If you think you know The Band Perry, think again.
Last September, the Grammy-winning trio that had given the world such successful country hits as “If I Die Young” and “Better Dig Two” released a new EP, “Coordinates.” The five-song electronic pop recording represented a drastic departure from the band’s earlier sound, with siblings Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry telling Rolling Stone they wanted to sound like they were “in an underground dirty German club scene.”
That’s definitely not the scene so many country fans had come to know and love with The Band Perry, and some of them weren’t shy about voicing their displeasure.
But for better or worse, that new sound will be on full display Friday night when The Band Perry performs a 7 p.m. concert at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in downtown Ogden.
In a telephone interview with the Standard-Examiner on Tuesday, Reid Perry said they’ll perform all of the songs from the new EP, plus a lot of songs from those first two country-leaning albums of theirs.
“And then we’ll throw in a couple of our favorite covers,” Perry said, not wanting to give too much away before admitting the possibility of something like “mashed up Kanye West and Marilyn Manson.”
This is definitely not your mother’s The Band Perry.
The threesome more or less officially left the country genre about four years ago, trading Nashville for Los Angeles, buying out their contract and turning toward pop music.
But Perry says what a lot of fans don’t realize is that 10 years before they were taking country music by storm, The Band Perry was an indie rock band. He explains that on the last night of a recording session Kimberly wrote “If I Die Young” and they included it with their other indie rock tunes. Country producers fell in love with that song and told them “We want to sign you guys,” according to Perry.
That 2010 song became a multi-platinum No. 1 hit on the country airwaves and a crossover Top 20 pop hit.
“For us, the dream was always to be able to push music out to as many people as possible,” Perry said.
The three siblings have made no pretense of staying in their musical lane, even when they were a successful country act. Perry said the release of the electronic pop EP “Coordinates” was a natural progression for them.
“We’re always looking to where our new horizons are,” he said. “It’s what we felt we needed to do. If you go back and play all (our songs) now, you can see the progression where it all goes.”
Perry also said they don’t regret any of their musical choices along the way.
“Sometimes, when it’s worded certain ways, it makes it seem like an artist or band didn’t like what they were doing or their direction,” he said. “But for us, we loved everything. They each are a piece of where we are in that moment.”
Asked whether he thinks their die-hard country fans will join them on this journey into other genres, Perry said he has to believe that listeners can see and hear the honesty in the music an artist makes. He said that while a particular fan may like particular songs more than others, being true to the artistic vision is what matters most.
“A lot of fans, they just like seeing people do what they want to,” he said. “What’s really connected us and allowed fans to buy into what The Band Perry is, is we’re always going to do what we love doing.”
On “Coordinates,” the Perrys hooked up with producer Rick Rubin, the co-founder of Def Jam Records who helped shape the careers of a diverse group of musicians — including the Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dixie Chicks.
After the “Coordinates” EP dropped last fall, The Band Perry hit the road, doing 15 shows.
“We had a fun time,” Perry said, “Then, over Christmas break we decided to go back out again, so we booked 24 more shows this year — and we’re about halfway through that.”
Perry said he, his brother and sister are having a “blast” doing things their way, without interference from a label trying to push them in a different direction.
“That kind of was one of the reasons why we decided to go independent — you could have complete control over whatever you wanted,” Perry said. “For the three of us, we go with whatever we’re feeling in the moment, whether it’s writing music, or a tour, or when and how we want to release an album. It allows us to be pretty free and open and in charge.
“We always prided ourselves in being the arbiter of our own will, but sometimes you have to get permission,” he continued. “Now, we don’t.”
Perry said they still have people questioning their decision to change musical direction, asking, “Why would you give up certain things to kind of chase whatever music you want to make?”
“They feel we had way too much to lose,” Perry said. “But we felt if we go at it like there’s nothing left to lose, we make the best decisions.”
Admitting the three of them have a fairly unique take on life and culture, Peery said they naturally run counter to much of the conventional thinking in the industry.
“But that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments where we sat around wondering … if we were making the responsible decision,” he admits.
It seems to be an especially creative time for The Band Perry. These days, they’re constantly “bouncing back and forth” between touring and going into the studio to write new songs.
And, at least at the moment, they’re not particularly concerned with what the future might hold.
“Right now, we’re still in love with the sort of analog, brutal sound we had on the EP,” Perry said. “We’re just really loving that sound.”
He said they’re “zeroing in on the stuff we want to combine in music,” and that it’s just a matter of exploring that until they find the sounds they want. But Perry is also not ruling out another drastic change in director for their musical career.
“Knowing The Band Perry, it will always be something,” he said.