Parmalee will perform at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Thursday with country star Chase Bryant. The Post spoke with Matt Thomas, the vocalist and guitarist of Parmalee, ahead of the show.
The Post: How has the tour been going?
Matt Thomas: Oh, it’s been great. We’re in Nebraska now … flying to Vegas in the morning, flying to California on Saturday. So it’s been fun.
P: How does touring on your own compare to being on bigger tours like Brad Paisley’s or Jake Owen’s?
M: It’s great to be able to play for your own fans. … The other end of that is when you go out and play for somebody else, you’re kind of connecting with their fans as well. … It’s great to learn the show and see who’s really out there for you. It’s also great to have other people that wouldn’t normally come to your shows check it out.
P: Your newest single “Roots” is about your hometown (Parmele) in North Carolina (with a population of about 300). So, growing up in such a small town, how has it affected your perspectives and the way you write music?
M: It’s just a different lifestyle. You go through different things growing up … it all plays into it. I think you’re very influenced by the things going around you … the music and people … it all ties in together.
P: What was the proudest moment of your career so far? The biggest payoff you’ve had?
M: Getting a tour bus, to be honest with you. That’s the biggest life changer I think for anyone. You get that tour bus … your life changes. You have a different schedule. You have people that work for you. That’s probably the biggest thing.
P: Do you have any details on when a new single will be out or a ballpark on an album release?
M: Yes, we have a brand new single. It’s called "Sunday Morning." It’s coming out (April 14), and we have an album that’s slated for the very first of July.
P: How does the style of your new music … the way you wrote it, the way you produced it, compare to your debut record?
M: It’s a lot more progressive than the debut record. … Producing music now, at the bottom, it starts with computers. … It’s definitely progressive, but it’s always us, you know? It’s always going to be harmonies and guitars. You know, we’re a rock-based band anyway, so … it’s gonna have that appeal to it … but it all comes back to the lyrics … what you say and how you say it.
P: With the new music, do you feel pressure to have another hit as big as “Carolina,” or is that not the way you think about it?
M: You just wanna have a song that connects with people, you know? Whether it ends up being a big ol’ hit or, you know, an album track … It’s hard to compare to something like Carolina that was, you know, the song that broke us out … that’s why they’re big songs … because it’s not the same thing over and over … I feel like we have a lot of good songs on the new album ... It’s different than the Feels Like Carolina record, but it’s exactly who we are, where we’re going.
P: The way you do things now that you are signed, how is it different from before you were signed?
M: (laughs) A lot. Before I was signed, I’d get up at six o’clock in the morning to go cut trees all day long then come home and go rehearse and play on the weekends … It’s the same amount of work, it’s just different. You spend time at radio stations and you spend time just really working on things that you need to be working on.
P: Is there a particular goal you hope to accomplish in your career that you haven’t yet met?
M: Another no. One would be pretty awesome, I’ll be honest with you … Just securing a good career for, for all of us. Being able to continue to do this for as long as we want to do this, and can do this, that’s the ultimate goal.