Simple Records Signs The Afters As First Artist

Simple Records, formed by Mercy Me's Bart Millard and producer Pete Kipley, recently signed The Afters as their first artist.

Millard states, "I have always dreamed of not only being a part of the music industry, but making a difference. Simple Records is a part of that dream. As a band, The Afters represent everything we desire to be about as a label. It's not so much about The Afters needing our industry, but our industry needing more bands like The Afters."

The Texas-based rock quartet, formerly known as Blisse, will release their debut album with Simple Records, I Wish We All Could Win, on February 22. The album, which was recorded during the summer of 2004 in Nashville, TN, contains 10 songs which were produced by Brown Bannister and Dan Muckala. This album follows their successful independent project, When the World is Wonderful, which sold more than 25,000 copies. I Wish We All Could Win will be distributed by Provident Integrity Distribution and to the general market through Epic Records.

The band originated in the most peculiar place. All the members were working at a Starbucks at the time. Guitarists and vocalists, Josh Havens and Matt Fuqua, would entertain customers and themselves on slow nights by playing a few acoustic songs together. Haven jokes, "I'm sure we weren't supposed to be playing music on the clock, but the customers liked it." Shortly after, bass player and vocalist Brad Wigg and drummer Marc Dodd joined the band.

"Our music is about finding common ground and looking past the simple labels that people use to divide the world into easily defined subcultures," says Havens. He adds, "We should not find our identity in things of the world, but rather in Christ. In difficult times, we can feel safe and secure knowing that our lives are in the hands of the very One who created us. And His love for us is greater then our minds will ever comprehend."

This spring, The Afters will be on tour with Mercy Me. For more information about the band and for tour schedules, visit, http://www.theafters.com/.