Parmalee’s 2013 release Feels Like Carolina featured three Top 10 singles “Close Your Eyes,” “Already Callin’ You Mine,” and “Carolina,” which became their first #1, that catapulted them onto the airwaves gaining them new fans from coast to coast. The band’s current single, “Roots” is a nostalgic, universally relatable song that honors where one comes from. Frontman Matt Thomas kindly called to talk about the single, what's ahead, and more.
Your current single, “Roots,” is such a heartfelt, relatable tune. What drew you to record the song?
One of our good friends is a co-writer on it and when I heard it, I fell in love with it. It hit me and all the guys in the band pretty hard and when you come across a song that does that to you, you have to get it.
Originally released in May, the song is still on the charts, this week inside the Top 50. Your songs seem to favor that slow and steady climb before they ultimately reach the Top #10 and #1.
It’s at #41 this week, hanging in there like a loose tooth (laughing). It’s frustrating because you want things to move faster as that offers opportunities for touring, tv, and nominations, but we’ll take slow and steady over no and steady any day. We all believe in the song and at the end of the day you have to do that if nothing else. We just want people to have the chance to hear it because we know people will connect with it the way we did.
Feels Like Carolina was released in 2013, when will fans be able to get their hands on a new album?
We’re working on the new album non-stop and plan to release it next year. I’m writing every chance I get when I am home; and having the publishing deal with Universal has enabled me to get in a writer’s room with great writers, so now it’s just a matter of picking songs and deciding which direction to go with it.
I read that you’re using different instruments and approaching songs differently with this album, so will people hear something new from Parmalee on this record?
Feels Like Carolina was a more organic record, where this new one will be more progressive. In a writer's room or studio, there are so many things you can do to be creative, so we’re using computers, sound loops and all kinds of new stuff on this record, but we’ll always go back to melody, harmony, and guitar.
On November 18th, you will be hosting your annual “Feels Like Carolina” concert which will benefit North Carolina flood relief. Why was it important for you to do that?
We started this concert years ago at my uncle’s house. It was a big hometown throwdown party where we’d invite people in the community, roast a pig and play some music, but once “Musta Had A Good Time” came out, it grew to 2000 people, and we had to move it somewhere else. This year, because of the floods, we knew we had to help out - and the perfect way for us to do that is to put on a concert and hopefully raise some money. Thompson Square is going to open for us which is really cool, and Runaway June and Luke Combs, who is from North Carolina, will also be there. It’s a community of good people and we’re happy to do it.
Sounds like a great day of music.
What are your plans for the remainder of this year and early next?
We have three more shows this year and then we’ll be off. We’ll continue to push “Roots” at radio and then we’re going to go in full blast and make the next record. We’re booking headlining shows for next year, but if the opportunity to go out with someone came about that would be great, but we’ll see what happens.
Finally, as all of the “Best Of” lists emerge at the end of the year, I have to ask, what gets your vote for favorite album of the year?
I like Maren Morris, she put out a cool record.
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Watch the "Roots" video here
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