After August
Gig Seeker Pro

After August

Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States | SELF

Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Pop Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"After August vying for record contract"

DUDLEY BROWN, Staff Writer
Published February 16, 2007

A year after performing on the biggest stage of its career, After August is in the running for a recording contract with a major record label.

The area alternative-rock band is participating in Music Nation's online video music competition that could lead to signing a record contract and an opportunity to increase its fan base.

"Even if it doesn't work out, we'll get some publicity and hear what people who've been around and signed by major labels think of our music," said John Labanick, After August's lead guitarist.

The other After August members are Josh Bradley (bass guitarist), Chris Hillard (lead vocalist and guitarist) and Darrin Worley (drummer).

The Music Nation contest is open to rock, pop and urban music artists. The public and a panel of celebrity judges vote on videos each week during the 15-week contest. Some of the celebrity judges include Nelly, The Game, Good Charlotte's Madden brothers, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child and record company executives.

After August received the most votes in the rock category in the first week of competition. The band has advanced to the quarterfinals, and the public can vote for them again on April 23.

The contest's winners will be announced on May 14. The winners of the contest will win a recording contract and an appearance on "Stripped," a Clear Channel Radio in-studio performance series.

The band submitted a video of them performing their song "I'm Sorry" during their show opening for Bon Jovi in Greenville last February. The band earned the unique opportunity after winning a contest sponsored by Bon Jovi and WROQ Rock 101.

Bon Jovi "gave us a bigger springboard, and it looks great on your band resume," Labanick said.

Labanick said the band is writing new songs and collaborating with other local artists, including Aaron Whisnant. They'd like to release a new CD by the end of the year.

"These guys have the maturity in their writing that I don't notice in a lot of bands and definitely don't usually see that in a band so young," said Brian Blades, a Rock 101 disc jockey.

Blades will have the band in WROQ's studio Sunday night for his "Fresh Tracks" show. The show airs from 7 to 9 p.m.

Lucas Mann, chief marketing officer for Music Nation, said the contest's purpose is to help bands increase their fan bases and develop professionally.

Labanick said the contest is a good opportunity for the band.

"The good thing is, we're being heard by the right people," Labanick said.

Dudley Brown can be reached at 562-7212 or

Want to see?

After August's video in the Music Nation contest can be seen at You can also hear the band's music at and purchase CDs and T-shirts at its Web site,

Want to hear?

The band is performing March 10 at Boiling Springs High School. The concert is a fundraiser for Brittany Vanover, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Vanover is band member Chris Hillard's girlfriend.

The band is going to Austin, Texas, next month for the South By Southwest music festival. - Spartanburg Herald-Journal

"After August Moves Up"

After August moves up
Nation votes Spartanburg band a round closer to record deal

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 By Justin Chappell

America likes Spartanburg rock band After August. The four-piece, three-year-old rock group was voted a Nation's Choice winner in the first week of an online music-video competition by users of, an Epic Records-sponsored site that awards winners of the 15-week competition with a record deal. The group will move to round two in the coming weeks.

After August submitted their video on a whim in January and was surprised when they came out on top, says John Labanick, 23, of Spartanburg, the band's background singer and lead guitar player.

That puts the band in the quarterfinals stage, which means they can take it easy for the next few weeks, until April 23, when the next round of voting is finalized, says Lucas Mann, 27, chief marketing officer of Music Nation from the Manhattan-based headquarters.

The site's been around for about six months, he says, and the competition kicked off in January. In the first few months, there were about 1,500 video uploads, Mann says, which range from live recordings to montages to high-concept.

Mann says he's unsure how many competitors After August faced in Week 1 and declined to give the site's traffic info, but says there's been surprisingly high use. While a second season is in the plans, it's unknown exactly how it'll operate and which genres will be part of the competition, he says

After August formed in August 2004 and began with cover songs and acoustic shows at fraternity parties, Labanick says. The coming months led them to meet the other eventual band members and to spread out doing Southeast shows. Then, in February 2006, the group won a battle of the bands competition against hundreds of competitors.

