Parmalee’s Matt Thomas Reflects On The Group’s ‘Mind-Blowing’ Success
Parmalee’s recently announced iHeart Radio Award nomination comes on the heels of their 2023 headlining tour.
Parmalee; Photo by Joseph Llanes
Parmalee recently scored a nomination for the 2023 iHeart RadioAwards for “Best Duo/Group of the Year.” This news comes after a year of success for the four-piece band made up of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, their cousin Barry Knox and longtime friend Josh McSwain.
The list of nominees also includes AJR, Black Eyed Peas, Blackpink, Glass Animals, Imagine, Dragons, Måneskin, OneRepublic, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Silk Sonic. Within the all-genre category, Parmelee is the only country act to be featured in the lineup.
“I got a text from somebody, he’s like, ‘have you seen this?’ And I was reading the list, it was like all genres, Imagine Dragons, Black Eyed Peas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parmalee. I’m like, hell yeah. This is dope,” Matt Thomas, the band’s frontman, recalled of the moment he found out the news.
He added, “I mean, especially seeing the Chili Peppers up there. I don’t care who you are, if you get nominated for an award in the category with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I mean, that’s a pretty good checked box right there.”
This year’s winners will be announced live on February 27 on Fox at 8/7c. Fans have the chance to vote for their favorite artists online or on Twitter.
Parmalee also received a nomination at last year’s iHeart Radio Awards show for “Country Song of the Year” with their No. 1 hit, “Just The Way” with Blanco Brown, which amassed over 500 million streams and was dubbed the most played song on iHeart Country in 2021.
After earning high praise for this catchy track, they kept the success going with their next RIAA Platinum-certified release, “Take My Name.” This song earned the band the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s year-end country airplay chart and remained in the Top 10 for 21 weeks, making it the fourth longest run in the list’s upper tier in almost 23 years of Billboard Country Chart history.
“It’s pretty mind-blowing if you think about it,” Thomas told Country Now. “Nobody really saw that coming and nobody could have called it. It’s just cool when that happens ’cause it’s kind of when the song takes off on its own and does its own thing.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been a part of anything that big. So that was pretty awesome. I mean, I don’t think we could have picked a better song to come behind ‘Just The Way,’” he added.
Thomas explained that while he stuck with his rule of never calling a song a hit until it actually becomes one, he recalled feeling that this song had something special right from the start.
“You know, when something feels right, feels good and you can listen to it from the beginning to the end, and there’s no holes to punch in it…The night when we wrote that, we finished it in the back lounge of the bus via Zoom. When we were playing the little demo work tape, I took it up front, played it, and it sounds like an iPhone work tape or whatever, just somebody singing, and Scott, my brother, was like, ‘man, that’s got something right there. I don’t know what it is, but it’s got something.’”
As the song continues to rise in popularity among the band’s fanbase, they will get to bring a new life to it when they hit the road for their highly-anticipated headlining tour of the same name.
“We’ve had an amazing year and now we can’t wait to see you all in 2023. Excited to announce our headlining “Take My Name” tour,” they shared on social media.
They will also get to bring along their current radio single, “Girl In Mine,” which has hit the Top 40 on both the Mediabase and Billboard charts. The song written by Matt Thomas alongside Ashley Gorley, Casey Brown, Davis Fanning and Travis Wood, perfectly follows the addicting energy and love-filled storyline of “Just The Way” and “Take My Name.”
“Right before ‘Take My Name’ went number one, we wrote this song and we just had some great songs in the album, but we were like, you know what? This has gotta be next. It feels great, and the video was so much fun. It just continues that direction that we’ve been going with ‘Just The Way’ and ‘Take My Name.’ I felt like it was a kind of the trilogy of those two.”
Parmalee’s passion for writing up-tempo love songs stems from early in their career, back when they were getting their foot in the door as a cover band. Making note of the cover songs that people were most drawn to in their captivating performances, the band eventually began to write their own songs with hopes of having the same effects with their craft.
“It kind of evolved into us writing all our stuff and just that connection, that feeling that you just wanna hit. Those emotions, a happy moment, a missing you moment, or a love you moment, whatever it is, you want to have those emotions in there so that when you’re performing, they can not only sing along and smile, but also feel something when they’re listening to it.”
Parmalee will embark on their 2023 headlining Take My Name Tour beginning February 2 in Champaign, IL.
“Being able to bring all this new energy we have and our new set and the new songs and some other things we’re trying to work on, it’s just a fun show we’re putting together,” Thomas shared in anticipation for the upcoming stint of shows.
With support from rising country star Chase Wright, they will make a total of 11 stops before wrapping things up on April 22 in West Chester, OH.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.