Interview — Justin Furstenfeld — Blue October: A Dark Mind But A Bigger Heart


What keeps me going? Where I’ve been and how handled life before I decided to change and become a real man. Naw, I didn’t think it was possible to change who I was. You see, I grew up different than everyone else, least, that’s what I thought. But naw, I wasn’t different at all. Thank God my parents put me in a high school for the arts. They always knew my head and heart was different. My head was darker, darker than most. But, my heart was much much bigger.

— Justin Furstenfeld

This is the man I had the pleasure of having a conversation with. Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October has had some ups and downs in his life and has reigned supreme above all else but just be bursting with positive and loving energy despite his dark and dreary past. This is what he had to say and reveal to New Transcendence:

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): Hi Justin, it’s great to speak with you!

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Today was nice my wife surprised me with my kid today. She drove all the way here to surprise me.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): Man, I’m sure that was a nice surprise for you, being in Bryan, TX at The Ice House.

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): It’s a spectacular surprise my man. So where are you at?

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): I’m in Corpus Christi

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): Bro! We were there 5 months ago, where were you?

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): I unfortunately missed the chance. Well come back!

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): We will, we are coming back. Man, that show was sold out too! Fantastic.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): Is this new album a more step closer to the lighter yet fierce side of your music?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): Yeah, well, music has changed. No one listens to power chords on guitars anymore, I’ve been waiting for music to grow where I can grow with it. I just kinda roll with the time, and the old stuff was fierce you know, but so were the times. Tell me one song that’s really just full on fierce, there just isn’t one. You just gotta get the melody and the hooks and really feel it.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): What concepts are you working for this upcoming album — What can we expect this time around?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): It’s gonna be dope, it’s all about the melody and it’s really melody driven and it’s all about the hook. The album is finished. You just gotta stay relevant to what people are listening to.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence):I Hope You Are Happy” is your first single release, what can you say about the album without giving too much away?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): I believe it’s my first work of art. Some people won’t understand it. You gotta listen and feel it.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): You really seem to have an emotional connection with your fanbase — Do you feel you’ve helped them grow with your music and empower themselves?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): It’s just what I do. It’s my job to give back. People have blessed me and it’s given me the opportunity to play music and if I can reach out if someone is in need, and help them out. Life is too short man, I’ve spent 36 years of my life, just focusing on the negative. I decided to stop doing the drugs and the alcohol and see how it went. I wanted to challenge myself and took the all training wheels off my life and you gotta get out there and enjoy life, it’s too short. I find the enjoyment in my life is helping others and that’s where, “I Hope You Are Happy” comes from.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): How do you feel you’ve changed and developed and evolved as an artist in your career?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): You know, I don’t like to give myself too many compliments, I just know what feels right and I listen to these bands nowadays and I know I would be bored, I gotta try new things, not just a bass, a guitar, and drums. It’s what’s its about, I gotta venture out.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): What was your memorable track you’ve worked on in your whole career that really stuck with you?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): Fear definitely did. You don’t have to be this depressing freak of nature. You can try being positive. Every single song I write is true.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): What contrast would say, “Foiled” have with the upcoming album?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): Subject matter, the older albums dealt with depression and the dark times and things I couldn’t grasp ahold of mentally and emotionally.

Toney Emmons (New Transcendence): Anything you would want to say to your fans? Parting words? Thanks?

Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October): I would thank them for their support, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to travel around and play music for a living. I would be nothing without them.

Talking to Justin was great, he had a undeniable energy that was easily felt while having a conversation with him. Within minutes you can understand his transformation and his awakening into a more positive and wholesome person just trying to enjoy life and playing music for the masses.

Official Video for “I Hope You Are Happy”


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