Today our Spotlight – Parmalee. We get to chat with the guys about their music and just how the band came to be. The new release album For You is available now and one you should for sure check out!
Welcome, Parmalee! Thank you for joining us today. Would you give an introduction to our viewers?
We’re a Country Rock/Pop band consisting of two brothers, Matt and Scott Thomas, a first cousin, Barry Knox, and life-long friend, Josh McSwain. We all grew up playing music with our families and eventually began writing our own songs which prompted us to start this band.
First question, Where does the name Parmalee come from? How did you settle on that name for the group?
The name comes from the small town of Parmele, NC (pop. 274). It’s a couple miles from where Matt, Scott, and Barry grew up. We rented a small barn there to rehearse in. We would spend every Tuesday and Thursday there writing, jamming, and becoming the band. The spelling changed to Parmalee for easier pronunciation, but that town will always be ground zero for us. We all have the zip code tattooed on us and it is the title of our last album, 27861.
As a band of family, both blood and chosen, what does family mean to you? Does it hold special significance as you have worked so closely together with your whole life?
Family is everything. We all are supporting the same group of people and have since day 1. Sometimes it can be tough, as with any family, but we find a way to work through it. We’ve been through so much together that we know each other in and out, whether personally or musically.
Since the album just dropped, what do you think of the reactions so far? Have you seen any feedback that surprised you?
The feedback has been amazing! We had about thirty songs when we started putting this album together. Our main goal was to pick the right ones for the fans. We teased a few on socials and people immediately started asking for them. We knew we were good on a few of these, but now after reading the comments and hearing from everyone on the rest of the album I feel like these songs are what they wanted to hear from us.
What would you say are the overall themes and inspirations for your album “For You?”
It’s for the fans. The song ‘For You’ was the one that really got this whole process going. We all wrote it together with our producer on the tour bus. It started this new chapter for all of us. A lot of these songs were written as follow ups to ‘Just The Way’. We wanted to keep that positive energy and vibe going so we took that direction in every writing session. Also, most of these songs are speaking directly to the listener..to you.
This new album of yours features some collaborations. What was it like to work with so many amazing creators on this project?
It was so much fun. It’s the first time we’ve collaborated with other artists on an album. We’ve been friends with Blanco and had worked together way before ‘The Git up’. It was a no-brainer to get him on ‘Just The Way’. We got hooked up with FITZ through our co-writers on ‘Greatest Hits’. We were fans of his so when they brought up the idea, we were all in. Avery is a new artist that we found on TikTok and started working with last year. She has an amazing voice so it made perfect sense to have her on ‘Forget You’.
What are each of your favorite tracks on the album and why?
Matt – ‘Take My Name’ I really love the vibe of this one and how we were able to take a phrase you’ve heard your whole life and put a new spin on it.
Scott – ‘For You’ – It’s one we all wrote together while out on the road and started this new chapter for us. I love the production and the realness of this song.
Josh – ‘For You’ – From the lyrics and melodies to the guitar parts, this one really shines a light on our sound at its core.
Barry – ‘Only You’ – I love the musical breaks and lyrics in this one. It’s a unique song in so many ways.
Since “For You,” has been dedicated to your loyal fans, what would you like to say to those who might not make it out to your tour?
Every time you’re jamming the album we’re right there with you! Hopefully we’ll be coming to your town or one near you asap!
Your new song “Just The Way” absolutely smashed the charts. How did the group celebrate? Did the album hit the goals you imagined when writing?
The song went to #1 on country radio on Matt’s birthday, so we definitely had a party that night. ‘Just The Way’ is still going so the next one is TBD. The album has already hit many goals I never expected. The positive comments alone are amazing. Just putting an album out was a huge goal for us.
What are the talents of everyone in the group? Who is the lyric writer, music writer, and who keeps up the energy of the band?
We all write. The songs usually dictate the energy, but we try to bring as much to the stage as we can.
What did this album teach you about yourselves, each other, and your supporters?
We learned to listen and learn from our past. The fans are who keep our wheels rolling. We looked at our songs that connected most with our fans and asked why? We wanted to make sure to keep those things in every song on this album.
You can hear the touch of North Carolina in every single one of your songs. How do you think your music would have changed if you grew up anywhere else? Would you be in music?
North Carolina has a big influence on our music because of the people we grew up around, the local dialect and the music that we heard in the area. Josh is from the Western part of the state and his dad, Bud played bluegrass. The rest of us are from Eastern NC and our dad Jerry (also Barry’s Uncle) played southern rock and soul music. Those influences are definitely in every one of our songs.
Yes, because our parents were big parts of us getting into music.
The band is on tour right now, once that’s done are you planning on taking some rest time or do you guys jump right into your next project?
We’ll find some time to take a break in the winter months, but we’re always working on something. We’re doing a show with our buddy Hardy today. He’s such a great writer. Maybe he’ll come jump on the bus and write one with us while we’re here..stay tuned.
How does it feel to be performing live again? Definitely different from the virtual concerts over the past year.
It’s been great! The energy level at these shows has been crazy. We really missed everyone and it seems like they missed us too. It’s so good to see everyone in person and hear them sing back.
Finally, shout out anything you’d like! Could be a person, organization, or charity. Thank you for joining us today!
Shout out to our Fans!! Thank y’all for keeping us inspired and keeping our wheels turning. We love y’all. This album is ‘For You’!
Spotlight – Parmalee is in the books! Thanks to the guys for taking the time to chat with us.
Check out For You now
Keep up with the band here