"I always celebrate my second birthday on the 21st of September," says band member Scott Thomas, who was critically injured during an armed robbery back in 2010
The group — famous for No. 1 hits like “Carolina” and “Take My Name” — dropped their deluxe album For You 2 on Sept. 22, and the release is more meaningful than they could’ve imagined.
“I always celebrate my second birthday on the 21st of September, since the incident,” says Scott, who was critically injured after being shot during an armed robbery back in 2010. “I had a 5% chance of living. These guys didn't know if I was going to live or die,” he adds of his bandmates.
Scott’s brother Matt still recalls the shooting with great detail.
“We were playing a club show on a Monday night, and two guys tried to rob us on our RV afterwards at gunpoint. [Scott was] shot three times. We had to go to the hospital that night. It was horrible,” he says.
The “craziest part,” the brothers add, was that the band was simultaneously on the verge of a record deal.
“It was about to happen and then just the train comes off the tracks,” says Matt. “Scott’s about to die, and all we could focus on was just getting him better because we had to go back to Nashville.”
The band also credits their fans, friends and family for helping them get through such a challenging period both emotionally and financially.
“They all raised money for us. Local bands, people in concerts so we could have a little money in the bank to pay the credit card bills we owed and to pay his hospital bills and get back and forth and that kind of stuff,” says Matt.
In fact, getting support from family is something that the band has been fortunate enough to have since the very beginning — Matt and Scott’s mom took out a second mortgage on her home to help Parmalee pay for the first recording of “Carolina.”
“She's always supported us. She raised us as a single mom for a long time, but she just did everything. I'm sure the other ladies in the community thought she was crazy because we just couldn't get it going and couldn't make it,” recalls Matt. “We finally did.”
With the release of For You 2, and the band’s latest single “Girl in Mine” on its way to becoming their fourth No. 1 hit, the group is elated that they get to continue pursuing every day. They're currently on tour with Train, and in 2024, they'll hit the road with Kane Brown.
“We all have the desire to not go back to our old day jobs,” explains Barry Knox.
Adds Josh McSwain: “We're just trying to play music for a living. That's what we're happy doing, so that's just what keeps us going.”
“We all worked $10 an hour jobs doing construction, working in logging woods, repoing furniture, just to keep this band going,” says Matt. “There's not a day that I can go by and see the gas station where the guys are loading up the truck, they've been working on a construction job, and I know they're working hard and it's hot. And I'm like, ‘Man, I’m so thankful to be able to just play music.’”
For Scott, the sentiment rings true, and it remains that much more special.
“I was talking to management, everybody's like, ‘You realize that when the album comes out, it's kind of like a birthday present,'" he says with a small laugh. "So, it really means a lot for this new album and the new songs to be coming out on the 22nd.”
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