For one hot summer day in the simmering South, The Band Perry became a traveling band of gypsy musicians. A 1:30 a.m. wake-up call was required, but such is life these days for the attractive, multi-talented trio.
One of Nashville's newest sensations, the band of two brothers, Reid and Neil, and big sister Kimberly appear as a vaudeville troupe in the treatment for "All Your Life," the fourth single off their self-titled album (Republic Nashville) that was released last October and turned gold four months later.
Although not related to a certain pop star ("We have not met Katy Perry; we look forward to that, though," Kimberly said), The Band Perry are becoming video darlings, too.
Playing a fictional group called the Purveyors of Performance, the Perrys shot the cinematic video directed by David McClister on their manager's 750-acre farm outside Nashville. Set during the "Grapes of Wrath" era, according to Kimberly (right), all three are in search of everlasting love.
"This is our very first video with the three of us with love interests," Kimberly revealed during a behind-the-scenes clip. Kimberly is wooed by a Medicine Man, while Neil fancies a Snake Charmer and Reid a Palm Reader.
It premiered on Country Music Television on August 15 and also will appear on the CMT Top 20 Countdown this weekend.
The video and behind-the scenes-footage can be viewed at the end of this edited interview with Kimberly (abbreviated KP), Reid (RP) and Neil (NP), which was conducted amid some cellphone disruptions last month while the band was on a tour bus heading into Goshen, Indiana.
After opening for Tim McGraw on his Emotional Traffic Tour, including an August 5 stop at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre in suburban Denver, the Perrys have begun headlining a few dates on their aptly named Purveyors of Performance Tour. They'll also support Keith Urban throughout Canada next month and Reba McEntire back in the States this fall.
KP: "We did; that's also where the music got started for us."
Is it true The Band Perry is the best group out of Mobile, Alabama since Wet Willie?
KP: "Since Wet Willie? (laughs) It's amazing; that whole Southern culture of music, there's so many great blues players and rock 'n' roll players and country singers, to be honest with you, that nobody has even heard of; it seems like anybody in the Deep South plays music, you know; it's certainly a culture."
Are y'all familiar with Wet Willie?
KP: "I've heard of Wet Willie; I cannot tell a lie and say that I'm overly familiar with their music."
Do you have a favorite trio?
KP: "Oh, goodness; that's a hard question; I don't know if there is one ... but I would have to say we really love the Jackson 5. ... We're big fans of the Jackson 5."
NP: "Because they're a family band, you know we're kind of biased toward them. ... We actually just recorded a Christmas track and we took a lot of cues from the Jackson 5 version of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town.' So we love their music."
Do y'all have any other brothers and sisters?
KP: "It's just the three of us. We always talked about we kinda wished our parents would have planned a little better because we certainly could have used a drummer, a fiddle player, you know, some other siblings onstage. So instead, we started employing cousins. A cousin actually runs our merch for us."
RP: "Yeah, we do have several dogs at home, though, that think that they're siblings. They've got pretty big personalities. We have two corgies. One's name is Moses and the other one is Addie."
KP: "Yeah, they're our mascots. We just did a partnership with Purina not too long ago. And both of our dogs ... well, they were like little superstars ... they were invited to the photo shoot. They went in there and owned the place. They were slightly diva that day."
Where's everybody living these days?
RP: "Out on the road. But whenever we do we end up wanting to do laundry, that's over in east Tennessee (Greeneville). Our dad (Steve), he's up there and our mom (Marie) is actually out on the road with us. She lives on the bus as well."
NP: "She's our band stylist and referee when need be. ... We live kinda on our tour bus right now. We call it our apartment on wheels. Even last year, we were only at home 19 days, which was basically the holidays."
Neil, I understand you just turned 21 (on July 23).
NP: "Yep, I turned 21 on the day that we played a show with Tim McGraw. So it was a pretty special day."
Where did you play?
KP: "We were at Mohegan Sun casino (in Connecticut), of all places, not a bad place to turn 21." (To Neil): "You didn't play any slot machines or anything did you?"
KP: "Just because you are legal, doesn't mean ..."
Did you have a big celebration?
