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WATCH: The Band Perry talk pushing country music forward on their new album

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Whatever counts as “real” country music remains up for debate these days. But if anyone stays poised to push the genre forward while hanging on to its roots, it’s the Band Perry.

The sibling act – brothers Neil and Reid and sister Kimberly – boast the kinds of megahits for which a performer in any genre could hope. If you’ve stepped into public at all, you’ve heard their 2010 hit, “If I Die Young.” The group wisely released it in both a “pop” version as well as an original full of traditional country instrumentation.

That care for the different ends of their audience spectrum paid off. On YouTube alone, the song’s official music video boasts more than 100 million views to date.

Follow-ups like “Better Dig Two” and “Done” both managed to hit hard like mainstream chart stompers, while still staying rooted in classic country strings and harmonies.

“It always goes back to the song itself. If you look at the songs that have crossed over,” says Reid, “they always tell a really good story.”

On top of all that? Unlike both major Top-40 pop stars and even celebrated country performers, the trio pretty much writes all of their own material. (On the monster “If I Die Young,” Kimberly is listed as the sole songwriter. Whoa.)

But now it’s been more than two year since their last album, the Rick Rubin-produced Pioneer, and they’re ready to further flex a little bit of the experimental muscles they showed on that effort. Purists just have to deal – the Perries say they’re “experimenting with beats” on this one, and mixing their Nashville swagger with L.A.’s best influences.

We caught up with the group at the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There, this past weekend, more than 45,000 fans gathered to celebrate ocean conservation efforts and two days full of a country-focused lineup full of heavy-hitters.

Check out what they had to say about their new music – and the most surprising news fans can expect ASAP.

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