The Afters released their highly anticipated new album, Life Is Beautiful on Tuesday, April 16th. The record preceeds some times of trials for lead singer Josh Haven, as he experienced some perosnal heartache with the birth of his son."When we were making this record, my wife was pregnant with our youngest child. When he was born, there were some unexpected complications," Josh explains. "He actually came out completely blue and they had to rush him away to NICU and spend quite a while there which was totally unexpected. I had never spent a whole lot of time in the hospital before that, but being in NICU with my son I saw lots of other parents there who were really in a dark place. There were parents there who had kids who were way worse off then my son, parents who knew they would probably never take their kids home. I just remember praying in the hospital, I started praying something that I still pray through every struggle, I started praying that God would turn my trials into testimony. I do believe that He does that and He gave us an awesome testimony through this. Ultimately our son ended up improving and we were finally able to bring him home. He is now a one year old with more energy then a one year old should ever have. We are very blessed."
Comprised of Josh Haven (lead vocals/keys/guitar), Matt Fuqua (vocals/guitars), Dan Ostebo (bass) and Jordan Mohilowski (drums), the album is a step-up from their previous work, but stays true to The Afters sound. "You know I think as a band you are always trying to grow and improve. We take a while to do our records and we really do challenge ourselves to improve songs and to really take the time with them to get things right. Hopefully our fans will think it makes a difference," John laughs. "Sonically, I think there are some things that are different then our previous records. We try things we haven't tried before. Vocally, I will try to stretch myself in different places, maybe try different melodies that maybe I wouldn't have done in the past just for the challenge. An analogy would be, you have a sweet car thats like a 64 Mustang and every few years they release a new body style. There will always be those classic elements that you first fell in love with, but there are some new elements too. I think a band is like that in some way. There are definitely elements of classic Afters in there, but lots of new things too."
Josh also shared that the band will be going on the road this fall, with some famous friends. "We are planning a really fun fall tour with our friends Building 429. Jason (singer of Building 429) and I have been talking about doing a tour together for years, so we are finally doing it," he said. "We are going to have Hawk Nelson come along with us, they are great friends and will be a great addition to the tour too. So it's going to be an awesome line up."