NP: "Yeah, Tim McGraw actually gave me a birthday cake and then he led the whole arena that we were playing for ... to sing 'Happy Birthday' for me. So, again, it was an unforgettable night and I wrote it down in my journal."
KP (to Neil again): "There was way more pomp and circumstance for your 21 than my 21. Like I don't even remember mine. I know Tim McGraw didn't sing me 'Happy Birthday.' "
Now you're 28, right Kimberly?
KP: "Yes, that's true (as of July 12). Why do you have to remind me of that." (laughs)
NP: "You should never ask a lady that." (laughs)
KP: "I'm a very young 28."
And what about you, Reid?
RP: "I'll be 23 in November."
Since we only have a limited amount of time, I'd like to try something a little different and get a quick snapshot of The Band Perry from the three of you. Having three sons, it's been my experience that they never agree on anything.
Is that true for y'all, too?
KP: "You know, I feel like we agree on just about everything when it comes to creative ideas and business decisions. I guess the one area that we look exactly like your traditional brother-sister relationship is that we clearly know which buttons to push and which ones not to push and at certain moments we do choose just to push them anyway. Because ..."
NP: "It's what we do ..."
KP: "It's what brothers and sisters do. But I do feel like on creative things and business, we always agree. ... The biggest difference would be what kind of food we're gonna get for dinner. Now that can turn into a passionate thing."
NP: "But one area that we can always agree on is Mexican or Italian."
Let's see if I can push some buttons, if I can get all three of you to jump in here.
So who's the smartest in the family?
KP: "None of the three of us."
NP: "There's a reason we're musicians and not doctors and lawyers."
KP: "Can I be the smartest? ..."
RP: "... Smart aleck ..."
KP: "... And Reid, you can be the coolest ..."
RP: "And then Neil, he's just brilliant ... he's just wise. ..."
KP: "Yeah, we all get to be something."
Yeah, I'll get to those in a moment. But who's the funniest?
KP: "The funniest would certainly be Neil. He is the baby and it's like their role to keep everything on a lighthearted note and he doesn't let us take ourselves too seriously."
Do the other two agree?
RP: "Yeah, huh-huh, very much so."
KP: "Neil, would you agree that you're the funniest?"
NP: "I agree. My whole life is an act."
Coolest or calmest?
NP: "Reid is definitely. He's like Mick Jagger. A younger version of Mick Jagger. He's really cool."
KP: "Yeah, we always say he's a lot cooler than the other two of us put together."
KP: "That would probably be Neil. Because he's our gearhead, right Reid?"
RP: "Yes, huh-huh."
KP: "He likes a lot of the technological stuff."
Who does all your Tweets and online stuff?
KP: "We all contribute to it. I probably go on Facebook and tweet from the Band Perry page the most and then the boys have their separate Twitter pages."
KP: "I don't even think we can even judge that. ..."
NP: "At least not right now."
RP: "That's a little weird."
KP: "We'll let you pick."
RP: "We're all kinda people persons."
KP: "I would say it's tie between me and Neil. Reid has a drier sense of humor. Neil and I are just kinda like ... all sugar." (laughs)
NP: "That was Reid." (laughs)
RP: "She is the girl of the bunch, you know, so ..."
KP: "So? You're saying guys aren't moody?"
RP: "No, I'm saying we are, but compared to men, women ... seem to be ... maybe ... maybe not."
KP: "This is why I pull the phone away from him so he doesn't have to dig out of the hole that he just dug for himself."
How about the bossiest?
KP: "That's clearly me. I will wave that flag and I'm the oldest. And I am proud to be the bossiest. I am proud of it."
And, finally, the messiest?
RP and NP: "Kimberly."
KP: "No, me and Reid are both ..."
NP: "I want to say Kimberly. She's what we call organized chaos."
KP: "I plead the fifth. Again, if it's organized chaos, then that means you can find stuff, so it's not really messy. But whatever ... whatever, we'll go with me."
Concert photos by Michael Bialas. See more of The Band Perry, Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre in suburban Denver on August 5.
Behind the scenes of The Band Perry's "All Your Life" video (courtesy of Republic Nashville):
The Band Perry's "All Your Life" video (courtesy of CMT and Republic Nashville):
Follow Michael Bialas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mjbialas