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Parmalee Overcome Adversity With Debut Album

Isaac Brekken, Getty Images

Parmalee certainly have plenty to celebrate. The four-man band recently earned their first No. 1 single, ‘Carolina,’ from their debut album, ‘Feels Like Carolina,’ which is also in the Top 10 and climbing.

But while the group are finally tasting the sweetness of success after years of disappointments and dead ends, they admit their journey has been anything but easy. They’ve dealt with a shooting when their drummer, Scott Thomas, was shot during a robbery that left one gunman dead. While Thomas survived, he faced years of physical therapy, as they worked together to get over the traumatic event. But now, the men are ready to put the entire situation behind them.

“It’s part of everything, so you have to talk about it,” lead singer Matt Thomas tells Taste of Country. “You never wanna revisit bad things, especially all of the time. But we are here. We’re in the spotlight, it is our story. People wanna know so they have the right to know.”

Parmalee went through several different producers and were rejected by several different labels, as their music toed a fine line between country and rock. Refusing to give up, the band survived on credit cards, amassing an astonishing amount of debt before they started to earn a steady income.

“I’d say over six figures. Yeah, combined between all of us,” Thomas admits. “Individually, and collectively and we all had, over the years, before we got here …  It would be over $100K for sure. … I was at 36 percent interest credit cards at one point. It was horrible. Horrible.”

Chances are, Parmalee won’t have to worry about high interest rates anymore. But while they have currently found a label home, on Stoney Creek Records, they insist that with or without a record deal, they’d still be crossing the country performing their music.

“The truth is nothing can keep us from pursuing this dream, because we were raised to always keep on pluggin’. . . and that’s just what we do,” Thomas said in November.

Readers of The Boot voted ‘Feels Like Carolina’ our Album of the Month for December 2013.

Order ‘Feels Like Carolina’ here.

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