“Close Your Eyes” followed the group’s first No.1, “Carolina,” and while the band may seem like an overnight success story, their journey has actually been quite the opposite.
“We always did everything on our own,” lead singer Matt Thomas told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. “We didn’t wait for instructions. We always were those guys who went after the next opportunity. We didn’t wait for somebody to give it to us. We were always looking for the next opportunity and tried to make good opportunities for ourselves. And that’s why we did the things we did. That’s why we worked as hard as we did. Everything makes you stronger.”
Their friendship is more than a decade old and includes a personal tragedy that left one member fighting for his life. In September of 2010, drummer Scott Thomas was shot three times during an attempted robbery. After spending 35 days in the hospital, 10 of which were in a coma, he recovered.
“I’ve never seen this much outreach from people that we didn’t even know we had connected with over the years,” Matt Thomas said of the fans’ support. “So it really made us feel like we’ve been doing something right. Over all these years, to have everybody just want to help us out and want to see us continue to move forward, I think that was the biggest inspiration for us.”
Parmalee continues to connect with fans, making them a priority by creating music that inspires a carefree and fun atmosphere away from everyday stress.
“I just want people to feel good and smile and sing along,” the singer said. “That’s what we try to get people to do at shows. We’re at a point in our lives where we wrote and picked songs for this record that we wanted people to smile when they heard them. That’s our main goal: Just come to the show and have a good time. Leave your worries at the door.”
The band will let the good times roll during a New Year’s Eve party in Minnesota and then hit the ground running in 2015 with dates in Texas and Oklahoma.
For more from Parmalee, tune into CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 20-21) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.