Photo Courtesy of Catalyst PR
"Our dogs really are like the extended family of the Band Perry," Kimberly tells The Boot. "We've had dogs for as long as I can remember. Our very first one was Abigail. We grew up with her. She was a little basset hound with these long ears that she would trip over. We've always had a family pet that's meant so much to us, that's why we were really thrilled to partner with Purina Dog Chow, because they're all about healthy pets."
The trio are part of a new campaign with Purina called the Double Dog Dare, which encourages dog owners to challenge Purina Dog Chow to complete charitable dares, such as donating large amounts of dog food to shelters in various cities. The project officially begins today (January 25).
"As much as we want our dogs to be healthy and strong we also want everyone else to have strong dogs as well," Neil says. Even so, his dimunitive big sister admits their dogs can be a bit problematic.
"We have a couple of Great Pyrenees, Scout and Dakota," she reveals. "They're about 120, 130 pounds a piece, but they're giant babies. So when you scratch them behind the ears, they'll literally just start leaning on you, and they knock me over, they're so heavy."
The siblings, who also own two Corgis, tried taking some of their four-legged family members on the road, but it didn't work out very well. "We've got 12 people on the bus, so having animals with all the other chaos that goes on is probably not the best environment for animals," Reid acknowledges.
"We thought about taking the fiddle player off and bringing one of the dogs," Neil jokingly chimes in, "but we thought we needed the fiddle."
Thankfully, their family at home are willing to look after their animals while they're traveling.
"Our dad babysits our dogs while we're out on the road, so we loaded him up with a couple bags of Purina Dog Chow just last week," Kimberly says, adding that leaving the "babies" behind is never easy.
Being asked to participate in a nationwide campaign is just one sign that things are moving in the right direction for the trio. Born and raised in Alabama, they may have stayed a local singing group if not for a chance encounter with Garth Brooks' manager, Bob Doyle. Barely 18 months after signing their record deal with Republic Nashville, they're still marveling at all they've achieved in a relatively short time.
"It's been an amazing year," Kimberly notes. "In some respects, 'Hip to My Heart' being on the radio feels like ages ago because of the run with 'If I Die Young.' It was a really long, powerful, step-by-step process, and I think it was a bold lyric -- although if I'm being honest, being new artists, we might have been a little bit naive about how bold that was. Country radio took a chance with us, we put it out over the summer, and one thing that we began to find after day one of writing that song is that it connected. It connected with two-year-olds, it connected with 80-year-olds and everyone in between. I felt like we knew that we had a song on our hands that would help people and also introduce us to the kingdom of country. We were just really honored to be a part of that song."
"The special thing about 'If I Die Young' is it was the first song we had written in this record and was kind of the song that we wrote the rest of it around," Reid adds. "For that to go all the way to No. 1 is special for the three of us and for the whole team."
The trio, who were also nominated for an Academy of Country Music award this year, admit it's a thrill to be part of such a talented community. "It's been really wonderful that country lovers have given us such a warm welcome through that song," says Kimberly. "But even other artists have began to really rally around us. It's been so cool to really feel like part of the family. We started out as a family of three, and it feels like our family is getting bigger and bigger night after night as we play on stage."
In addition to heading out with Tim McGraw on his Emotional Traffic tour, along with fellow opening act Luke Bryan, the Band Perry will also cross the border to play a few shows with Keith Urban on the Canadian leg of his Get Closer world tour. It's a responsibility and a privilege they don't take lightly.
"Funny thing about Keith is, we were up in Canada when we got the invite to go on the tour up in Canada, so that was kind of cool," Reid recalls. "Tim McGraw we've known about for a while, since the end of the year, and we're really excited about that. It will be our first tour this year and we've been looking forward to it and getting ready for it as well.
"Country music fans have given us this life and we want to respect and honor that as they go out spend their hard-earned money on our music," Reid continues. "We want to make sure we are able to give something back to them."
And even though they're getting ready to hit the road with not one, but two of the biggest names in country music, the wholesome family say they'll leave the partying to someone else.
"I totally respect the artists who go out all night and work the next day. We're kind of wimps." Kimberly acknowledges. "I mean, I have to get my eight hours or I'm just no good the next day. I think the other part of it is, we're working so hard and we're just really focused on covering as much ground as we can as fast as we can."
The members of the trio each have their own ways of making life work, both on and off the road -- partly by keeping their sense of humor. "Well, I am the middle child so I do, like all the middle children, keep the peace," Reid says. "I like to do something which they call 'working on the wear-down,' which is basically filibustering, where I just keep hounding a point until they actually will accept it or agree with it."
"To sum it up in one phrase, we like to say that it's wonderful we know each other like the back of our hand, but we can also use the back of our hand on each other and still love each other," Kimberly continues. "At the end of the day, there's not a lot of boundaries. We're extremely tight and we only argue over what's for dinner.
The time they spend together is definitely paying off. The Band Perry's latest single, 'You Lie' recently broke into the Top 40 just four weeks after it first hit the airwaves. To participate with the Band Perry in the Double Dog Dare program, click here.