The Mile After hit the road with fury and found their niche

Nick Brandes

Set against the desolate scrub and brush half way between Dallas, Texas and rock star land, The Mile After comes across a barren goldmine. Six hundred kids pack into a venue to watch as this Wilmington band makes good.

To say that the last five months for the band have been chaotic would be a drastic understatement. One would think that being signed to the biggest Indie record label Drive Thru/Rushmore Records would be huge. Or perhaps getting to play The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, where all the big acts perform. Or getting treated like rock stars and partying it up in Las Vegas on a shabby chic hotel roof. But instead the band said their greatest accomplisment was getting to meet Jordan from the band New Found Glory.

The Mile After, which was formed in Wilmington, consists of Ben Carter, Chase Holfelder, Jim Trice and Davis Wood. The band which blends power-pop, pop-punk and emo has been gathering a fan base quite rapidly over the past two years.

Currently touring through the U.S. with other Drive Thru bands, Madison and Day at the Fair, the band agrees that this tour is exactly what they needed.

“This tour was completely self-funded, and we are just about breaking even with gas and food and such, and since there is no such thing as a bad tour, we are really happy that this one has been so successful,” lead guitarist Carter said.

“It’s gotten our feet wet, opened us up to what this is all about,” added Trice.

With three different singers on almost every song The Mile After attacks with a new type of fury, which is a breathe of fresh air for Drive Thru.

“We have three singers in our band, and we want it to be known that we have three, because it makes our melodies more important and therefore the music better,” Carter said.

With their tour ending September 11 in Buffalo, N.Y., the band heads back to its current home in Charlotte to begin writing for their next album which is slated to be released in early 2006. “Basically we sit down and write 10-12 songs and then submit them to label and see what they think,” Wood said.

The Mile After, whose name comes from a Czechoslovakian film, admitted that they have just started to reach the level they want. “We are on a new set of rungs, the bottom, so it’s going to be fun to try to move up this set,” Trice said.

With such eclectic influences it is still not easy to pigeon hole them.

“We were influenced by everyone pretty much, from Queen to Saves the Day,” Wood said. “Growing up it was what my mom was listening to at the moment, Chicago, to Midtown.”

Already with a U.S. tour under their belt and self-released EP, The Mile After is anxious to know what is coming up around the bend.

“We’ve got a split CD with David Mellio coming out, on the next Drive Thru DVD we have an acoustic performance and we even got to film a low cost video for Worst Offender,” Holfelder said.