Blue October fans are hearing frontman Justin Furstenfeld as they never have before on the group's new album, "Home."
Furstenfeld has previously been happy, or at least driven, to mine his well-chronicled drug addiction and personal issues, including a fierce child custody battle from his first marriage, for his music. But on "Home" the Houston-born rocker, in a happy second marriage with two young children, is sharing his current state of peace and contentment.
"It's crazy how life happens that way," Furstenfeld, 40, says by phone from his home in Wimberly, Texas, near Austin. "Some people are like, 'Hey man, what's up? What are you taking that makes you so positive?' Honestly I'm not taking anything. I continually am blown away by how good life can be when you just treat it like it's special.
"That's how I live every day. I feel like I got this second chance and I don't want to ever need to have another chance again."
Furstenfeld is four years sober -- a process he chronicled on Blue October's 2013 album "Sway" -- and he acknowledges that he was apprehensive about making music after that. "When I made those changes in my life, I was like, 'OK, is my writing gonna be any good? Is what I have to say going to be any good?'" he explains. "The one thing that can happen is when you're happy and in a place of contentment, (stuff) can sound like bubblegum, y'know?.
"But what I found is I can be just as passionate if not more passionate and vivid and real about things like empowerment, confidence, peace, happiness, joy, being spiritually awake. That's probably one of the most amazing feelings in the world is being able to attack those subject matters like I did with depression, drug addiction, suicide -- the things people thought were pretty dramatic.
"Now I can celebrate (life) through music instead of whining about it. I don't spend too much time on negative things these days,"
He doesn't really have time to even if he wanted. With "Home" just out on April 22 -- on Blue October's own Up/Down Records Label -- Furstenfeld and company will be on the road much of the year and into 2017. And possibly even longer, if the frontman gets his way
"I want to work this album for the next three years -- I feel that strongly about it," Furstenfeld says. "As president of the label now I would like to push three more singles and give this the kind of effort we always wanted to get from a label. Everybody should be treated with respect in this business. God knows I didn't do that too well in the past, so now I'll make sure I do."
Blue October and Danny Malone
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20.
The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.
Tickets are $8.90-$35.
Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.
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