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.
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.