2002 to 2003
At the age of 19, Ryan Malott started the band under the name of Underclass Motto which was quickly scrapped for the current name of 500 Miles to Memphis. The name and the band were born out of a move from Cincinnati, OH to Dallas, TX in 2002 where Malott and friends hoped to start a punk band. Fresh from high school graduation, the boys hit the road. On the way to Dallas, Malott saw a mile marker sign outside of Memphis and took a mental note of x miles to Memphis. He later figured the actual mileage of his hometown of Bethel, OH to Memphis; 500. After living in Dallas for a few months Malott saw his first live country band, The Boys Named Sue and Slick 57. This turned out to be a very influential moment in Malott's life. His decision to start a straight punk band quickly changed and thus the seeds of 500MTM were planted. In 2003 Malott formed the group and played their first show at a pizza place next to the University of Cincinnati.
2006 to 2007
With a couple of years of touring and experience under their belt, the boys of 500MTM were ready to jump back into the studio for a new record. The only problem; they had no drummer. Luckily, Malott met local drumming phenom, Kevin Hogle, who was touring with MOTH at the time. Originally, Hogle was hired as a session player on the record until Malott could find a permanent drummer. In the spring of 2006, 500MTM began recording the album, Sunshine In a Shot Glass with Erwin Musper and Adam Pleiman at “Studio the Bamboo Room” in Kentucky. Once they had rough mixes of the album, Malott began sending demos to national labels… all passed or ignored them except for one, Deep Elm Records. Deep Elm quickly got to work promoting the band and licensing their music to countless tv shows, movies, and video games. The efforts of Deep Elm Records solidified 500MTM as a national act. In May of 2007, they released Sunshine In a Shot Glass and hit the road once again. At this point, Kevin Hogle had become a full-time member, solidifying the band’s lineup… almost.
For many years following, Noah Sugarman played lead guitar and Jeff Snyder joined on bass.
2013 to 2017
Drying out… From years of extensive touring and alcohol/drug abuse, 500MTM decided to take some time off to sober up and concentrate on other projects. Noah Sugarman moved on to pursue his own solo career, Kevin Hogle toured with Fifth on the Floor(among many others), David Rhodes Brown reignited his famous act the Warsaw Falcons, and Ryan Malott hung it up playing only local shows once every couple of months. In 2014, the boys got back together for another album, Stand There and Bleed, which was backed by their friends and fans through Kickstarter. It was a self-released album recorded by the talented Ashley Shepherd at Audiogrotto.
"Blessed Be the Damned" was released on Jan. 25th to wide acclaim winning over critics and fans in the UK and USA. For the first time in their careers, 500mtm placed on multiple national radio charts. NACC
500 Miles to Memphis signed with Paper + Plastick Records! They re-release BBtD in Oct. 2019 paired with an award-winning music video by Director Casey Shelton.
2004 to 2005
This time period was a tipping point for the band going from the garage to the stage. Heavy hitters, David Rhodes Brown and Noah Sugarman joined and helped the group take on a more mature sound and establish themselves as a serious act. Shortly after, Malott and co. signed with a local record label called 3rd Silo Records. They released their first full-length album, self-titled, and received a Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best “Roots/Folk/Americana”. The boys began touring heavily and writing what would become their highest selling record, Sunshine In a Shot Glass.
2008 to 2012
This was a very tumultuous time for the band. It was plagued with lineup changes, drugs, alcohol and all of the stresses that come with performing 250+ shows a year. However, the core members stayed together, Ryan Malott, Noah Sugarman, Kevin Hogle, David Rhodes Brown. In 2010, 500MTM jumped back into the studio with Erwin Musper and cut We’ve Built Up to Nothing. This album was noted as a large departure from the band’s original sound. While still a successful album, the sound had taken a more experimental turn. Shortly after the album’s release, Aaron Whalen joined on lead guitar moving Noah Sugarman back to his original position on bass.
Malott and co. clear-headed and more driven than ever to create music, started doing regional tours and pre-production on the album "Blessed Be the Damned". For the first time in their careers, Malott and Sugarman decided to start writing together. In May of 2018 the boys of 500 jumped in the studio to record with engineer Adam Pleiman and producer John Pedigo. Philip W. Peeples of Old 97s joined the band for a few tracks adding percussion to the songs "Save Me" and "I'm a Bastard"
uuuuuuuuuuh???? Well... with not much to do locked indoors, the dudes decided to write and record a new album in Ryan's basement.
"Hard to Love" the first completely DIY recording by the band was released on 10/22/2021