs such as “If I Die Young,” “You Lie” and “All Your Life,” all of which went on to become hits. Since then, the band has become one of pop country’s biggest acts with a sophomore effort on par with their debut. The group has also won numerous awards, including a Grammy as well as numerous awards from CMT and the Academy of Country Music.
When they return to the Gulf Coast June 10, they will be playing a bigger room and preparing for the release of their third studio album. In a recent conversation with Lagniappe, Reid Perry gave the band’s hometown a look into the past, present and future of The Band Perry.
Stephen Centanni: I was at your debut album release party at a small club in Mobile called Pure. When you think back to that show and where the band is now, what do you think about the current state of the band?
Reid Perry: You know, for us it’s been a really long run. Looking back on it, there are definitely moments that stand out that either got us to where we are now or just really cool moments in the past. We grew up in Mobile. That’s where our music got started. I just really feel proud about what my brother, sister and I have been able to accomplish.
A lot of it has been sticking to it and outlasting the process and putting one foot in front of the other. It hasn’t been easy at all. The appearance of it is very glamorous, but it’s a very tough business to be in. Fortunately for us, we have family, and we’ve done a really good job. We’ve grown close together as siblings while at the same time trying to grow our band.
Centanni: You’re getting ready for the release of your third album after you’ve released two hit albums already. With so much success with the first two, do you get nervous wondering how this one will do?
Perry: Not at all. For the three of us, this is our favorite music that we’ve ever written up to now. We are super excited for everybody to hear the same songs that we’ve been hearing for the past year. As far as being nervous whether it does as good as the others, I think we’re walking forward pretty boldly by saying that this is the best work that we’ve ever done. We’ve done our job, and the rest falls in line.
Like I said, we’ve been working on this for almost a year. We’re at that point where we’re looking at our manager and our label and saying, “When can we put this one out? You know, it would be really fun to start singing those songs live.”
Centanni: So, it’s pretty much done, and you’re waiting on a release date.
Perry: It is. I’d say it’s about 95 percent done. We’re getting super close. Most of that is the imagery and the artwork that we have left to put on the record.
Centanni: Do you have a title for it?
Perry: We have a title that we’ve been bouncing around. That stuff is under lock and key in Washington, D.C., guarded by big dogs and stuff like that, but I can’t say it right here. They’ll kill me, but we have a title that we’ve been bouncing around.
Centanni: You said this is some of your best material yet. Overall, what is it about this album that makes it so great?
Perry: For us, I feel like we’ve grown a lot as songwriters. On the past albums, we’ve focused a lot on the story and the lyrics and the musicianship behind it. With this one, we’ve put a lot of emphasis [on] growing the way that we’re able to write melodies. We’ve written a lot stronger melodies. We get them stuck in our head, and we sing them. I’m sure we’re driving our band and crew crazy just because we’ll walk around singing them all day.
As far as the actual recording process itself, we focused on making every song sound really great. The emphasis that we’ve put on certain things have elevated not only the songwriting process but also the actual songs and tracks themselves have been lifted to a whole new level. I think we’ve also been more honest than we’ve ever been, as well. I think when you combine all that, we’ve got something that we’re proud of, and it is our best music that we’ve done yet.
Centanni: You and your sister co-wrote the initial single, “Live Forever.” What’s the story behind this song?
Perry: “Live Forever” was one of those moments where we were in a place in our lives where we were making the music that we wanted to, and doing it the way we wanted to and with the people that we wanted to. We were just really happy. A lot of songs in the past have been from the place of being the underdog or being downtrodden or being in a dark place.
For us, “Live Forever” was the exact opposite of that. We just literally wanted to figure out the best song that we could possibly write that would recreate what we were feeling inside, which was the extreme contentment of where we were and where we were going.
Centanni: What’s the plan for after the album’s release?
Perry: We’ll go out and tour to support it. We’re in this place right now. Even once we finished writing these songs, we’re loving songwriting right now. After two weeks off, we’ll head back into the songwriting room and keep writing.
Like I said, I feel like we’re writing our best music right now. Just because we have the album out, I don’t think that means that we have to stop writing. So that’ll be the plan. We’ll head back out on the road, and then head back into the songwriting room.