This week’s Swag Spotlight shines on a band that has been together since 2001, Parmalee. Brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, as well as their cousin Barry Knox and friend, Josh McSwain, moved to Nashville from North Carolina in 2011 to pursue their dreams of being a country music band. “I think that country is just a part of who we are, we sort of landed there because we were kind of the band that nobody could pinpoint who we were,” Matt Thomas says in a recent chat with New York Country Swag. “We were always a little too country for rock and too rock for country and too country for pop, it was always kind of blurred lines for us, so it was just a natural progression of where we needed to be.” He explained that when Jason Aldean, Big and Rich, and Eric Church started making there mark on the genre, they felt they added a similar edge to the traditional music that had been popular in country for so long.
When discussing their influences growing up, Matt laughs and says “honestly everything”. “Our dad brought us up on soul, blues, and southern country, but also a lot of rock and roll and my mom listened to whatever pop music was out. There was a classic rock radio station back home, that was a staple, it was always a lot of soul rock and roll and country music.” Now the band explains they are fans of good songs and great melodies, no matter the genre. At any given time you can find them listening to jazz music, or a Frank Sinatra album. Scott will play the new Chris Stapleton record or even listen to pop music.
Their latest album, 27861 which is also their hometown zip code was released last summer on Stoney Creek Records. They decided to name the album after their hometown because that zip code had been essential to them coming together as a band and represents their roots. They even all have the numbers tattooed on their arms. The album features a collaboration of incredible Nashville songwriters including Rodney Clawson, Tom Douglas, Andrew Dorff and lead singer of Parmalee Matt Thomas. Writing with those legendary writers, Thomas tells us “I love those guys, there are so many talented people in Nashville that you just have to soak it all in, learn more about people and I think I’ve learned to listen and know what people do best, it’s a very unique, crazy cool thing. ”
Thomas discussed narrowing down over forty songs down to twelve and how they made those decisions. “You want hits the band loves and wants to put on there, what your fans want, and what radio is going to want to play, what is going to help for the live show,” he told us. Looking to the future the band is gearing up to play some festivals and shows across the country this summer and are excited to announce their next single very soon.
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– Team NYCountry Swag