After bursting onto the country music scene in 2010, family trio The Band Perry is confidently marching into the unknown with second album "Pioneer."
Siblings Kimberly Perry, Reid Perry and Neil Perry found mainstream success after releasing their eponymous debut album in 2010, which featured the quadruple platinum hit "If I Die Young."
Following up on that success and continuing their forward momentum were goals for "Pioneer," but what that looked like was not initially clear, the band said.
"Coming off the heels of our first record, it provided more questions than answers," Kimberly Perry said. "It's about knowing you need to find the next thing to say. It's sometimes a scary thing when you don't know exactly what that will look like or sound like. For us, we just had to write one song at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other until we found that path. Being a pioneer is about having the courage to keep moving forward."
"Pioneer" is as brave and original as the word suggests. The album has a purposeful intensity filled with feverish guitar riffs and passionate vocals, aimed to turn up the heat in any amphitheater. Big jams and upbeat arrangements explode out of tracks "Better Dig Two," "Forever Mine Nevermind" and "Done," but there are also the more vulnerable tracks like "Mother Like Mine" (an ode to their mother) and the sweet love song "I Saw the Light."
"Better Dig Two" has been nominated for an Academy of Country Music Awards Video of the Year. The band has also been nominated as Vocal Group of the Year.
On March 7, The Band Perry will play at the Savannah Civic Center as part of their We Are Pioneers World Tour.
It is their first-ever headlining tour, which began in Europe and Canada at the end of last year before returning to the United States in January. Later this summer, they will join Blake Shelton for a series of dates on his Ten Times Crazier Tour.
Lowcountry Current caught up with members of The Band Perry to ask about the new tour, the award nominations and the swagger of the latest album.
Question. This is your first headlining tour; how has it been so far?
Neil. It's been really exciting to headline our own tour. It's something we've worked toward for 15 years. We've finally gotten to this point, and we love to have control over the stage, the design, the lighting, our set list and all the things in between.
Kimberly. We love big sing-alongs with us and the crowd and to get those night after night has just been a really rewarding experience. We began (the tour) in Europe. We did 20 shows in 30 days, then spent all of January in Canada. It's been so wonderful to bring it back home.
Q. Are crowds different in Southern cities than elsewhere?
Reid. Our shows have a bit of a culture around them. We love playing live -- it's what we did before we did interviews or wrote songs, so that is where we are most at home. For us, there isn't a night we don't come off stage drenched in sweat after having the best time of our lives.
Southern states, Northern states, the Midwest, it's all the same.
Q. Do you think the music on "Pioneer" is better suited to large audiences because it's very high energy?
Kimberly. I think it depends on how you style them with the band. In the making of "Pioneer," we did write those songs with the mind-set of playing them in bigger rooms.
Coming off the heels of the first album playing in theaters and then graduating to amphitheaters, you do write bigger guitar stuff (and) more aggressive drums. But we also have enjoyed playing smaller, intimate shows, where we break things down acoustically. I think it depends on our mood and the opportunity. But we love a sweaty rock 'n' roll show. We say it's one part therapy and three parts recess for us.
Q. And this summer you'll be touring with Blake Shelton. What are your expectations for that?
Neil. Blake Shelton has always been one of our favorites in country music. He was the second guy to take us out on an official tour, probably four or five years ago. So it's really exciting to hit the road with him again. We were (recently) on "The Voice" and we're on Team Blake. We felt that in 2014, we couldn't get enough of Blake Shelton.
Q. And how are y'all feeling about your ACM award nomination? Are you expecting to win or just happy to be nominated?
Reid. The ACM was the first award show where we won an award for new artist. So it always holds a special place in our heart. It really turned a new page for us as The Band Perry. So anything to do with the ACMs we are really excited about.
Follow Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.