An Americana, South Carolina band, Forty Mile Detour, has just released a new single entitled, "Will McCain" through the Spectra Music Group. Their motto is "Authentic. Americana. Music, and that's exactly what they play...relatable, genuine music.
While building a massive fan base in Charleston, the band is focused on touring and getting their music out there. I spoke with front man Mark Yampolsky about the future of the band and their current projects. Mark is a story teller. He draws you in and with his stories and with the way he presents them, become compelling and addicting.
How long have you been doing music?
Pretty much my whole life.
Your band is really tight.
Thank you, I appreciate that. We just released a single with Spectra Music Group, and we are really excited about it. There's some cool stuff going on. I wrote that song.
Who influences your style of music?
That is so easy....my inspiration to write basically came from an individual named Darrell Scott. He's a phenomenal Nashville songwriter and a monster guitar player. I played guitar for years, and years, and years, in bands and never really thought about songwriting until I had the opportunity to hear Darrell Scott. I was just blown away by the originality of his songwriting and that's what influenced me to write. I still listen to him all the time.
That's a good story. When you do write, what comes into your head to write about?
Most of the things that I write about seem to have a movement. Moving, traveling, change of seasons, change of location, drifter, hobo, that kind of stuff. I'll write a highway song, I'll write a road song, movement.
Most people write about love, and you tell stories about movement.
You know, I can't write a love song. I don't know what the deal is.... what is it, "Just Another Silly Love Song"? I have a couple that come close. My wife would love for me to have one that I can get up and sing to her. It just doesn't fit it. Everything is movement, traveling, trains, get up and get going, both figuratively and literally as well.
I guess there's enough love songs out there. Do you plan on touring to support your new single?
Our band plays live almost every weekend. We just recently finished sort of a mini weekend tour in Nashville. We did three shows in Nashville. Up until now we haven't. Everyone has got a day job in the band right now. We just haven't had the opportunity. I'm hoping that with our relationship with Spectra, that changes because we would like to do some touring. Well, within reach of Charleston we've got some great places that we'd like to go on weekends. Charlotte is a great place for us to go, Savannah, Nashville, Raleigh all up in North Carolina. There are lots of places to play so I've definitely got the wheels going on this. I hope so.
We've got our name going on down here in Charleston and we've done some opening spots for some of these bands who come from these places. We are pretty good with connecting with people. We meet them and we kind of relate to people, so I think we are going to take advantage of some of those relationships and go spend weekends with some of our friends in Savannah and Charlotte and do some shows that way. That's how I'm going to approach it.
What would you want to tell your fans?
Besides thank you for their support we have our motto. It's "Authentic America Music" that's our thing. What I would tell them is that we are going to keep writing that stuff and we're going to do our best to keep it as genuine as we possibly can. Relatable. Can I share a story with you?
We did a gig at a place that we love playing at here in Charleston, called "The Southern". Our regular bass player was out, and we had somebody sitting in with us who's a pretty talented guy. He knows our songs and he's sat in with us before. We had a really nice crowd, the place was packed. It's like a roadhouse atmosphere. After the show the guy said to me, "you know I saw people mouthing the words to the songs. How do these people know your songs"? I explained to him that we have people come out every weekend and they know our songs already but beyond that, I like to write something that people can remember. There are some songs that you hear the first time and by the time the second chorus comes around you know it already. Those are the kinds of things that we try to write. I want someone to walk away from the show remembering one of the hook lines in the song. But what I would tell my fans is that we are going to continue to write these authentic songs that people can relate to. That's what we're going to do. No matter what happens if we are touring or whatever, we're just going to keep on doing the same kind of genuine stuff that people recognize us for.
I'll be honest with you. Americana music is not my thing, I'm more about punk, however I do like your music.
I can't write punk, but I appreciate that. I'm not familiar with that stuff at all Eileen. Well I'll tell you how I came upon this genre. Growing up I listened to Crosby, Stills & Nash, I listen to The Eagles, I listened to Jackson Browne, James Taylor, that stuff. So, there's this genre called Americana, which is a little fuzzy but it's out there. My wife really discovered it. We discovered a music festival at sea. It's a music cruise. So, Ellen discovered this cruise called "Cayamo". It's put on by a company in Atlanta and they do all types of music cruises. I don't know if they have a punk cruise or not, but they have all kinds of rock, Metallica, all of that kind of stuff. But they have this one and it's basically a singer-songwriter Americana music cruise. They attract people like Lyle Lovett, who is pretty big. But you get to see a bunch of A- listers and you also get to meet the B and C-listers too. Some of the other names on the cruise are Brandi Carlisle, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, these are all Americana artists. So, we started going on this cruise and that's where I met Darrell Scott. That was 10 years ago, and we're going back this February for our 10th year in a row. It's kind of like camp where we see the same people year after year. They are part of this community. By virtue of that it's allowed us to network with people in the music business that we would never have access to otherwise. For example, on that record cut that you heard, there was one small solo section of some cool organ playing. The guy who played that part is named Daniel Walker, and he tours with Ann Wilson of "Heart".
We had met him on the cruise. One year on the cruise my guitar player named Eddie Phillips and I won the original song competition on the cruise. We got to do a set which was amazing with Chris Stapleton and Jason Isabel who were the headliners. That was huge for us. So, we met this guy Daniel Walker when he was playing keyboards for somebody else. We connected with him and he sat in on our set. Then we noticed that Ann Wilson was coming to Charleston to do a show. Low and behold, Daniel Walker was the keyboardist. I had his number and just called him and invited him to record with us. Sure, enough he was glad to do it. If it wasn't for the cruise, I wouldn't have any other way to make that happen. That's how the music has grown for us. We also put on house concerts in our home, and we bring some of these artists to our home and share music with our friends.
Sounds like you’re definitely on the right path towards where you would like to be. I truly appreciate the time you have spent talking with me and make sure everyone checks out the new single by Forty Mile Detour called “Will McCain” which is available now on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more. I hope you like it, I know I did. Thanks Mark!
Forty Mile Detour website: www.fortymiledetour.com
Sonicbids EPK: https://www.sonicbids.com/band/forty-mile-detour/
Written by Eileen Shapiro
I work with Jimmy Star and am a NY Times best selling author and rock star journalist....currently write for Get Out Mag, PureM, Classic Pop, Huffington Post, and several others....I write pop culture interviews with well established talent and up and coming great talent...look forward to working with you....