Here's what Labanick had to say about the group, the Music Nation distinction and what's ahead for the Upstate rockers.

Where does the name come from?

We had our first show in August '04, but the year prior, that's when I had that (relationship) break-up, and it happened in September. At first, it was going to be called "September Change." That just kind of seemed like it had too much to do with 9/11. So, after August is September, so there it goes. And After August just rolls off your tongue a bit better.

How did you react when you found out about winning?

Surprised, but not surprised. I don't want to sound like this egotistical jerk or nothing because I'm really not, but we've got a great local following, and that's something we've always been blessed with as well. We pretty much won the best week, in my opinion. We won the first week, and now we don't have to worry about voting for (a while). There's a big breather in between, so by the time we gear up again and say, "Hey, everybody, we need your votes," it's not like, "Man, we just voted for you."

How do nearly 200 comments on your submission make you feel?

Some of them I could guess by the usernames, but there are some that are just completely uncalled for. It doesn't matter to me. There are always going to be haters. There's always going to be people who love you. You're not rock enough; to other people, you're not pop enough. I appreciate anyone who commented - that means they took the time to listen to our music.

Does the flood of outside opinion ever feel daunting?

Yeah, I've always been up for it. I'll be the first to take constructive criticism. Sometimes, it hurts to hear, but you need to hear it, especially if it's true. Hell, if people didn't tell me I couldn't sing worth a crap, I'd be the lead singer up there, belting away. You have to have some outside opinion. You don't need to let that control you. I think I've got a pretty good balance of how to take it.

How has this process affected the band?

It makes us want to play out more and just do everything we can. Sometimes, we'll say, "We don't need to do that show" and blah, blah, blah, which is totally the opposite. We need to thank every fan we have - without any of our fans, we wouldn't be anywhere.

What do you think the chances are that you'll advance again?

We feel confident, but not over-confident. That's another thing, too, I've always known is to never be too confident about something, because then you'll just not worry about it. I'm the person, man, who'll be dead tired, falling asleep, legs, back hurting, and I'll still be sending out e-mails to friends, just pushing every bit I can trying to win it.

Justin Chappell can be reached at 864-298-4267 - The Greenville News

"Success is always just around the corner"

Published: Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bathrooms, not record sales or crowd size, are a consistent way of gauging success for After August.

"You know if it's either going to be a good night or a bad night," said Chris Hillard, the band's lead singer.

The 3-year-old Spartanburg rock band remembers being uncomfortable with some of the bathrooms they encountered.

"You know you're playing in a dive when you're afraid to use the bathroom there," said lead guitarist John Labanick.

The band mostly played at local college fraternity and sorority parties up until two years ago, when it won a contest to open for Bon Jovi in Greenville at the Bi-Lo Center.

The bathrooms at its concert venues have been improving ever since, but After August's members describe the last couple years as a roller coaster.

After the Bon Jovi show, so many people went to their Web site to download songs that the site crashed. They're playing around the Carolinas and Georgia now and are part of Wild Wing Cafe's touring circuit.

Lately, they've been playing a lot in Charleston, including six shows in a six-week period.

They've had periods when it's been hard to book shows or they had small crowds, but they've been reassured by other bands who've experienced the same challenges. They played 10 shows last month, and they've put 25,000 miles on Labanick's Ford Expedition in the past six months.

They still have a large college following, and their merchandise is popular.

"If broke college kids are willing to spend what little money they have to buy your stuff, that's a compliment," Labanick said.

They're still pursuing their main goal - a recording deal.

"For the next two years, we're going to put 110 percent into the band and see what happens," Labanick said.

Hillard doesn't have a job other than the band, and the rest of the guys have jobs that allow them to work around the band's schedule.

"I could use the money but realize with the type of schedule we have, I just don't have time," Hillard said.

Drummer Darin Worley works at the front desk at a local fitness center, and Labanick and Josh Bradley, who plays bass, renovate foreclosed properties. Bradley is also a real estate agent, and Labanick sells cars.

