"The barn is in Parmale, NC, near our homes, and every one of the 250 or so people who live in the town could hear us. We quit playing at 11:00 PM to be considerate and not get shut down," says lead singer Matt Thomas. "That barn in Parmale is where this band was born, so we thought there couldn't be a better name than Parmalee. We added the extra 'e' to help people pronounce it. It worked for Boston, Chicago and Alabama -- why not Parmalee?"
The band, which also includes Matt's brother Scott on drums, cousin Barry Knox on bass guitar and friend Josh McSwain on guitar, developed a following in the Carolinas and quickly became a hot act to book in local clubs. But their rise to stardom almost came crashing down after a horrifying incident in the fall of 2010. Parmalee had just played a gig in Rock Hill, S.C., when two armed men stormed their RV and tried to rob them. When one of the culprits pointed a gun at Matt, Scott grabbed his own gun. A shootout followed, and the Parmalee drummer was shot three times. He shot back at the robbers, killing one of them and wounding the other. After a medically induced coma and multiple surgeries, Scott is now thankfully fully recovered. He faced no charges in the shooting, as it was a clear case of self defense.
Parmalee, who describe their sound as "the country side of rock," is signed to Nashville's Stoney Creek Records, also home to Thompson Square and Randy Houser, among others. Their debut album for the label is expected in the coming months. The first taste of the project is the infectious "Musta Had a Good Time," which was recently voted the No. 1 song on Sirius/XM radio station the Highway's Top 30 countdown.
"'Musta Had a Good Time' describes that one epic party that all of us have either been to -- or hope to go to -- at some point in our lives," says Matt. "It's that one party that becomes a legend in a small town. The response that we get from fans when we play this song live is crazy -- the fans know all the words and everyone's dancing, and it becomes a party on stage and in the crowd. We're finding out that there's a lot of people out there who really like to have a good time."
Watch Parmalee perform their rockin' "Musta Had a Good Time" in the video below, which premieres exclusively on The Boot.
Watch Parmalee Perform 'Musta Had a Good Time'