The True Lesson of The Band Perry

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This is not Groundhog Day. This is not a repeat episode. Do not adjust your monitors. And yes, that is The Band Perry.

The problem with money is you can always have more of it. You can always have more fans, more Facebook “likes,” a better car, a bigger house, a flatter stomach. You can always play bigger shows, and have more awards. 32 teams start the NFL season, and 31 of them finish it by losing. There’s always somebody better.

That is why it’s important that you don’t measure yourself as being the “best” by some arbitrary numeric sum that can always have more zeros behind it, or some industry-designated symbolic apex that will be handed to somebody else the very next year. Instead focus on being the best at being yourself that you can be. This is the only way you’ll ever find true fulfillment. For The Band Perry, it doesn’t seem to be interested in discovering what it truly is. Or even worse, it is purposely disregarding its true nature in pursuit of an goal that was never achievable for a little brother and sister string band from Mississippi in the first place.

You better be damn sure of your rationale when you veer so incredibly off the page believing there’s better opportunities out there. Because if you leave behind everything you were before, you’re going to leave behind all those people who followed you there, and they will turn their backs on you just like you did them.

Music is a young person’s game, and if you get even one hit single or album, you should count yourself incredibly, incredibly lucky, and already a member of an elite class. If you’re able to book a show and the people who show up are counted in the thousands instead of the dozens or hundreds, you’re already blessed beyond 99% percent of people who at some point choose to pursue music as a full-time career. If there’s catering backstage and big lavish buses for you and the crew, don’t question what else may lay out there for you if you could just reach everyone in the entire world, especially when that quest requires altering the life path that got you here.

So The Band Perry has reinvented itself for the third time in 18-months. I guess they think the third time is the charm, but it very well may be three strikes and you’re out. All of this has been driven by color-crazed image consultants, and any actual music has been almost like an afterthought. First it was Dollar General yellow, and the release of the doomed “Live Forever.” Then it was Maybelline tan, and the ironic “Comeback Kid.” Now it is jet black, and “Stay in the Dark.” None of these songs are especially terrible, they’re just terrible for The Band Perry. It’s not them.

People are not laughing at The Band Perry because it’s a pop band now. They’re laughing because it’s not a pop band, but it’s trying to be. And yes, how ironic that we were all called liars, including yours truly, for declaring the band was going in a pop direction, when here The Band Perry is officially decreeing it now. It will not work. Because it doesn’t matter how determined you are, or how much hard work you put in when your nose is pointed in the wrong direction. Your perseverance will only make things worse. The Band Perry is a perfect example of this.

The people criticizing The Band Perry 18 months ago for going pop were not just being mean to them, and they certainly weren’t liars. They were choosing to do something The Band Perry is clearly unwilling or unable to do for itself: they were being honest. These criticisms weren’t cruel; they were a sign of respect. But The Band Perry has chosen to “Stay in the Dark.”

I’m not laughing at The Band Perry, I feel sorry for them. Because they were bestowed opportunities most musicians and people in other professions can only dream of. And it wasn’t enough for them. There had to be more. And very likely they will lose it all because of it.

Yet for the life of them, they just can’t give up the damn fight.