The Afters - Say Goodbye (Say Hello)
Quick facts about The Afters
PLACE OF ORIGIN
The Beginning for the Afters
The After’s career began when Joshua Havens and Matt Fuqua first worked together in a Starbucks coffee shop in Mesquite, Texas, where they would play for customers. This inspired them to form a band which began under the name Blisse, and evolved into The Afters later in their careers.
Blisse initially featured contributions from a fellow Starbucks employee Brad Wigg and drummer Michael Burden. Eventually Michael Burden decided to part ways with the band. Fortunately though, another Starbucks employee Marc Dodd stepped in and joined the band as their new drummer.
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.
Initial Signs of Success
With the release of their first album under the name Blisse, the band began to really find their audience and gain popularity, eventually changing their name to The Afters when they learnt that the name Blisse was already in use by another band. The band was becoming a main stay attraction in the Dallas area when they were discovered by INO Records. The recording company offered the band a four-record deal and, after signing on, The Afters went to work developing new albums.
With the new buzz surrounding the band thanks to their INO records deal, another company, Epic Records, reached out to the Afters and offered to sign the band to a deal for mainstream promotion and distribution.
"In the midst of tragedy, I've experienced God's presence." - Joshua Havens
The Afters in Their Prime
With this level of record company backing, the band was able to record and release their first major label album, ‘I Wish We All Could Win’, in 2005. The first single from the album was “Beautiful Love“, written by Josh Havens about a time when his wife was abroad assisting with humanitarian aid. The single’s music video led The Afters to a 2005 MTV “Streaming Woodie” award.
In fact, “Beautiful Love” became the theme song for the MTV show, 8th and Ocean, about the life of fashion models living in Miami, Florida. The song was also featured in the 2006 film, Just My Luck. Their song “Until the World” was chosen as the theme song for the American drama television series Beautiful People that aired on the ABC Family Network.
Buoyed by the success of their first studio album, it wasn’t long until The Afters announced that they had begun production on their second album. This album, ‘Never Going Back to OK’ was released in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. In 2010 they reached the number one spot on Billboard’s Christian CHR Radio with ‘Light Up the Sky’, which was followed up by their 2012 offering, ‘Life is Beautiful’.
What’s Next for the Afters?
The Afters’ sixth studio album, ‘Fear No More’, was released in 2019 and is regarded as the band’s best album to date, building upon the work from their previous albums. For this new album, the current line-up of Josh Havens, Jordan Mohilowski, Matt Fuqua and Dan Ostebo, found themselves looking inward and leaning on each other in a brand-new way.
When interviewed about the album, The Afters explained how they had dug deeper than they ever had before, with each member committing to make an album that truly reflected and described the inner-most parts of their own humanity. They made a conscious decision to include the parts they wouldn’t have normally chosen to expose in such a public way.
“One thing I love about our band is we’re like brothers,” Havens shares. “We really are. We’ve been through a lot together over the years and those challenges have brought us even closer and strengthened that bond. We’re able to be really honest with each other. Through everything, we’re still good friends.”
The album was a great success yet again, and undoubtedly acts as a sign of what is to come for the band. Writing and recording music written from the human experience has long been a specialty of award-winning band, The Afters, and will almost certainly lead to more outstanding albums as their career moves forward.