Written by Benjy Oliver
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes talking to Blue October lead vocalist Justin Furstenfeld. Furstenfeld was driving to Dallas for the first show of their new tour to promote a new record, Any Man In America. Armed with a new experience, rather than product release, Blue October has an undeniable momentum building from some very unique changes. We chatted about the new release, tour opening artists and of course Young Buck?
So how does it feel to tour again?
We are really excited about the new record and tour. Can’t wait to see everyone and we are excited to melt everyone’s faces off!
Speaking of fans, how do you explain the passion and loyalty of your fans? And does it ever surprise you?
only explanation is the level honesty and authenticity. Our fans are more like a family, or support group. They can especially relate to our lyrics and find it refreshing. We are most surprised by the response of fans when traveling somewhere new, especially in Europe or a city or country we haven’t been to before.
Which is harder to write: lyrics or music?
Neither! I have never struggled with either of those. My problem is doing normal things and being a normal human. I struggle with trying to make time to spend with my girlfriend or take her on a date.
Your lyrics are uniquely and characterstically intimate and vulnerable. Has that been a stretch, or come naturally for you?
Well I grew up listening to The Smiths, and The Cure, and hip-hop. So I was naturally drawn to reality and gut level honesty. I hated it when songs were being vague. I could never understand why some would talk about god but not talk about the preacher and kids being abused. They would hint at drugs but not specifically. And no one else seemed to be talking about reality.
If Any Man In America was a movie, what movie would it be?
It would have to be a documentary about parents seperated from their children unwillingly. There is actually a new documentary coming out called Guilty Until Proven Innocent that I’m really excited about.
It’s the story that occurred with my daughter. It’s the process of how someone can be totally in love with you one day, then almost immediately turn around and accuse you of the worst things possibly imaginable. This is the story of what happened in my experience. And the reason we named it what we did was that I was left with the impression that anyone can go through this. It’s a record about having to grow up, what happens after falling in love then having children.
What kind of reception has the record been getting?
It seems like everyone loves it so far. At the same time, nearly everyone has mentioned how they felt so uncomfortable listening. My goal is to make art, not make everyone happy. If that’s true then at least they can know how, or catch a glimpse, of how I have felt. Art should be uncomfortable, it should confront. We dont care about reviews being good or bad.
What is your favorite song off this record?
“The Worry List” since it is fun to perform.
Where does this release fare and rate compared with your others?
Before this album, Foiled was my favorite, but now this is. Maybe that is since I produced both.
Any plans to release this on vinyl?
Yes, it should be ready in about 2 weeks.
I heard about a guest DJ spot you did in Austin to play some of the new tracks. How did that go?
It was really fun. Of course, I love poking fun of other bands.
What was the last or your favorite youtube video watched?
Check out the music video by Young Buck from 2007, called “Losing My Mind.” It’s the only place I know where to find it!
What can we look forward to as the new tour kicks off? How long will you be touring?
I want to encourage everyone to try and come out early. They need to catch the opening band on tour, IAMDYNAMITE. They remind me of Local H. Our bass player Matt is managing them and produced them. Also, when we recorded the record, my girlfriend introduced me to someone in San Marcos that raps. He is featured on the record, and will also be performing on tour with us live. We are considering signing him to our new label, Up/Down Records.
Any final thoughts?
Just that, although this is a new record and tour, this one is anything but typical. Instead of thinking of it as a just an album, it’s more like a soundtrack to the documentary of my life as of late. I am taking this extremely serious, and even trying to get congress people and senators to attend some of the shows. Things won’t change until we all get involved.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The band has two shows in Dallas, so we will be attending the 2nd tonight. We will also upate you when we post the show review and record review.