"I have a big mouth, so watch out." This is Justin Furstenfeld’s warning to me at the beginning of our conversation. Furstenfeld is the lead singer of Blue October, a band with known hits such as "Calling You" and "Black Orchid." His warning proves true, as throughout our discussion, he elaborates on such subjects as depression, divorce, and broken promises.
Blue October, Furstenfeld’s brainchild, had its beginnings under a different name. He started a band in high school called Last Wish. But the chemistry in the group was off — they all accused Furstenfeld of being too dramatic. "So I fired them," he said. Naturally.
Furstenfeld eventually formed Blue October as an outlet for his diagnosed depression. "I wanted to do something positive with the negativity," Furstenfeld said. He describes Blue October’s music as "bipolar art rock; up and down, all over the place." The content of the music isn’t something meant for dinner conversation. "I like to bring shit up that people don’t like to talk about so we can get it out in the open — the elephant in the room."
Furstenfeld did just that during our conversation — he talked about his love for "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer and his disdain for her representation. Rumors circulated last year that Blue October, who toured with Meyer, would have a song on one of the Twilight soundtracks. But it never came to pass, and the reasons behind it remained a mystery.
"Me and Stephenie Meyer are great friends," Furstenfeld said. "I hate her camp, but I love her. Stephenie Meyer had the balls to take me to dinner…she said, â€˜I wanna put your songs in my movies…’ and I was like, â€˜Wow. That’s my dream — let’s do it.’ First movie comes out, no song. Second movie comes out, no song. Her management was like, â€˜Everything we told you was a lie.’"
The other elephant in the room that Furstenfeld wanted to talk about was his highly publicized breakdown and tour cancellation last year. After not seeing his daughter, Blue ("I didn’t name her after the band"), for three months, Furstenfeld blacked out in an airport and had to be hospitalized. "They don’t like it when people go crazy in airports," he said.
After recuperating, Furstenfeld is ready to go back on the road again with the Pick Up the Phone Tour. Blue October, in conjunction with To Write Love On Her Arms and Postsecret, are touring to spread suicide awareness. He’s got his mind set on his daughter and on is own mental health. "Believe in the Lord. That’s what my mom says. Trust in God."
Be sure to catch Blue October along with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Stars of Track and Field at the House of Blues this Wednesday, April 14.