"The band is the priority for all of us," Labanick said. "The thing is, 'How does (a job) affect the band?' "

That approach has gotten them more shows. In the past, they would only perform on weekends, but now they travel to shows during the week.

They plan to travel along the West Coast this year to increase their exposure.

"It'll just be about going out and playing," Labanick said. "If we break even, we'll be happy."

Hillard and Labanick write most of the band's songs, which often involve women and relationships.

"Now that things are normal to me, it's hard to write," Labanick said.

Hillard is working on a fun, upbeat song, "Hey Joanna," that was inspired by his girlfriend.

Band's sound still evolving

Later this month, the band will release at least three new songs on iTunes and Rhapsody. The songs have a heavier rock sound than the alternative rock-flavored tunes their fans are accustomed to.

"I just want to do whatever comes natural to us," Hillard said.

A new album should be out by the end of the year.

They're hoping to attract a diverse audience. Maybe they'll turn people who like their past releases on to the heavier stuff and vice versa.

They say they're still developing their sound, though. Labanick says his song "Cigarettes and Cheap Sunglasses" has a "old-school, country, rock 'n' roll sound."

Their individual musical interests vary.

Hillard likes heavy rock, Billy Joel, Queen, Aerosmith and Motley Crue songs from the 1980s. Bradley listens to classic rock and country. Labanick likes a lot of independent artists and estimates he spends $100 a month downloading songs. Worley likes a variety of sounds.

"There are very few things I won't listen to," Worley said.

Worley's bandmates joke that he once played the album of a French composer after a show, and the music sounded like chirping crickets.

The band members have divergent personalities, too. Labanick is known for complaining and staying busy with the business end of the band.

"I just like for everything to be perfect and right," Labanick said.

Hillard said he just shows up to perform.

"Chris is the one that goes and pees when it's time to move stuff," Labanick said jokingly.

Worley and Bradley are the most laid-back members of the band and often do the driving to and from shows. They also do most of the lifting when it's time to clear the stage.

The challenge they face is getting recognized while being original. They say it's a difficult process because people at some shows want to sing along to covers, not hear something they've done.

"We're not crazy about covers, but you have to do it," Labanick said.

"It's conceited to think people will sit there and listen to something they've never heard before," Hillard said.

So, they put playlists together that combine covers and their songs.

A few weeks ago, they played in Greenville at The Handlebar for about 100 people. Many people familiar with their music stood in front of the stage and sang along. Fans' head bobbing and foot tapping accompanied their song "Bring Me Down"; there was loud applause after they did Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name."

John Jeter, who owns The Handlebar with his wife, Kathy Laughlin, got to know the band before the Bon Jovi concert and said he's always been impressed.

"They're a professional outfit and totally get it," Jeter said. "We get a lot of bands who don't understand that being in a band is being in a small business."

Jeter said the members of After August have challenged themselves to grow and improve. He said even their MySpace page has matured in the past couple of years.

They're hoping others are taking notice, too.

"Success is always just around the corner," Hillard said. "It could be that next show when nobody is there, and the right person is there who'll be willing to invest in you." - Spartanburg Herald Journal

"A long, exciting day in the life of a band"

DUDLEY BROWN, Staff Writer
Published February 12, 2006

GREENVILLE -- Chris Hillard stood on stage before thousands at the Bi-Lo Center. He was holding a disposable camera. There he was with the spotlight shining on him and the other three members of After August.

He talked to the crowd before getting a snapshot. "I want everybody to smile nice and big for me because I might not get to do this again," he said with a smile.

Three days shy of the alternative rock band's one-year anniversary, they were the opening act for Bon Jovi. It was the largest crowd they have performed in front of. The closest runners-up were 500 at Wild Wing Cafe and a couple hundred at PJ's Bar & Grill.

They played for 30 minutes, including three covers, "Maggie May," "Private Caller" and "Johnny Be Good," and four of their originals, including the song that got them there, "Brokenhearted."

After August got this gig after winning a contest sponsored by Bon Jovi on its "Have a Nice Day" tour. Bon Jovi is allowing local talent to open for them in each city on its tour.

