Danny's Blog
Interview with Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld

Having crashed Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart with breakthrough single “Hate Me,” Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld was looking forward to changing things up with a happy album about his new life as a father.

Then his marriage fell apart, a bitter custody battle ensued and Furstenfeld responded to the pain and indignation with a blow-by-blow account in the form of a concept album, the just-released “Any Man in America.”

Here’s Furstenfeld on one of rock’s more unflinchingly personal breakup albums ever.

Question: How did it feel to share such intensely personal lyrics (not that your other lyrics haven’t been personal)?

Answer: I had no choice. I was backed into a corner. When I was making this album, it was gonna be strictly about being happy with the family. It was supposed to be my happy album. Then, I started going through a divorce and a custody battle. And accusations started being thrown my way.

At first, I started laughing. I was like, “Yeah, right. Who’s gonna believe that?” And judges and courts started believing it.

So I put this album out because I needed people to know what was going on. . . .

I’m damn proud that I put it all out there, because I need my daughter to know that I wasn’t any of those things that Mommy said I was. I didn’t want to be in jail going, “Hi, honey, it’s me. I didn’t do that, really.”

I know you’re probably going, “Drama, drama, drama,” but I do not know why the hell she put this kind of s- -t on me. I had three weeks to reword everything on my album or else they were coming for me. And I was like, “OK, I’m not changing a thing. I’m gonna see what you do. Come for me.”

Q: You were told you had to change things on the album?

A: I was told I had to publicly take back all the horrible things I’d said. I’m like, “No, they were facts.” And I can prove it. . . . So if you want to take me to court over this, we can bring up everything from the divorce, am I correct?

Q: The way you set the tone with “The Feel Again (Stay),” it sounds like you wanted things to work out.

A: My daughter, she’s so beautiful. I never wanted her to be without me. . . . And the more I wanted to see my daughter, the more they said no.

So I’m very proud of this album. I think it’s the best album that we’ve ever done, and I think it could help a lot of people if we go to the right channels, if we make it a campaign instead of just a tour. It could really help people – not just dads, but kids and parents – understand that it’s not child’s play. It’s lives, you know? I’m not trying to change the world. I’m just trying to stay out of jail.

Q: What did you think when you heard that the album had debuted at No. 8, your first Top 10 appearance?

A: I was like, “Why did it do that?” I think it was because of the $3.99 deal at Amazon. But I think this is gonna be a marathon for me. Not like a “Hate Me,” where I’m gonna rope it and ride it for two years, then do an acoustic “Hate Me.” It’s gonna be an album where I want to make a video for every single song. I want to put a book out that explains what is said and what happened. I want to get sued a little bit. I want to get in trouble a little bit so I can get things changed.

Q: Does your daughter know about the album?

A: My daughter doesn’t even know I’m in a band.

Blue October

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.

Where: Foundry on First, 402 S. First St., Phoenix.

Admission: $27-$32.

Details: 602-252-4008, dannyzeliskopresents.com.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/music/articles/2011/09/02/20110902interview-blue-october-frontman-justin-furstenfeld.html#ixzz1XBtxyAZj

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