I love this!! Blue October posted this story and picture on their Facebook page.
On October 2nd at the Boulder Theatre in Boulder, CO a kid by the name of Jordan had an incredible night at a Blue October show. Jordan is an 11 year old that lost his father to suicide years ago. Showing that children are affected by suicide too, Jordan raised $600 that’s being put towards a foundation to help those with mental health issues. Justin called Jordan and his mother on stage prior to the band’s encore so the crowd could hear his story. Jordan is a great example of what the Pick Up The Phone Tour is all about!
I found video of Jordan and his mom on stage with Justin.
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The Salt Lake Tribune has an article about the Pick Up the Phone Concert here on Friday. They talked to Justin about the purpose of the tour.
The entire tour was canceled at the last minute — and for good reason. He checked himself into a mental hospital and received treatment. “I did the right thing,” he said. “I asked for help.”
Furstenfeld scoffed at critics who said he was faking his illness. “It wasn’t a publicity stunt,” he said. “It was a man who hadn’t seen his child for four months.”
Now aware of how to remain healthy despite mental illness, Furstenfeld and his band are on the road promoting suicide awareness — not a new single or a new album. “When [the audience] leaves, I want them to know how to find help,” he said.
Furstenfeld “could not [be] a better spokesperson” for the tour, said Reese Butler, founder of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center, which launched the National Hopeline Network, 1-800-SUICIDE. “He is an inspiration to those who think they have a death sentence [because of a mental-illness diagnosis]. … He has a real first-hand understanding.”
On September 22nd Blue October performed at the Please Don’t Jump event at Crissy Field Center in San Francisco. Speakers at the event included representatives from Hopeline, Break through the Static, friends and family of people who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, a survivor of a attempted suicide off the bridge and more. Justin Furstenfeld also spoke briefly before Blue October performed Into the Ocean, Should Be Loved and Hate Me.
My friends were at the event and recorded Justin’s speech and Blue October’s performance.
Las Vegas Weekly chatted with Justin prior to this Friday’s concert at the Hard Rock Hotel. (Which I’m so excited to go to!!! 2 more days!!! But that is so not the point of this post ) In the interview they talked about the Pick Up the Phone tour, song writing and more.
So, in addition to being on tour, you’re in your studio writing new material. How’s that process going?
Actually, this is the first time the rest of the band has stepped back and said, “We’re not sure we’re really on board with what you’re saying.” I’ve never really been censored before, and I won’t be. It might be trouble, but it has a good point to it. If it hurts somebody, I won’t do it.
Can you elaborate? What topics are you touching on?
I’m always writing. So, I have songs from back in high school, mixed in with songs written before Foiled and songs that didn’t make Approaching Normal. Then, I have a bunch of songs I’ve started on that are storyboards for, basically, my marriage falling apart in the last year.
Kevin Yeanoplos, the Tucson Concert Examiner, has an in-depth interview with Justin to promote the Arizona Fall Frenzy this weekend. In the interview they talk about touring in Europe, a new album, musical inspiration, what it’s like having Jeremy in the band, the Pick Up the Phone Tour and much more.
“Oh man – this is something I really wanted to do, help kids and help America, ‘cause I’ve always been sad. I don’t know why, but I’ve always seen things in a negative, darker, more sh***y way. So as I was getting older, it was easy for me to be a spokesperson because I’ve always been honest. I don’t wanna be in a band for a living if I can’t really say what I really feel.”
“So I was proud of myself for finally doing it. I was at that pinnacle of our career, where I wasn’t really thinking about record labels and mergers and negotiations. All I was thinking about was 30,000 Americans that kill themselves every year. Why? Because we don’t know how to talk to ‘em. We don’t know how to explain ‘I’m hurting’.”
I’ve been meaning to do this post ever since it was announced that The Parlotones would be opening for the Fall Pick Up the Phone tour but life has been busy so I haven’t been able to do the research. Conveniently my google alerts delivered all the research I needed to do to my inbox in the form of this very comprehensive article and interview.
