The idea actually began at one of our band rehearsals years ago. We were all hanging out after practice, and Brad [Wigg, guitars] asked how everyone liked the new Radiohead album, Hail to the Thief.

We’re all big Radiohead fans, but I mentioned that I was a bit disappointed because there were too many electronic elements on it and not enough guitar. I said I really wished they would go “back to OK,” referring to OK Computer. Brad made the comment that “Back to OK” sounded like a cool name for a song or album title.

I came back to that idea some time later, but I thought that “Never Going Back to OK” was a better premise. I had just seen someone close to me come out of a 15-year addiction to Meth. It had ruined their life, but now they are back on track and on fire. They want nothing more than to leave the old life behind and move forward. I love the idea of moving forward. There’s a feeling of courage and a sense of vision that’s almost romantic—like an unlikely hero standing up to take on a task of unimaginable risk.

“Never Going Back to OK” is a song about life and moving forward. [It’s] about not being complacent or content with where you are at, but striving to become everything that you were meant to be. Life is so short; live well and make it count.

—Josh Havens (The Afters)


"Never Going Back to OK" was nominated for Song of the Year at the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards. The song can be found on The Afters' latest album, Never Going Back to OK (INO). For more info, visit theafters.com.


Never Going Back to OK
Matt Fuqua, Josh Havens, Brad Wigg, Dan Muckala

It's not the end
But it feels like it is
I'm waking up
Like I'm back from the dead
I'm stepping out
And I feel so afraid
But as long as I'm moving it's all right

I feel alive
And it hurts for a change
And looking back and it's hard to believe
That I was cool
With the days that I wasted complacent and tasteless and bored but
That was yesterday

We're never going back to OK
We're never going back to easy
We're never going back to the way it was
We’re never going back to OK

This discontent
Like a slap in the face
Of mediocre
I've had enough of this place
This party's over
And I'm moving away from the frills of you Beverly Hills but that was yesterday

We're never going back to OK
We're never going back to easy
We're never going back to the way it was
We’re never going back to OK

We're here to stay
This is our time
Our only life
Our chance to live

We're never going back to OK
We're never going back to easy
We're never going back to the way it was
We’re never going back to OK


© 2008 Matt Fuqua, Josh Havens, Bradd Wigg, Dan Muckala; Smells Like Music (ASCAP), Screaming Mimes Music (ASCAP)

© 2009 CCMmagazine.com.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

**This feature first published on May 14, 2009