WROQ Rock 101 had more than 100 bands from across the Carolinas submit songs. The radio station narrowed the field to five bands and let listeners hear the bands and vote for an opening act on the station's Web site.

After August received more than double the amount of votes than the second-place finisher in the contest that ended Monday afternoon.

The band had just two days to get ready for the biggest night in its music career.

The members bought new equipment, rehearsed, were interviewed by local media and the significance of the opportunity still hadn't set in two hours before the concert.

It did start to sink in while on stage, though. The group had just finished "Broken Hearted," which was the last song they had time to do, and the crowd was giving them their loudest applause as lead guitarist John Labanick spoke.

"Let me just enjoy it," Labanick said. "I might not be up here for awhile."

The big day

After August arrived at the Bi-Lo Center about 2 p.m. Wednesday after eating at the Firehouse Subs in Boiling Springs. The center's staff helped them unload their equipment, which was a new experience.

They set up on stage, did a sound check and saw where they had to change.

At 5 p.m., it was time for interviews with three television stations and two newspapers.

They looked comfortable. Labanick kidded with a television reporter about how her handwriting looked like chicken scratch and repeated another station's slogan, "Your Friend 4" as another reporter introduced herself.

Each media outlet met individually with the group and one question kept reappearing:

"Are you nervous?"

Their answer each time was that they didn't have time to think about getting nervous.

"We have to think about so much on the side," Hillard said.

They were moving so fast that Labanick wasn't able to tell the other guys that they would meet Bon Jovi and his band for a picture and handshake at 8:20 p.m. until a reporter asked if they were going to meet Bon Jovi.

"We have a little bit of time to think, 'Oh, this is great' and then there's something else," Hillard said.

After August's first gig together was at a USC Upstate fraternity party last year that drew 150 to 200 people. Labanick played in bands with Hillard and drummer Darin Worley over the past seven years. Labanick, Hillard and bass guitarist Josh Bradley had known each other since attending Boiling Springs High School.

Bradley was a good friend, and they knew he could play the bass guitar, but he had never played in a band until they asked him. It wasn't even a goal of his.

"I never thought I'd be in a band," said Bradley, who's played the guitar since he was 12. "I love it. Three years ago, if you would have told me that I'd be in a band and open for Bon Jovi, I would have said 'You're crazy.' "

Labanick and Hillard formed the band after writing what they called "cheesy, cliché love songs" after break-ups. Coincidentally, their break-ups occurred in September, which led to the band's name.

Gaining support

Outside the Bi-Lo Center Wednesday night, the band's name was featured on the lighted marquee and they repeatedly thanked Susan Quinn, Bi-Lo Center marketing manager, for including them.

The guys were given space to change and be interviewed off the concourse in a spectator box called the Players' Corner. Labanick was stepping out a few minutes before 5:30 to get some water and Jill Weninger, director of marketing for the Bi-Lo Center, told him she'd take care of it.

A few minutes later, she rolled a cooler in with water and soda. The cooler had a yellow piece of tape with "Bon Jovi Support" written on it. Hillard took the sticker and placed it on the U.S. Army jacket he was wearing after thinking about the response he was looking for during their performance.

"There's some people I didn't like the reaction they got," said Hillard of going to concerts and seeing smaller groups open for headliners. "I just hope we do our job well enough so we get a good reaction."

At 5:47 p.m. someone with security came to say there was someone waiting for a pass to join them. It was Rusty Stafford, a friend who played in a band with Hillard and Labanick. The band had called Stafford about 30 minutes earlier to be their guitar tech after realizing they had an extra pass.

The other pass went to Matthew Kuykendall, a friend who's been to all of their nearly 30 shows and got them their first gig. Kuykendall was responsible for recording their performance, and he got a bunch of USC Upstate's Kappa Sigmas and Delta Zetas together to get seats in the nosebleed section of the Bi-Lo Center.

Stafford, a firefighter with the North Spartanburg Fire Department, was scheduled to work and then he got the call from Labanick. Stafford asked his lieutenant if he could help some friends opening for Bon Jovi and he got the OK.

