Am I Blue?

Justin Furstenfeld is keenly aware that not all people are huge fans of his band, but he’s OK with that.

“There’s a broad hatred for our band,” said the leader of Texas-born Blue October. “I think the reason people like us is because we aren’t singing about glamorous things … depression and things like that, divorce and custody battles. We pride ourselves on being honest with everything we do.”

The group broke through with its fourth studio album, 2006’s Foiled, but struck a weird ground, lyrically similar to angsty metal acts like Puddle of Mudd and Creed, while stylistically closer to Dashboard Confessional or the poppier side of The Flaming Lips.

Still, fueled by the breakout hit, “Hate Me,” Blue October assembled a fan base that embraces Furstenfeld’s powerful, personal messages.

That message grew darker, messier and all the more intimate with its latest disc, 2011’s Any Man in America, written over the course of an ugly separation between Furstenfeld and his now ex-wife that lasted nearly three years.

“It became a drain on my money and on the little time I
got to spend with my daughter. Still, to this day, it’s hell just trying
to create a relationship with my little girl,” he said.

so many guys that are going through that same thing. It’s a bonding
experience being able to share in that circumstance. It’s like you are
walking on eggshells all the time.”

battle brought a new focus to his professional self, and the album
benefited from Furstenfeld’s burst of creative energy and concentration.

contemplated each song as a producer and songwriter,” he said. “Each
song had its own storyboard, its own reason. The entire effort was
really thought out.”

all of heartache and introspection, Furstenfeld and company finally may
have emerged with a more steady identity. Hopefully, that hate will
start to wane, too.

“It really touched the
critics’ hearts, and it wasn’t so all over the place,” Furstenfeld said.
“They used to call our records ‘bipolar.’ This one, we found our
musical niche.”

Joshua Boydston

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