Afterhours' beginnings dates back to 1989, when the debut mini album "All the Good Children Go to Hell" is mentioned by the most influential Italian alternative music magazine Mucchio Selvaggio among the best 10 records of the 80s. A year later independent label Vox Pop releases first album "During Christine Sleep" that gets an exciting review by American magazine Alternative Press and Afterhours is invited to the New Music Seminar in New York and at the Berlin Independence Days.
In 1992 the band releases a second EP, once again record of the month for Alternative Press. Afterhours decides to base its project in its own country, starting to write and sing its lyrics in Italian.
In 1995 the band releases the first album a new album entirely sung in their mother-tongue, "Germi". Music critics define "Germi" as one of the best example of rock made in Italy. A mouth to mouth reputation grows along with the crowds at their gigs. Even Mina, Italy's best and most celebrated Lady of the Song, shows her appreciation by reinterpreting their piece "Dentro Marilyn".
In 1997 Afterhours signs a record deal with Mescal, Italy's strongest alternative label, releasing "Hai Paura Del Buio?". The album contains 19 songs where Afterhours inject its personality in rock ballads and hardcore screams searching for new and non-conventional sounds in rock. Afterhours develops a unique writing style that takes distance from the tradition, morphing its mother-tongue into something new. This becomes a distinctive character of its music. Mucchio Selvaggio included "Afterhours Hai Paura Del Buio?" among the best 10 Italian albums of all times.
Afterhours is involved meanwhile in several literature and music happenings, together with other artists. The singer and guitarist of the band, Manuel Agnelli, starts to develop interest in producing the work of some of the most exciting new talents of the peninsula, giving birth to the debut albums of Cristina Dona, Pitch, La Crus, Marco Parente, Scisma, the top sellers Prozac + and Verdena, and the experimental project Massimo Volume, with whom Manuel shares the stage for several readings and performances.
The third album, "Non e Per Sempre", released in 1999, gets Afterhours great visibility, and, supported by heavy video and radio rotation, reaches the top ten selling charts. The band play 113 gigs in nine months all over Italy, and most of them quickly sell out. Afterhours end that summer tour on the 11th of July, sharing the stage with R.E.M. at the Bologna stadium.
In February 2001 a double live album is released. It's called "Siam Tre Piccoli Porcellin" and includes an acoustic CD and an electric one. The following tour will last for 87 gigs and again many of the venues are sold out.
Aware of the incredible growth of the audience and the increased quality of the new Italian alternative scene, Manuel Agnelli creates the "Tora! Tora!" festival, a travelling circus of music made out of alternative bands and artists with the communal aim to create their own promotional megaphone. Due to the success of the first edition the festival becomes an annual appointment. Recognition comes at the meeting of Italy's independent record labels in November 2001 where Manuel is awarded a price for "Tora! Tora!" as event of the year. Four days later Manuel is awarded best Italian producer at the Italian Music Awards.
Afterhours' new album, "Quello Che Non C'e", is released in 2002, going straight to number four in the sales charts. In the same month, Afterhours share the stage with the American band Mercury Rev in an unforgettable co-headlining tour throughout Italy ending in Milan in front of an audience of 7000 people. The band collects another prize at the 2002 Italian Music Awards for best lyrics on the title track. Top selling Italian magazine Tutto Musica awarded the album as best Italian album of 2002.
Arezzo Wave, organiser of Italy's leading free music festival and behind the showcase at Midem 2004 invited Afterhours to perform at the International Music Market in January 2004, for a music industry audience. In February the band did a five gigs Italian tour with Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers. Later in the year Manuel Agnelli joined Dulli's band on keyboards for their American and European tour. Manuel also co-produced and played guitar in "Summertime", closing track of the Twilight Singers "She Loves You", released by One Little Indian.
Another collaboration is with the ensemble "Songs With Other Strangers", the creative encounter between a diverse group of original performers: Manuel Agnelli joins Marta Collica (Sepiatone), singer/songwriter Cesare Basile, John Parish, Hugo Race (founding member of the Bad Seeds, True Spirit, Sepiatone),and Stef Kamil Carlens (co-founder of the Belgian group dEUS and leader of Zita Swoon), Giorgia Poli (Micevice, Scisma, John Parish) and the drummer/percussionist Jean-Marc Butty (PJ Harvey, Venus, John Parish). Songs with Other Strangers has evolved
into a concert free of conventional line-up restrictions in which the six singer/songwriters exchange roles and experiment with the arrangements of songs chosen from their own repertoires (and also with a shifting array of cover versions drawn from writers including Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Michael Gira). The result is a musical journey through different moods, languages and songwriting approaches that explores the interzone of the artists' backgrounds and personal visions. Diverse and highly entertaining for the large audiences that came to the group's Italian tourdates, Songs with other Strangers has proven to be also a voyage of discovery for the artists themselves.
