Little Big Town’s Kimberly Dishes on Band’s Offstage Personalities
Everyone knows the members of Little Big Town once they start singing. But in addition to their tight harmonies and charismatic stage presence, Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet and Kimberly Schlapman have individual traits and talents that come to light once the house lights are turned up after a show.
"Karen loves the business aspect of the band," Kimberly tells The Boot. "We're happy to give her that because the other three of us don't really care that much! [laughs] I think one of these days she will be running her own record label because she just loves it, and she's a very smart business woman. We lean on her business-wise a lot. She likes to get into the big conversations and into the depths of the business talk. Then, when those conversations are over, she'll come to us and relay what's going on."
Kimberly is quick to add that Karen never speaks on behalf of the band when it comes to decision making. "If she finds out about something, she'll come talk to us, and we'll make the decision together," Kimberly explains. "We call it our 'group gut feeling.' If we all don't feel positive about something, then we won't go in that direction. We've learned that over the years if we pull somebody kicking and screaming about something then it never works out."
Karen's hubby, Jimi, is the jokester of the group. "He's always making people laugh," Kimberly says with a smile. "He can make light of a heavy situation. He's the youngest in a huge family, so as the baby in the family, he's always gotten all the attention so he's just a natural ham. He's always making us laugh on the bus and playing jokes on people. He's just a lot of fun. We tease him that he's our 'little boy' because he's always getting in trouble like little boys do!" [laughs]
However, Jimi also has his serious side. "He's very nurturing and has a real sense of sensitivity about people's emotions," Kimberly says. "He instantly knows if I'm having a bad day. He'll ask, 'Are you OK? What's the matter?' He's really in tune with people's emotions."
When it comes to Phillip, he is the "dreamer" of the group. "When the world is falling apart and into pieces around us, he always finds the light, and he always brings it out," Kimberly notes. "He's very, very positive. He always finds the positives in things which has gotten us through a lot of our low moments when we sure have needed it."
So that brings us to Kimberly. "It's hard for me to talk about myself," she says with a shy smile. "I like to take care of people, and I like to make sure that they're OK and happy. The others in the band say that I'm the 'peacemaker' of the band. There's not ever really that much peace to make because we get along pretty well, but in 12 years, we've had our moments! [laughs] I hate controversy so if that ever happens, I try to make the peace of it."
Kimberly also shines in always making people around her feel appreciated and loved. "I like to do special things for people," she says. "Any time someone has a birthday, I make them a really special cake that they all seem to love -- it's a Coca-Cola cake. That's something that I always do for the band and crew.
"It's important to me that people feel good about themselves and that they are treated with great respect," she continues. "I learned something through the experiences in my life, and that is that you never judge how someone may be reacting to a situation because you don't know what they may be going through. It's important that you treat people well, and I try to make people feel good about themselves always."
Little Big Town are currently climbing the Billboard charts with their latest single, 'Little White Church,' from their 'The Reason Why' album, which will be in stores August 24.