From their origins in Johannesburg, South Africa, the rock 4-piece known as The Parlotones have achieved multi-platinum-selling status with their darkly romantic lyrics, atmospheric pop structures, and ambitious live shows that have earned them rave response from fans and critics alike. They will release their U.S. debut album, “Stardust Galaxies,” featuring the lead single “Life Design,” on Tuesday, September 14th. The South African rock 4-piece – which has achieved multi-platinum status in their home country, selling more records than Coldplay, The Killers, and Oasis combined – will support their North American debut by joining Blue October on tour September 17th through October 10th.
When did you first realize you had an interest in music, and what sparked that interest?
I’ve had an interest in music since I was a young boy. I would perform in musicals, constantly sing and would often take songs I like and change the lyrics but still keep the melody. The interest was sparked primarily by my surroundings. My entire family was very into music, not necessarily as musicians but just as avid lovers of music.
How would you describe the sound of your music, and how do you feel your music is different from others in your genre?
We’re not purists so our music is ultimately a result of the music we digest which ranges from gentle singer/songwriter stuff, to POP, to electronica, to heavy rock, to metal, to Indie. I guess at the core we’re a melodic rock band with POP sensibilities.
Corpus Christi’s Caller-Times has an interview with Justin about the upcoming Blue October concert on Saturday.
Now that Furstenfeld is well again, Blue October is back on the road, and performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at Concrete Street Amphitheater to promote and relaunch their “Pick up the Phone” tour and their most recent album “Approaching Normal.”
Furstenfeld said that the band’s promotion of the tour is very personal to him.
“I grew up with depression and I’m trying to speak out for all the kids out there who have depression so that way we won’t have to lose 30,000 Americans every year to suicide,” he said.
The Pick up the Phone Tour was formed through a partnership between nonprofit organizations to raise suicide awareness. Through the 1-800 SUICIDE hot line, the organization provides a service that is private and confidential for people in need.
Callers are routed directly to the closest crisis center so that quick referrals to behavioral health services and other support systems can be offered.
Justin also talked about the status of their next album, about being a father and performing in Texas. Read the rest of the article here.
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The Battalion, the student newspaper for Texas A&M in College Station, interviewed Matt Noveskey for this weekend’s upcoming concert at Ziegfest.
One of Texas’ alternative rock icons is returning to Aggieland this weekend. Blue October will headline Ziegfest Sunday with popular country stars Eli Young Band, Jack Ingram and other performers at the Texas World Speedway. We sat down with bassist Matt Noveskey to hear the things which make the Houston natives glad to perform again in College Station, why there won’t be any acoustic arrangements in the set list and what to expect from the upcoming album.
Question You guys are on the Pick Up the Phone tour to raise awareness of mental illness and encourage people to reach out in times of need. Since this is a pretty personal issue for you guys, what sort of effect has it had on the band?
MN It wakes you up a bit. Playing for a cause gives you a purpose, especially one like this that carries a lot of weight with the band [lead singer Justin Furstenfeld has battled bipolar disorder most of his life, and a severe anxiety attack led to the band canceling a tour last year]. I think it shines through in the way we play and changes our general attitudes too. Little things that might have made you angry in the past don’t seem to matter as much after you meet people struggling with much more serious problems.
I noticed a new sponsor on the poster for the Pick Up the Phone Fall Tour- Vet2Vet. Vet2Vet is a crisis hotline for veterans that is staffed by veterans. Here’s a description from their website–
This a toll-free line targeted to the population of returning armed forces men and women and veterans from previous conflicts and wars. This “life” line is a confidential connection which plans to utilize trained peer veterans ready to provide hope and help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By utilizing the existing telephone technology used to route 1-800 SUICIDE calls, veterans will be connected to their peer call taker and provided immediate help needed as well as access to local health and welfare resources. In addition the peer counselor will help the soldier or veteran navigate the often complex VA system to access the mental health resources that are being sought.
I’m an Army brat so I have a very special place in my heart for our soldiers. My father was a social worker in the army for 35 years. He spent a lot of his time doing combat stress counseling so this organization really hits home for me. Once again I’m awed by Hopeline and Blue October. I’m so glad they are going to be shining a light on this very neglected subject.
Wow! Just wow!
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