For The Afters, life as a band began at a Starbucks in Mesquite, Texas where lead vocalist Josh Havens and vocalist/guitarist Matt Fuqua served up coffee and plotted their entrance onto the music scene. They recruited Dodd and Wigg and began performing under the name Blisse, earning a reputation as a potent live act with an arsenal of catchy pop/rock anthems.
As a precursor to Blisse, Matt and Josh performed several shows around Dallas as The Screaming Mimes, a reference to a St. Francis of Assisi quote "Witness at all times. Sometimes use words." The songs during this period were largely the same as they would be performed and recorded as Blisse. While Brad was a founding member of the group, he took time away from the band to perform with his own blues project, playing lead guitar. Shows at the Door in Deep Ellum were filled in by Dallas bassist Eric Kitchens.
Under the name Blisse, the band recorded a six-song EP in 2000. From this they made enough money to cut their first album, When the World Is Wonderful, which was released independently in 2001. This album contains songs also released on their major label debut album I Wish We All Could Win. In 2002 they released a live concert DVD filmed at a local Dallas club called The Door.
The band changed its name after discovering that another Blisse already existed. Settling on The Afters, they continued to play local clubs in the Dallas area. They were eventually discovered by INO Records and signed to a four-record deal. After this, word of the band got to Epic Records, which signed the band to a deal for mainstream promotion and distribution. Their first major label album, I Wish We All Could Win, was released on February 22, 2005. The first single from the album was "Beautiful Love" written by Josh Havens about a time when his wife was abroad doing humanitarian aid. The single's music video led The Afters to a 2005 MTVu "Streaming Woodie" award. In addition, "Beautiful Love" became the theme song for the MTV show, "8th and Ocean" about the life of female and male fashion models living in Miami, Florida. The song was also featured in the 2006 film, "Just My Luck". Furthermore, the song "Until The World" featuring the album was the theme song for the American drama television series that aired on the ABC Family Network "Beautiful People", created by Michael Rauch.
The Afters signed to INO/Sony Music Label Group in 2005. When their debut disc started to create a buzz, their partnership with Columbia Records helped propel their career to the next level, setting the stage for Never Going Back To OK. "I feel like we all came in feeling more experienced as musicians," Havens says of the band's approach to the new disc. "We had more song ideas to pull from being out on the road. We discovered who we were as a band. I think being together nearly every day for a couple of years, we really developed our sound and I couldn't be happier with this album."
The band credits veteran producer Dan Muckala (Backstreet Boys, Mandy Moore, Nick Lachey, Brian Littrell) with helping them create a sophomore album that is even stronger than their acclaimed debut. "He would push us to write better songs," says Havens of their producer. "He challenged us in ways that we've never been challenged before. I feel that that is a really big difference on this record. I think he took a lot of ownership on this record because he really loved the music as well and spent a lot of time working on it with us."
The Afters are currently promoted through INO Records and Columbia Records. In an update posted on their official website, the band went into the studio in August 2006 to start recording their second album, Never Going Back to OK. It was originally scheduled to be released on December 26, 2007 as per a post on their MySpace blog, but was ultimately delayed and released on February 26, 2008. The first single from the album, the title track "Never Going Back to OK" premiered on October 16, 2007 on Total Axxess. It was also released as a streaming file on The Afters' MySpace page on November 10, 2007. The song hit the R&R magazine charts in December 2007. It hit #1 on the R&R CHR chart in March 2008 and R&R magazine ranked it as the most played song on U.S. Christian CHR radio in 2008.
In spring of 2008, the band began their own headlining tour along with Falling Up, Ruth, and Everyday Sunday.
The Afters stated in their Twitter account that they started recording their next album on October 27, 2009.
Listen to The Afters Here
|When The World Is Wonderful (As Blisse)||2001||Independent|
|I Wish We All Could Win||2005||Epic Records|
|Never Going Back to OK||2008||Columbia|
|Light Up the Sky EP||2010||INO Records|
|Life Is Beautiful||2013||Fair Trade Services|