Afterhours' new album, "Ballate Per Piccole Iene", was released in Italy by Mescal in April 2005, produced by Greg Dulli and mixed by Dulli and John Parish. Parish's collaboration with Afterhours follows the work of the English producer with PJ Harvey, Eels, Goldfrapp, Sparklehorse and Giant Sand. The album has reached n. 2 in the official Italian charts, being awarded with the gold record, and the promotional tour has registered all sold-out dates.
The collaboration with Dulli led Afterhours to play as backing band for the first ever live show of the Gutter Twins, the new project of Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan (founder member of The Screaming Trees, Queens of The Stone Age) in front of an audience of 8000 people in Rome. Also, Agnelli appears as co-author of two songs on the latest Twilight Singers's album, "Powder Burns", released in April 2006.
"Ballads for little hyenas", the English version of the album, is released by One Little Indian UK in Europe in October 2005 and by One Little Indian US in North America in March 2006. BFLH tells a story of absence and loss. Following the release of BFLH, Afterhours play a series of European shows, starting with opening performance at the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen (Netherlands) in January 2006, followed by a 40 days tour with the Twilight Singers in the United States. Once again, Agnelli is the keyboard player for Dulli's band in the U.S. and European tour.
On returning from the second, positive U.S. tour, Afterhours played in a series of selected shows, culminating with the appearance of the 1st of May in Rome, in front of an audience of 700.000 people. The band goes back on tour in the U.S. in 2007.
The band signs a new record deal with Universal and the new album, "I Milanesi Ammazzano Il Sabato" is released by Universal in Italy on May 2nd 2008, entering the charts straight at #3. Part of the record is co-produced by John Parish, appearing also as guest musician along with Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers, The Gutter Twins), Stef Kamil Carlens (Deus, Zita Swoon, Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes) and Cesare Malfatti (La Crus/Amout Fou). Meanwhile Virgin has released two anthological top selling double DVDs telling the story of the band.
After a first, sold out leg of the promo tour for "I Milanesi Ammazzano Il Sabato", Dario Ciffo is replaced by Rodrigo D'Erasmo on violin and Afterhours flies back to North America, to appear at the North By North East Festival in Toronto and to play at the Mercury Lounge in New York. Back from America, Afterhours starts a new Italian tour, sharing the stage with Patti Smith at the Traffic Festival in Torino.
Afterhours is invited to take part at the 2009 Sanremo Festival, the main Italian music show, being awarded with the "Premio della Critica Mia Martini" (Critics Award) for their song "Il paese e reale" ("The country is real"), written in the U.S. the day after the election of President Obama. "Il paese e reale" is also the title of a compilation, cured by Manuel Agnelli, presenting 18 independent Italian bands.
In March 2009 Afterhours is back in the U.S., performing at SXSW Festival in Austin and continuing with a short tour of the East Coast.
Spin Magazine has put Afterhours in the list of "The 100 Greatest Bands You've Never Heard Of", the best bands unknown to the mainstream audience, deserving a listen.
The band performed at Hit Week Los Angeles 2009 and has been invited to the Canadian Music Fest and SXSW 2010.
To confirm her support for the band, the great Lady of the Song Mina includes in her new album "Facile", released on November 2nd 2009 the song "Adesso e facile", arranged by Afterhours and written by (and sung in duet with) Manuel Agnelli.
In March 2010 the band is involved with "Il teatro degli Afterhours" (Afterhours' theatre), a tour of the best Italian theatres, with a performance mixing music, readings of some writings from the Italian authors Flaiano, Manganelli e Pasolini, with guests like the actors Antonio Rezza and Claudia Pandolfi, musicians like Emidio Clementi (Massimo Volume), Vasco Brondi (Le Luci della Centrale Elettrica), Xabier Iriondo, Gnu Quartet.
Following the Italian Summer Tour 2010 Afterhours performs two shows in Shanghai, China, invited by the Italian Committee for the World Expo 2010. The band then goes back to the studio, to start the recordings for the long awaited new album, which will be released in early 2012. The band declines offers from the main major labels, choosing to release the album through the independent distribution Artist First.
The band makes a break during the recordings to start the Summer Tour 2011, with shows in Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and the U.K.
The new record, "Padania", completely self-produced, is released on 17th April 2012.