If you are a fan of Parmalee, you are going to love this biography of the band. It’s a reminder that an “Overnight Sensation” is rarely what it appears. It usually takes years and involves a LOT of struggles. Especially in Parmalee’s case.
Parmalee consists of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, along with their cousin Barry Knox and their childhood friend Josh McSwain. Matt sings lead vocals and plays guitar, Scott plays the drums, Barry plays bass, and Josh plays guitar. Matt and Scott grew up near Greenville, North Carolina, where they watched their father perform with local southern rock blues band. The brothers learned a lot about how a band works from watching their father play. They soon learned how to play different instruments and would jam with the band sometimes.
Barry liked what his cousins were doing and he soon joined them. One night, after one of the members of his father’s band didn’t show up for a gig, Mike joined him on stage to perform. Scott soon replaced the drummer, Barry learned bass, and the group began to perform as The Thomas Brothers Band. It wasn’t long before Matt invited Josh to play with Barry, Scott, and himself. The foursome hit it off immediately and they soon played their first show as Parmalee near East Carolina University where they went to school.
In December of 2002, Parmalee released an EP entitled Daylight on the label Deep South. Their first full-length album, Inside, was released in June of 2004. After the release of Inside, they toured for two year to promote the album. In May of 2008, they released an EP entitled Complicated.
When the group moved to Nashville, they parked their RV in the Comfort Inn parking lot located on Demonbreun Street near Music Row. The RV doubled as their studio and for the next month the parking lot served as their home and office.
The group began writing new material and networking and their new connections led to a co-writing session with David Fanning from New Voice Entertainment. With Fanning, the band wrote and recorded, “Musta Had a Good Time,” in the back of their RV during the same weekend as the historic flood in Nashville in 2010. The song eventually led to both their production and record deals.
The band members were victims of an attempted robbery in September of 2010. Parmalee had just finished a show in North Carolina when two armed men knocked on the door and put a gun to Matt’s head and demanded money. Shots were fired and Scott, who possessed a concealed weapons license, fired back. One of the gunmen died and Scott was shot three times. He was flown to a hospital in Charlotte, NC, where he stayed for 35 days – 10 of which he spent in a coma. By February 2011, Scott was well enough to get behind a drum kit for the first time and the band began to perform again.
Parmalee soon signed a deal with Stoney Creek Records and they released their debut single, “Musta Had a Good Time,” in 2012.The group’s current single, “Carolina,” was released in February of this year and sits in the Top 25 on the chart. The music video for “Carolina” was released in late June. The band also participated at this year’s CMA Music Festival in Nashville. While at the festival, they signed autographs for fans and performed on the Hard Rock Stage.
In May, Parmalee kicked off the Southwest Airlines “Travelin’ Taylor Tour,” where the band members performed on their Taylor Guitars at 35,000 feet in midair for passengers on a flight from Nashville to Houston. The group was handpicked by Southwest Airlines as the very first act to perform during its 2013 season, which also featured performances by ZZ Ward, Youngblood Hawke, Vicci Martinez, Delta Rae and more. They are currently on tour with their next show scheduled in Syracuse, New York on September 2.