Blue October played at Buzzfest this past weekend. 94.5 The Buzz sat down with the guys and talked about Sway, touring in Russia, and much more.
Glasgow’s RockFusion interviewed Justin about Blue October’s upcoming European tour, Sway, changes in his life and much more.
How are the band finding the new stuff out on the road? It’s just as big a change for them as it is for you…
Oh, God they’re so happy! They don’t have to hang out with this manic depressive crazy guy anymore (laughs). I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking! You can only imagine what they must have felt like over the last ten years touring with me singing about such sadness, you can only imagine. I would’ve been like, “Shut the fuck up!“
I’ve got two kids now and a beautiful wife and it’s time to grow the fuck up, it really is. It’s time to grow the fuck and realise that you’ve got a short ass time. I’ve already lived half my life it’s time to really live happy, joyous and free and anyone that’s going to get in my way can just back up.
I’ll be honest, it’s been pretty awesome seeing the change and grow in such a positive way compared to what you were like 6 or 7 years ago when I found your music… Or even compared to 18 months ago when we last spoke.
Thank you man! A lot of was a case of saying to myself, “Justin, stop self medicating when you get sad.” A lot of it was that. Stop drinking so much whiskey and wine. Stop smoking so much dope. Stop doing the things counteracting happiness when you’re trying to find peace. I just challenged myself to get sober and live life that way. I’d already done it the other way and when I did that I realised it really wasn’t that fucking hard to be happy if you stop giving yourself crutches!
Is there any change on your on stage performance now that you’re at peace and sober?
There’s more awareness. There’s more energy. There’s more confidence! I don’t have to get right into everyone’s face and scream my ass off. I can stand there and let people take the song in instead of seeing how crazy Justin is. It’s such an amazing thing. I can stand back and let Ryan play his violin and let people see him and let the light shine on him for a while. I’m a part of a band it’s not a Justin Furstenfeld project and that’s one thing I’m loving about touring is that the guys in the band are really happy… And I love that.
Read the entire interview here.
Backstage Entertainment talked to Matt about touring, making Sway, fan reaction to Sway, producing other bands, Blue October fans, trashing hotel rooms and much more.
Blue October will perform at The Night 89X Stole Christmas in Detroit on December 17th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 1st. Get all the details here.
Blue October will perform at 105.7 The Point’s Ho Ho Show in St. Louis, Missouri on December 7th. Tickets are available on Friday, October 18th. You can get all the details here.
Jessie Jessup from 102.1 the Edge talked to Justin about the Sway tour, the Blue October documentary that is currently being made, How The Edge Stole Christmas and much, much more.
Blue October is featured during the month of January. How awesome are these pictures of Tim and the guys?!?! The entire calendar is full of great pictures guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you look at it. You can order a calendar here.
Utah’s Daily Herald interviewed Justin about his journey to sobriety, Sway, songwriting and more.
Justin Furstenfeld remembers how scared he was when he arrived in Nashville to get together with songwriter Chris Lindsey to write what became “Not Broken Anymore,” one of the many revealing songs on “Sway,” the new album by his band Blue October — which is playing Friday night at The Depot in Salt Lake City.
“When I finished it, I called my mom,” Furstenfeld said in a recent phone interview. “I was screaming ‘I’ve still got it! I’ve still got it!’ And she was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I was like, ‘I can still write music.’ I was screaming. It was a great moment.”
Furstenfeld was so apprehensive about his return to songwriting because “Not Broken Anymore” was the first song he had attempted to write sober in many years. Finding he still had his creative groove erased any lingering doubts that came with a lifestyle change that was certainly life altering and maybe even life saving.
Read the entire article here.
ARTISTdirect has posted an interview with Justin where he talks about Sway, musical influences and more.
What’s your take on Sway as a whole?
I approached Sway with the vibe of it being a piece on empowerment, confidence instead of ego, and basically reflection as well as getting through things and focusing on the positive. It’s about recognizing miracles for what they are—simplicity. We had a lot of songs to start from. As we went down through the list, we noticed there were a lot of songs I’d written during Any Man in America that were very dark. When we first started recording, the rule was, “There can’t be a song about how hard Justin’s got it”. There can’t be any more self-pity songs. Once we got that under our belts, it was easier to craft the songs and make them just as dark as musically. The ambiance was just as dreamy, but the lyrical content had to change. It had to be simple with very poignant and pointed words not, “Let’s shove thousands of words into one song to show how cool I am!” It was, “Let’s really think about it. Let’s write the songs and let me go edit it and write it again. Get other people’s opinions. Put those in it and really craft it”.
So, you feel like you took a step back and let things be more simple?
Definitely, because life is much more simple. It’s got to be that way. Life has to be simple and enjoyable. We’re put on this earth to be happy, joyous, and free not to be angry, pissed-off, and sad.
Approaching the music with that mindset, was writing more of a challenge?
It’s harder to write about peace and happiness than it is about turmoil. In turmoil, you’re looking for some sort of avenue or someone to listen to you. When you’re at peace, you find serenity, and the key to life, which is simplicity, you have to be very careful with how you put that in song, because it can come out very bubblegum, tongue-in-cheek, or poppy. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to keep the essence of poetry involved in it. I wanted the listener to be able to listen to the song one time and get it right there. I didn’t want them to listen to it seventeen times in order to get it. I wanted to make the themes more universal. It was very hard to look at the words and edit out what I didn’t need. It was so easy to write about me all the time. I think it was so much more interesting to step back and write more universally. It was also a challenge. I wanted to step in like a professional songwriter. I took it very seriously. It was certainly more challenging, but at the end, it was more rewarding.
Read the entire interview here.
Salt Lake’s X96 interviewed Justin about touring with his family, on how Blue October has changed and much more.
On having his daughter on the bus with him:
“Ever since I was a teenager people would ask me what is your goal in life? To sell a bunch of records and be able get a bus that sits your wife and your kids one day so that when you go out you can go everywhere with them. So now I get to live that dream, it’s hanging out with them and then going and rocking until three in the morning and then hanging out with them again.”
On life right now:
“Things are amazing, I never knew that things could be so good ya know? I think back in 2008 when “Hate Me” blew up, that was a little crazy, that was real crazy. But now we’re starting to feel that whole thing happen again with “Bleed Out” and I think I’m in a lot better place for it to happen. I enjoy life now, I enjoy every day.”
“I came out with songs like “The End” and songs like “Dirt Room” which were great songs, they just- they weren’t connecting. I was taking that depression and that honesty and I was pushing it up so far up everybody’s face that it was like oh god, this guy’s got some crazy ass issues. Which of course I did, but I could have stopped and gone, yeah that’s the song not me. But what’s really cool about now is that I can get on stage and I play them- man all that energy is so much more there and say (whining) look at me! Now it’s just so much passion.
Listen to the whole 15 minute interview here or watch below.
All photes used in this video can be found here.