The Afters are a Christian rock band founded by Joshua Havens and Matt Fuqua. Havens and Fuqua first worked together in a Starbucks coffee shop in Mesquite, Texas, where they played for customers, before deciding to form a band. They added Brad Wigg and Marc Dodd, who were also employed at the same Starbucks, under their original name of Blisse. Their song “Never Going Back to OK” was the most-played song on R&R magazine’s Christian CHR chart for 2008.
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 and bassist/filmmaker Niko Red Star.
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 Afters has announced they are creating a new album and on April 17, 2012 they released a new single entitled “Life is Beautiful” on iTunes, in which the song was part of the soundtrack for the movie October Baby.
Booking information and tour dates can be found on http://theafters.com/.
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