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Interview:
Blue October leader finds his happy again
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The last time we saw Justin Furstenfeld, the Blue October frontman was in an acknowledged "very dark place," going through a nasty divorce and fighting for custody of his daughter -- travails that informed Blue October's 2011 album "Any Man in America" -- and fighting for his sobriety.

"I have to apologize if I was rude or anything," he notes with a laugh. "I really let my emotions take over my work and everything."

Things are better now, though. Furstenfeld is remarried and has another daughter. Blue October is working on a new album, and he's in the midst of An Open Book tour, playing songs and reading portions of his revealing 2009 book "Crazy Making -- The Words and Lyrics of Justin Furstenfeld."

"I'm in an amazing place now," the Texas native gushes. "I"m so sock of playing the victim. My whole live I've played this victim, and even though, yeah, maybe some things happened to me, that's just no way to live. It took a few people in my life pointing out that I needed to get some major change in my life or I'd end up being the saddest person in the whole world.

"One of those was my wife (Sarah). She told me all that -- and I married her. Now we're actually living the dream. We travel together on the road. We have a crib in the back of the bus. It's a great place -- but I took a long-ass path to get here."

Furstenfeld, 37, is closing his shows with a new song, "Not Broken Anymore," that he says reflects the tenor of the next Blue October album, which the group has finished recording. A first single is slated for June with the album out in August.

"There's not one sad song on it, which is pretty amazing," he notes. "It's about empowerment, confidence and peace and just stopping and being a survivor. I even poke fun at myself, a little, so it's really quite delightful. It's really different being this...happy."

Justin Furstenfeld and Ashleigh Stone perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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