The Band Perry is having a big year.
Yes, there's the pair of No. 1 country hits -- "Better Dig Two" and "Done." -- that couldn't be more different stylistically, even though they come from the same album "Pioneer" (Republic Nashville), which, oh, right, also topped the country charts. Sure, there's the lengthy tour of arenas and amphitheaters that the Perry siblings have been on since the summer, opening for Rascal Flatts, including a stop in Wantagh, where they became the first band to play the restored Nikon at Jones Beach Theater after superstorm Sandy.
And, of course, there's the big personal news: singer Kimberly Perry got engaged earlier this month to her longtime boyfriend, Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia.
A HECTIC PACE
You know you're having a big year when you can't even stop to think about getting engaged. "I'm still processing," Kimberly says, laughing. "The evening after the engagement, we all headed over to Nashville the next morning. We've spent two days over at CMT doing a 'Crossroads' taping with Fall Out Boy. It's been a bit of a whirlwind week, but a good one."
The whirlwind will continue.
In addition to the "Crossroads" show, which is set to air Nov. 29, and had the band learning four Fall Out Boy songs, The Band Perry is readying its "We Are Pioneers" world tour, which starts in Sweden next month and runs at least into the spring. (New York gets a sneak peek at the tour Wednesday, when the band headlines Roseland Ballroom.)
Bassist Reid Perry says that when the band does an opening set, they only get to give fans a taste of what a full Band Perry show is like. "For the 'We Are Pioneers' tour, we're definitely going to have more ups and downs and carry the crowd through more storytelling," Reid says.
"And instead of just playing the songs that are on the radio, we get to play more of the deeper cuts from 'Pioneer,' " adds Kimberly. "Our fans definitely have their favorites that they want us to play."
Drummer Neil Perry says the band's favorites from "Pioneer" have been changing, as they get to play them more. "I think the song that's changed our live show the most has been 'Done.' " he says. "We were known at first, on our first album, as the kids, but I think that after having 'Better Dig Two' and then 'Done.,' people have seen more of our rock and roll side . . . It's allowed us to bring in a lot more electric guitars."
Neil says the band has always tried to balance its two sides in its music. "We were influenced by our dad with Queen, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin," he says. "Our mom definitely brought in the country side."
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
The band's rebellious rock side definitely showed in its choice of "Better Dig Two" as the lead single from "Pioneer." The dramatic track -- which goes from sweet to almost menacing as Kimberly declares, "If you go before I do, gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two" -- isn't exactly the usual country radio fare. However, the band says they felt strongly that the song captured the spirit of "Pioneer."
"When we recorded that song, we all said, 'Oh, this is it'," Kimberly says. "Our fans and our dear friends at country radio have always given us the liberty to take risks. We knew that this was the biggest risk and the boldest statement we could make . . . We decided we would start it with a bang."
Kimberly says the band did discuss coming up with some alternate lyrics for the line "It won't be whiskey, won't be meth, it'll be your name on my last breath." But, in the end, they decided to keep them.
"Ultimately, we just thought that it goes to our deep Southern Gothic roots, and it fit The Band Perry with all our traditionalism," she says. "We pulled out some more aggressive guitars and drums, and it felt like the right first step of this new era."
The Band Perry says that they were excited about
moving in a different direction, but they were anxious to see if their fans would move with them. "It's gratifying for us that the fans are buying into it -- taking it for their own, taking what we're saying and applying it to their lives," Reid says. "We feel that if we're just as honest as we can be, it'll find a home somewhere. We're just pleased that 'Pioneer' has been able to do what it's done."
Kimberly adds quickly, "It's the soundtrack of the last few years of our lives. 'Pioneer' is everything that we were thinking about and living out. It's so wonderful to see the fans buy this record and make it their soundtrack, make it be the music to hold their hand through whatever they're walking through. That's the most gratifying experience."
WHO The Band Perry
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Wednesday, Roseland Ballroom, 239 W. 52nd St., Manhattan
INFO $39.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
Trios rock country music charts
In country music, 3 has become a magic number. The Band Perry, whose album "Pioneer" and its singles "Better Dig Two" and "Done." all hit No. 1 this year, is one of a growing number of trios rocking the charts. Here's a look at some of the others:
The Nashville-based trio of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood has taken it easy for much of this year after Scott gave birth to her daughter, Eisele Kaye, in July, but they're hitting the road in November to promote their "Golden" album.
2013 HITS The single "Downtown" hit No. 1 on the country airplay charts in April, while the "Golden" album topped the album charts and country album charts in May.
WORKING ON New tour and new single "Compass"
While Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe have both spent time on their solo careers and Angaleena Presley was busy getting married in May, the Pistol Annies still managed to release their sophomore album, "Annie Up."
2013 HITS "Annie Up" hit No. 2 on the country album charts in May, while they also appeared on Blake Shelton's No. 1 country airplay hit "Boys 'Round Here."
WORKING ON Getting ready for the CMA Awards in November, with two nominations for vocal event of the year and music video of the year.
The Nashville-based trio of Rachel Reinert and brothers Tom and Mike Gossin enjoyed a breakout year in 2012 with the success of their sophomore album "A Thousand Miles Left Behind."
2013 HITS "(Kissed You) Good Night" became their first platinum hit in June.
WORKING ON The follow-up to "A Thousand Miles Left Behind."