Shortly after arriving, Hillard explained to Stafford that he was to stand beside the stage and bring another guitar to one of them if they had a problem with the one they were using.

The band finished its last television interview at 6 p.m. and called the remaining media and Bi-Lo Center staff around to come in for a picture. Stafford took it with a disposable camera.

"These guys are so excited and it's so cool," Weninger said. "It'd be great if they win and we can say we knew them."

Bon Jovi will pick one of its opening acts to open for them at Giants Stadium this summer.

After the picture, they dashed to the concourse to board an elevator to take them to the parking lot where their cars were. They had to get their clothes to change into.

Star treatment

The guys came back with their clothes to their dressing area and began getting dressed.

Worley and Stafford leaned over the cooler and stood the water bottles up and Stafford started to peel labels off of the bottles.

"We noticed on VH1 that stars drink nameless water and I thought I'd make them feel like rock stars," Stafford said.

They started dressing and Bon Jovi could be heard in the background doing a sound check. When Bon Jovi finished at 6:35 p.m., the doors of the venue opened and people began filtering into the Bi-Lo Center's concourse.

Bradley emerged wearing a T-shirt with the words, "The Other Guy" written on it, which is symbolic of how he keeps to himself sometimes.

Let the show begin

The lights dimmed at 7:27 p.m. at the Bi-Lo Center and the arena was almost half-filled for the 12,000-seat show. A Rock 101 deejay introduced the band by saying, "Give it up for your very own, you voted for them, After August!"

The guys quickly got into place and Hillard talked to the crowd and took a picture.

Worley began playing a beat to get the crowd involved and Labanick said, "Give us some love everybody!"

A small group of their friends walked close to the stage to take pictures with a digital camera before a security person asked them to move. They got applause after playing their first song, "Private Caller" and Chris said, "Thank you so much, we got a lot more for you."

The crowd cheered.

"Are you folks ready to have a nice day," Hillard asked referring to Bon Jovi's tour.

"Yeah!" was the response from the crowd.

"I could say anything right now and you'll scream," Hillard said.

Then, they started playing Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" and people were singing along and bobbing their heads. Of course, folks were still trying to find their seats and talking on cell phones while trying to locate friends, but they were getting a good reaction.

Nine minutes into the show, Stafford came to the side of the stage with another guitar for Hillard because his was out of tune. Labanick took off his corduroy sport coat and said to the crowd, "I'm burnin' up" before plugging the band's Web site,

They started playing one of their originals, "I'm Sorry." They got another round of applause and people were bobbing and tapping their feet.

Then, they slowed it down with another one of their songs, "Just Don't Tell Me Goodbye," and Hillard could be seen putting his Duke Blue Devils baseball cap on backward.

After the show he said, "Whenever I put my hat on, that means I'm ready to go."

They got another positive applause.

With 13 minutes left in their performance, they played another original, "Bring Me Down," and people in the crowd were taking pictures with their cell phones and digital cameras.

More applause. In between songs, Hillard and Labanick thanked Bon Jovi, the crowd and the people who've supported them. Hillard told the crowd that he'd let Labanick be the lead vocalist on the next song as they began the fast-paced "Johnny Be Good."

The applause they got after this one was louder than the other five songs and then they start playing their song, "Brokenhearted," with four minutes left in their show. A woman on the front row, who was dressed in black, was standing and dancing alone.

The song, which was on Rock 101's Web site, drew their loudest applause. Labanick told the crowd that he just wanted to enjoy the cheers.

Hillard wished Worley's brother a happy birthday before Labanick asked if the crowd wanted to hear one more, which drew cheers of "Yeah!" But, Stafford came on stage and whispered to him that they had to go.

They received more applause before the stage lights dimmed and they started clearing their equipment from the stage.


Mike Gilliam, 36, and his wife, Sonya, 34, drove four hours from Wise, Va., to hear Bon Jovi and were impressed with After August.

"I thought for them to be so young, they were good and talented," said Gilliam, who liked "Brokenhearted" the best.

He also liked how Hillard and Labanick sped it up for "Johnny Be Good" after doing a slow song.

