‘Hotdamalama’ Is a Very Parmalee Kind of Song
The guitar riff that drives Parmalee's "Hotdamalama" has roots to a time before they scored a country hit with "Carolina." In fact, it's older than the band itself!
The group (brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knox and childhood friend Josh McSwain) used to be in a band with the Thomas boys' father, and that's the kind of sound he taught them as they gigged throughout eastern North Carolina.
"One of the first songs we wrote as a band before we were Parmalee is this crazy song called ‘What’d You Say’,” Matt Thomas recalls.
"And we’d always start it with a riff like that," Knox adds, finishing that thought. Find "Hotdamalama" on the band's just-released Party Pack EP, a collection of old and new party songs.
Fans of Parmalee will compare "Hotdamalama" to "Musta Had a Good Time," their rock-fueled country laugher from 2012. That's totally fair. Humorous, guitar-heavy country songs are as much a part of their brand as denim and good hair. Still, it's a thin line between clever and silly. Craig Wiseman wrote "Hotdamalama" with Matt Thomas and Tommy Cecil, and Thomas says the songwriting vet was the one who urged him to embrace the patter.
“He’s like, ‘Yeah, just sing it like you would talk. People wanna hear you talk like you do on the street, like you would talk to your friends,'" the singer recalls.
"Hotdamalama" is the third single from the 27861 album, but the song the duo wanted to release as a single one year ago, before dropping "Sunday Morning" at country radio. They admit they had to reassess their intentions in a #MeToo world, and they didn't have all the answers at a time when a clumsy compliment could be interpreted as harassment. The conclusion was they were thinking too hard.
"We were thinking a lot about that, but one pass of the hip-hop station and one Jersey Shore and I was like, ‘Don’t worry about it, guys. It’s fine,'" Matt Thomas says.
The party song is about beautiful women, or one specific beautiful woman. One recalls Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," a massive — if provocative — country hit from 2005. Can that kind of song work in 2018? If the response from fans at live shows is a fair sampling, it absolutely can.
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