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Interview:
Eminem inspired Blue October frontman on latest album
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Blue October's Justin Furstenfeld has made no secret of the fact that the group's sixth and latest album, "Any Man in America," is a decidedly personal affair, inspired by an emotionally crippling divorce and limited visitation with his five-year-old daughter, Blue.

And, the frontman adds, he had to take a moment to figure out how to do it in a way that mde sense.

"The first round of lyrics was brutal, just brutal," Furstenfeld, 36, recalls. "A lot of them were negative. My parents hear it. My band heard it; they didn't know how to take it. That's when I knew I might have to change some things around.

"But then my manager and (producer) Tim Palmer looked at me and said, 'Go for it. Be a man about it. Blue's gonna hear this one day -- that's how you have to think about it.' That gave me some confidence and support to move forward and be as honest as I can."

His sentiments certainly connected with others; "Any Man in America" debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 14 months ago. And Furstenfeld says he also took some inspiration from another artist who knows a bit about anger management -- Detroit rapper Eminem.

"Eminem is the one who gave me permission as a man in America to say what I wanted to," Furstenfeld notes. "I heard that song of his called 'Mockinbird;' of course, he talks about killing his wife and putting her in a (car) trunk, but there's something in there and in his other music that's about being a father and being all about your daughter, and that connected with me.

"So every decision I make, every day, has to be for Blue and what I feel is best for her and my relationship with her."

Blue October and Empires perform Friday, Oct. 12, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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