"Didn't he say you could download their songs?" Gilliam asked.

Shelley Chapman, 31, of Greenville thought the band was from Charlotte before being told they were lived just a few minutes away.

"I'd love to find out where they play," she said.

Another guy who's from Spartanburg said he enjoyed what he heard, but would have sat down and paid closer attention if he knew they were from Spartanburg.

Meeting the stars

After they cleared the stage, the members of After August were given a chance to meet Bon Jovi and his band. It was a quick handshake, photo and they got to walk and talk to band members as Bon Jovi headed to the stage.

Hillard and Worley said their answers were mostly one-word responses of "uh huh" to the Jersey Boys after being asked if they had fun.

"What do you say to Ritchie Sambora?" Hillard asked while reflecting on the meeting.

"They were nice, nice guys," Worley said. "It seemed like they could still recognize somebody who has the type of drive they had."

After clearing the stage and meeting Bon Jovi, they had people asking them to play at other events and received compliments from folks as they headed to their seats behind the soundboard.

"I got a really nice compliment from a guy," Worley said. "He said it's been awhile since he'd seen a drummer with chops like that. What do you say to that?"

Hillard thought about all of the people he saw backstage helping Bon Jovi make sure the lights, sound and graphics went well.

"They had a little city back there," Hillard said.

Worley said he didn't expect the experience to completely feel real until a week later, but he definitely recognized that it was special.

"I wish everybody could experience what we did in whatever their passion is," Worley said.

After the concert, they went to the Hyatt Regency, a couple of blocks up from the Bi-Lo Center, where they had a suite. About 20 friends came and many stayed briefly before congratulating them or leaving to get food. It was a laidback celebration with no speeches or hoopla. They received a basket of goodies and snacked on Teddy Grahams and chocolate covered pretzels.

Labanick stayed for only a few minutes at first before going to get dinner with his girlfriend, Jamye Conn. He said the Wild Wing Cafe in Greenville was too crowded for him, and a few people recognized him from the concert and gave compliments. They ended up going to a Wendy's.

Bradley stretched out on a couch and watched a few minutes of the "Sopranos" before going to get dinner with Worley.

One of their friends, Travis Ridings, 21, expressed his pride.

"The fact it started in our backyard joking around and for us to see it at the Bi-Lo Center is unbelievable," Ridings said.

Stafford's parents taped all of the local newscasts that featured the band and Labanick bought a VCR at a Wal-Mart so they could watch the tape until about 3 a.m.

In one interview, Labanick talked about the attention he got after streaking through a Boiling Springs High School graduation ceremony a few years ago.

"I'm not shy at all about that," said Labanick, who said he just took his shirt off during the streak. "It just cracked me up."

What's up next?

While going to their suite at the Hyatt, their friend Joe Wells, who Labanick considers their backer, said, "Now it's time to see how they capitalize."

Labanick said he checked the band's e-mail account Thursday afternoon and it had 76 messages.

He said they usually receive five a day. Many of the messages were from folks congratulating them and more than 20 were from people wanting a CD.

Labanick's dad, George, told him later in the day that the band's Web site was down because its bandwidth couldn't support all of the viewers it was getting.

"It's a good problem to have," Labanick said.

"A lot of exposure is good exposure."

The band's next show will be at Wild Wing Cafe in Spartanburg Feb. 22. They are already proud of the number of folks who voted for them in the Rock 101 contest and now they have more fans.

They're also looking forward to their chance to get on the big stage again.

"When we walked on stage, I knew it was going to come to light," Hillard said.

"We started playing and I was like, "This is where I'm supposed to be."

Labanick had the same feeling.

"It felt a lot more natural than I expected," Labanick said. "It felt like it was something I was supposed to do."

Dudley Brown can be reached at 562-7212 or
- Herald-Journal

"Band having really nice day"

Published February 7, 2006

A Spartanburg band has landed the sweetest gig in the Upstate.

After August, a four-person alternative-rock band, will open for Bon Jovi Wednesday night at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville.

