The Afters

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The Afters
The Afters April 2014.jpg
The Afters performing in April 2014
Background information
Also known as Blisse
Origin Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active 1999–present

The Afters are a Christian pop 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.[1]


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.

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, who 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. The song "Until the World" was the theme song for the American drama television series that aired on the ABC Family Network Beautiful People.

The Afters performing on the Rock & Worship Roadshow in 2011

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.[2]

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.[3] The song hit the R&R magazine charts in December 2007. It reached No. 1 on the R&R CHR chart in March 2008[4] and R&R magazine ranked it as the most played song on U.S. Christian CHR radio in 2008.[1]

In spring of 2008, the band began their own headlining tour along with Falling Up, Ruth, and Everyday Sunday.[5]

The Afters performing with American rock singer Kyle Sherman

The Afters stated in their Twitter account that they started recording their next album on October 27, 2009.[6] The album, called Light Up the Sky, was released on September 14, 2010.[7] The album's first single, the title track, has reached No. 1 on Billboard's Christian CHR radio, and also received an appearance on MTV's The Hills.[8] In January 2011 The Afters joined the Rock And Worship Roadshow national tour headlined by MercyMe.[9] Light Up the Sky was produced by Dan Muckala.[10]

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.[citation needed] On February 19, 2013, a new single, "Every Good Thing", became available on iTunes.[citation needed] The new album's title was Life is Beautiful.[citation needed]

On August 28, 2015, the band released "Live On Forever", the lead single[11][12] from Live On Forever, their fifth studio album set for release in late 2016 on Fair Trade Records.

Band members[edit]

Current members[13]

Joshua Havens - lead vocals, keys and guitars
Matt Fuqua - vocals and guitars
Jordan Mohilowski - drums
Dan Ostebo - bass guitar

Former members[13]

Brad Wigg - guitars, bass guitar and vocals
Marc Dodd - drums
Niko Red Star - bass guitar


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions




When the World Is Wonderful
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Independent
I Wish We All Could Win
  • Released: February 22, 2005
  • Label: Epic
24 40
Never Going Back to OK
  • Released: February 26, 2008
  • Label: Columbia
41 9 1 10
Light Up the Sky
  • Released: September 14, 2010
  • Label: Columbia, INO
Life Is Beautiful
  • Released: April 16, 2013
  • Label: Columbia, INO
133 7
Live On Forever[19] 7
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums and DVDs[edit]

  • Live @ the Door (2002) (As Blisse)



Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Adult
Top 40



"Beautiful Love" 2005 55 29 37 I Wish We All Could Win
"You" 4
"All That I Am" 2006 13
"Someday" 25
"Never Going Back to OK" 2008 16 Never Going Back to OK
"Keeping Me Alive"
"MySpace Girl"
"We Are the Sound"
"Ocean Wide" 2009 23
"Light Up the Sky" 2010 1 17 Light Up the Sky
"Lift Me Up" 2011 3
"We Won't Give Up" 32
"Life Is Beautiful" 2012 Life Is Beautiful
"Every Good Thing" 2013 2
"Broken Hallelujah" 2014 11
"Live on Forever" 2015 11 Live on Forever
"Battles" [24] 2016

Awards and nominations[edit]

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2006 New Artist of the Year Won
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Beautiful Love") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (I Wish We All Could Win) Nominated
2009 Song of the Year ("Never Going Back to OK") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Never Going Back to OK") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Never Going Back to OK) Won
2016 Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Live On Forever") Nominated
Short Form Video of the Year (Live on Forever) Won


  1. ^ a b 2008 Year End Charts/Top Christian CHR songs Archived May 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., R&R magazine, Retrieved January 6, 2009
  2. ^ Never Going Back To OK by The Afters, retrieved February 2, 2008
  3. ^ US. "The Afters". Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ March 8, 2008 R&R chart as reported at Weekend 22; Retrieved March 11, 2008.
  5. ^ Tony Cummings (March 16, 2008). "The Afters: The Dallas pop rockers who are Never Going Back To OK". Retrieved June 8, 2008. 
  6. ^ We officially started recording our new album today! by The Afters 2009
  7. ^ Christian Sonic » The Afters – Light Up the Sky [Single] (2010) Retrieved June 14, 2010
  8. ^ "Music News, September 2010: The Afters Land No. 1 Spot on iTunesŽ and CHR Radio As Band Prepares to Embark on the "Hungry For Love Tour" Sponsored by Food for the Hungry". Jesus Freak Hideout. September 22, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "MercyMe, Jars of Clay part of The Rock and Worship Road Show in Sioux City". Argus Leader. January 30, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Dan Muckala (February 2, 2008). "Dan Muckala - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Afters Release New Single "Live On Forever"". CCM Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Afters - Who's coming to one of our shows on the "Time..." Facebook. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Members". The Afters. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  14. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Top Christian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Afters - Timeline". Facebook. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  20. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: The Hot 100". Billboard. Billboard charts. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  22. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Christian Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Heatseekers Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  24. ^ "JFH News: The Afters' Fifth Studio Album "Live On Forever" Set To Debut September 9, Available For Preorder Now". July 26, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Building 429
GMA's New Artist of the Year
Succeeded by
Aaron Shust
Preceded by
Portable Sounds - TobyMac
GMA for Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year
Never Going Back to OK

Succeeded by