What appeared to be happening, and what we all knew was inevitable, has finally been confirmed. In the aftermath of the incredibly weird and unfortunate roll out of The Band Perry’s new single “Live Forever,” and the impending release of their new album Heart + Beat, the siblings and their label Republic Nashville—a subsidiary of Big Machine Records—have dissolved their relationship. The news was confirmed Tuesday (3-1) afternoon by Washington Post reporter Emily Yahr.
“The Big Machine Label Group and The Band Perry have amicably parted ways,” a representative said in a statement.
This all comes as The Band Perry was set to go to the next level with their new album, and even had a release date of November 20th, 2015 through Big Machine for Heart + Beat. The song “Live Forever” was supposed to launch a new era for the family band as a pop act in the country space. It was a collaboration with pop producer RedOne and two other pop songwriters complete with a huge marketing roll out that included custom-made logos and ample use of the color yellow. However the public was not impressed and all “Live Forever” could muster was a brief showing at #27 on the Country Airplay chart before quickly plummeting out of the Top 50.
Then two weeks ago, “Live Forever” was pulled all of a sudden from all digital channels, and the video was lifted from YouTube. Panic began to set in for The Band Perry fans, even though eventually the song and video returned later in the day. This stimulated The Band Perry to make a strange statement, saying, “We wanted you guys to all look us in the eye and say, ‘The Band Perry is not going anywhere.’ We are here to stay. Our music is here to stay … Real soon you guys are going to hear some news and we want you to know today, it’s great news, it’s very positive, and we can’t wait to talk about it with you.”
Likely this “real positive” news was the dissolving of the relationship with Big Machine.
The Band Perry said on Facebook today, “We and Big Machine Label Group have made a mutual decision to bring our working relationship to a close. We are grateful for 6 years of the big moments and great strides we made with our BMLG family and will carry that foundation forward with us as we begin the next leg of our journey.”
The news leaves what once was one of the most promising new bands in country music in limbo. The Band Perry has won a Grammy Award and done decent on the radio in the past. The big question is whether their new (and ultimately failed) pop direction was the idea of Big Machine, or of their own team, and if they will continue to stay committed to the direction moving forward.
When the announcement of Heart + Beat‘s delay was made last fall, there was news of an impending collaboration with a big-named artist that never happened. Was this where The Band Perry lost the fight? By taking back over the control of “Live Forever” from Big Machine two weeks ago, it would seem to indicate that The Band Perry is not willing to give up on this direction just yet. It also indicates that Big Machine allowed the band to walk away from the label with no contest on who could control “Live Forever,” or potentially the music of Heart + Beat moving forward—a rather unprecedented move from a Nashville major label.
What happens next for The Band Perry remains to be seen, but their story should be a cautionary tale for other country acts looking to go pop. It could be the key to riches like Big Machine artist Taylor Swift, or lend to your ultimate demise.