Parmalee is quickly becoming a country music favorite with fans. Their smash hit “Carolina” has officially hit #1 on the mediabase country singles chart and the band’s debut album is set to hit stores tomorrow (Dec 10).
Parmalee is made up of brothers Matt Thomas (Guitar and Vocals), Scott Thomas (Drums and Percussion), cousin Josh McSwain (Guitar, Keys, Background Vocals) and longtime family friend, Barry Knox (Bass Guitar and Background Vocals.
The band has been busy getting ready for their release but found some time to sit down with CMTT to talk about the background of the band , working as a family and of course their debut album.
CMTT: “Carolina” has been a huge hit on country radio. Tell us about the background of the song.
Parmalee: The song “Carolina” is all about home and about how the people you love make you feel like you’re at home whenever you talk to them or are around them. Because we were gone all the time, that’s kinda how the song came about. We were always on tour and we missed all of the birthdays, family reunions and special occasions that were going on. So coming home was always a big deal for us.
CMTT: Tell us why you think “Carolina” has resonated so well with fans.
Parmalee: I think it has resonated well with people just because there are so many people that are always away from the people they love. Hopefully people connect with our sound to. I hope they like the sound and the melody and our voices I hope that’s another reason people are connecting with the song.
CMTT: Parmalee is a family band. Tell us what it’s like traveling and playing together. Do you think it makes life on the road easier or harder?
Parmalee: I think it’s a lot easier. The dynamic we have is special. We all respect each other and I think that’s the biggest difference between having band members that didn’t grow up together and don’t really know each other. I think that family connection just makes us that much stronger and tighter.
CMTT: Your debut album Feels Like Carolina will be released tomorrow, December 10. What song on the album are you most excited for fans to hear and why?
Parmalee: That’s a tough question. There is a lot of songs that we are excited for people to hear on this record. We had quite a while to work on this record, three years, and we went through a lot in those three years so we had a lot to write about. There are just some great songs and overall the whole album is a great embodiment of who this band is and how we sound and the things we have been through. So picking one song is really tough.
CMTT: I read Scott was involved in an attempted robbery where he was shot three times. This was just before you guys were to leave for Nashville to audition for your record label. Tell us how that event changed Parmalee and did it inspire any songs?
Parmalee: It definitely brought us closer together and made our focus even more intense. Wee were working on getting a record deal so it just put us at full speed ahead. We wrote the song “Another Day Gone” and I guess you would say it was inspired by that event. It’s not about the particulars of it but it’s all about the fact that your never guaranteed tomorrow so if you love someone tell them you love them. Just the thought of not being around the next day.
CMTT: If you could sum up the sound of Feels Like Carolina in just one word what would it be?
Parmalee: AWESOME! (followed by lots of laughter)
CMTT: Parmalee made your Grand Ole Opry debut in March 2013. What were your feelings as you were walking onto the Opry stage for the first time that night?
Parmalee: Don’t pass out! No, really, we were very proud. Very proud, nervous and excited. It is a great honor to play the Opry. A very big accomplishment and in some ways it says you’ve made it. I think about my Grandma every time and how proud she was. For my grandmother the Grand Ole Opry is as big as it gets so that is why I think about her.
CMTT: What is the message you hope fans take away from Feels Like Carolina?
Parmalee: I hope it connects with people and they can go to a show and find some people they have something in common with. Make some friends and have a good time. That’s what it all about. Having fun and bringing people together is what we like to do.
Make sure to pick up your copy of Feels Like Carolina tomorrow and check back on CMTT when they answer our 10 Quick Quirky Questions. In the meantime stay up to date with the band online at http://parmalee.com.