"I've gotten nonstop voicemails of congratulations," said John Labanick, lead guitarist for After August. "I haven't gotten anyone to mooch tickets yet."

The keyword is yet.

Bon Jovi is sponsoring a contest on its "Have a Nice Day" tour that allows people to vote for a band to open for them in each of their tour cities. Those in the Upstate were able to visit WROQ Rock 101's Web site to listen to five Upstate bands and choose one to open for Bon Jovi. Another Spartanburg band, Juggernaut, was also in the running.

One of the opening bands from the tour will open for Bon Jovi at Giants Stadium this summer.

Mark Hendrix, operations manager for Rock 101, said After August received more than double the amount of votes as the second-place finisher with its song "Broken Hearted."

"It was a clear-cut win," Hendrix said. "Nothing close about it."

Hendrix said 1,500 people voted in the contest, but he wouldn't give any more details.

After August will get to perform 30 minutes before Bon Jovi takes the stage. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the show. Labanick said the largest crowd that the band of 21- to 23-year-olds have played before is 500.

Other members of After August include Josh Bradley (bass guitarist), Darin Worley (drummer) and Chris Hillard (lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist). Labanick, Bradley and Hillard went to Boiling Springs High School and Labanick said faculty and staff at the school asked students to vote for them.

"That surprised us, because we weren't the best students," Labanick said.

Worley went to Dorman High School.

They spent Monday afternoon shopping for new instruments and equipment with their backer Joe Wells. Labanick said they were getting new drums and a wireless guitar system so they could run across the stage.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing and we figure we might as well go all out," he said.

The band will get 10 free tickets to the show, but they're not guaranteed an opportunity to meet Bon Jovi.

Labanick said they spent the weekend putting together a playlist in case they won and they plan to take the next couple of days off from work to prepare.

He said they'd probably play a couple of cover songs and some of their originals. One of their favorite covers is Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name," but they won't touch that one Wednesday night.
- Herald-Journal

"After August"

After August is riding high this year.

The Spartanburg-based quartet just scored most local bands’ dream gig - they won the WROQ Rock 101 Have a Nice Gig contest, and got to open for Bon Jovi at the Bi-Lo Center last month.

And by a landslide, at that - their song “Brokenhearted” got twice as many votes on WROQ’s website as the runner up.

Word is they ensured their crushing victory by making an appeal for votes to the kids at Boiling Springs and Dorman High Schools, which the musicians attended before forming the band.

Musically, After August dishes out polished pop-rock that strongly recalls bands like Fuel and the Goo Goo Dolls, and yes, even Bon Jovi.

Here’s to hoping that they can capitalize on the press and make good on a real career in music.

Already the band is at work expanding their demo into a full-length called the SHE’S Album.

Of course, there’s still another shot at hanging with Bon Jovi - the band will pick one of the local acts from around the nation to come open up for them at Giants Stadium for their big homecoming show.

My advice: hit the road. Get a conversion van, boys, and never look back.

But before they fulfill any more rock-and-roll fantasies, they’ll be headlining at the Handlebar on Friday, March 17.

More details will be announced at and, but if you’re a fan, you’ve already got reason enough to go to this show.

I mean, here’s your chance to see them without having to watch Bon Jovi afterwards.
- The Metro Beat



After August "Home" Ep
5 song album (2010)
Produced by Grammy award winning producer Noel Golden
(Matchbox 20, Aerosmith, Willie Nelson, etc..)

After August "AA EP"
5 song album (2008)

"After August"
self-titled full length debut(2006)

After August "EP"
6 song album (2005)


WFBC B93.7 (Greenville, S.C.)
WROQ Rock 101.1 (Greenville, SC)
WBZT 96.7 (Greenville, S.C.)



After August is from Spartanburg, South Carolina, and pretty much grew up together. John Labanick and Chris Hillard have been playing for the last 8 years together, but didn’t start AA until 2004. At that time, they decided to get something else going, so John got in touch with Darin Worley (from a band that John had previously been in) to see if he’d be into it, and he was.. Josh Bradley was one of John’s best friends and showed interest in playing bass, so John was suddenly giving Josh crash course lessons on the bass – to which paid off quickly! John’s theory behind this – “We wanted somebody that fit in good with us and that we knew instead of some bass virtuoso that we'd never met...” In a world of so many egos in the music business, these guys went off the idea that it might be a good idea to play with guys that actually got along with each other.

