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Interview:
Blue October turns personal pain into artistic gain
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld is trying to turn pain into gain on the group’s eighth album, “Any Man in America.”



The Texas group’s new release debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 in August, its highest bow ever. But the success hardly compensates for the fact that the album deals directly and uncompromisingly with the fallout from Furstenfeld’s divorce and particularly the stringent visitation rules for his 4-year-old daughter, Blue.



“I was just writing constantly about what I was feeling and trying to make sense of it all,” says Furstenfeld, 35, who continues to reside in Texas . “I was in a marriage that was unhealthy; later on we figured out why, and it just ended. There was a lot of animosity towards me for some reason, but I just kept writing and documenting every single thing that happened to me.



“But it just got uglier and uglier as it went along. My art was used against me. My depression was used against me to keep my daughter away from me. (The music) was how I dealt with it.”

Entertainment.Blue October turning pain to art with 'Any Man in America' WITH VIDEO

Published: Monday, October 10, 2011



0diggsdigg ShareThis0By GARY GRAFF

Of The Oakland Press







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Blue October (above) and IAMDYNAMITE perform Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.



Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld is trying to turn pain into gain on the group’s eighth album, “Any Man in America.”



The Texas group’s new release debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 in August, its highest bow ever. But the success hardly compensates for the fact that the album deals directly and uncompromisingly with the fallout from Furstenfeld’s divorce and particularly the stringent visitation rules for his 4-year-old daughter, Blue.



“I was just writing constantly about what I was feeling and trying to make sense of it all,” says Furstenfeld, 35, who continues to reside in Texas . “I was in a marriage that was unhealthy; later on we figured out why, and it just ended. There was a lot of animosity towards me for some reason, but I just kept writing and documenting every single thing that happened to me.



“But it just got uglier and uglier as it went along. My art was used against me. My depression was used against me to keep my daughter away from me. (The music) was how I dealt with it.”



Besides “Any Man’s ... ” 13 songs, Furstenfeld is also dealing with his situation by working with the American Coalition of Fathers and Children in the Fight for Shared Parenting. He’s also established a web site, AnyManInAmerica.com, which provides a forum for anyone going through divorce or living in a broken family to discuss their situation.



“I’m not the only person out there going through this,” says Furstenfeld, who published a revealing lyric book called “Crazy Making” in 2009. “Millions of men are having a very, very difficult time — and single moms, too. I have to give props to every single mom out there.



“One thing I’ve learned through this is that women, if they lose a child, become instantly sad. Men, you take away their kids and they get angry and they fight for it. That makes me look crazy. I’ve had to learn I cannot be mad all the time ... so I’m trying to use that energy in more positive directions.”



Blue October and IAMDYNAMITE perform Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.





Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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