It worked.

Within no time, the band started making marks on their local scene. They entered Rock 101.1’s Battle of the Bands in January 2006 and win it, while beating out over 100 bands. Their reward – opening up for Bon Jovi at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC on February 8, 2006 for a sold out crowd of 12,000 people. The next day, they had so many hits and DL’s on their website, that it crashed. It was a very good crash. Since then the band has released albums, is constantly touring, and has played with many national acts.

With tunes ranging from pop-rock love ballads to lead-filled southern-rock songs, After August already has racked up over 200,000 myspace visits.

After August is currently independently promoting their new album, "Home", produced by Grammy winning producer Noel Golden. (Matchbox 20, Aerosmith, Edwin McCain, etc.)

Other notable gigs since then:

April 6, 2006 - Headlined at University of South Carolina-Upstate
April 29, 2006 - Headlined at Tusculum College ( Greenville, Tenn.)
May 6, 2006 - Headlined at Converse College ( Spartanburg, S.C.)
August 19, 2006 - Held release for 1st full-length album at the Handlebar (Greenville, SC)
October 21, 2006- Opened up for Little Big Town in Loris, SC
December 28th 2006- Co-billed a show with Cowboy Mouth (Greenville, S.C)
March 10th, 2007- Helped organize and headlined a very successful Ovarian Cancer Benefit Concert (Boiling Springs, S.C.)
March 15th, 2007- Played @ South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas
April 2007- Placed in top 12 out of over 5,000 bands in Epic Records/'s record deal contest.
September 15th, 2007- Recorded @ The Handlebar (Greenville, SC) for upcoming LIVE DVD/CD release
October 13th, 2007 - Headlined @ Wofford College
March 29th, 2008 - Headlined @ College of Charleston ROCKSTOCK
April 16th, 2008- Opened up for The Last Goodnight in Goose Creek, SC
April 23rd, 2008 - Opened up for Twista @ College of Charleston's "Cougarpalooza"
August 30th, 2008 - Opened up for Cravin' Melon @ The Windjammer
October 7th, 2008 - Opened up for Matt Costa @ Furman University
April 27th, 2009 - Showcased at Rocketown in Nashville, Tn.
June 19th, 2009 - Opened up for Little Texas @ The Dive in Charleston, SC
and too many more to list...

They’ve also been featured on the front page of Spartanburg Herald Journal, and have had featured stories in the following papers:

Metro Beat
The Link
The Greenville News
Loris Times
Loris Scene
Spartanburg Herald Journal
The Greenville Journal

They also had a Reporter shadow them a whole day for his story "A Day In the Life of a Band" (Dudley Brown-Sptbg Herald Journal)

They've had on-air interviews and performance footage broadcast on the following news stations:


Also, they've had on-air interviews and live acoustic performances on:

WFBC B-93.7 FM

Venues played include:

Bi-Lo Center
The Handlebar
The Plex
The Pour House Music Hall
The Windjammer
University of South Carolina-Upstate
Tusculum College
Converse College
Wofford College
College of Charleston
Spartanburg Spring Fling
Spartanburg Music on Main
Spartanburg Wild Wing Cafe
Asheville Wild Wing Cafe
Greenville Wild Wing Cafe
Garden City Wild Wing Cafe
Gainesville Wild Wing Cafe
Columbia Wild Wing Cafe
Hangar B Ball
Barnet Park (Spartanburg, SC)
Hendersonville's Fabulous 4th of July Festival
Loris Bog-Off Festival
Boiling Springs High School
Six Flags White Water
The Tiki Hut
Village Tavern
Atlanta Pride Fest
Brick City Grille
Wompus Fest
The Showroom
The Map Room
Flying Saucer
5 Points Pub
Underground Pub
Red Eye Tavern
The Dive