Blue October has made it their life's work to probe below the surface, to expose the disfigured emotions behind the everyday masks. As the Texas-based band's new Brando/Universal album, HISTORY FOR SALE, makes clear, Blue October wields honesty like a bayonet, and they're not afraid to draw blood.
Comprised of singer/songwriter Justin Furstenfeld, violinist Ryan Delahoussaye, guitarist C.B. Hudson, and drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld, Blue October has already amassed a large army of fans in the Southwest and beyond. With the release of HISTORY FOR SALE, those numbers should increase many fold.
Produced by Justin Furstenfeld , Blue Miller (India.Arie, Aaron Neville, Tanya Tucker) and David Castell (The Buck Pets, Cottonmouth Texas), the new album tackles many challenging themes, from depression to child abuse to the multiple risks of love. Musically, the band takes chances, with Hudson's "rock god" guitar style dovetailing with Delahoussaye's artful string arrangements. At the heart of Blue October, however, is Justin's evocative vocals and searing, unforgettable songwriting. This songwriting has a powerful effect on the Blue October's legion of devoted fans, some calling their experiences "heartbreakingly beautiful" and others commenting on the complexity of the material as providing an opportunity for "constant discovery."
Blue October mines the dark realities of everyday life and lays them bare for all to hear. The intense "Ugly Side," with its violin and flamenco flourishes, sets the pace. Tracks like "Clumsy Card House," "A Quiet Mind," and "Calling You" topple most love song conventions, blurring the line between true connection and mere desperation. Others, like "Razorblade," "Somebody," and "Sexual Powertrip" reveal the band's unassailable rock 'n' roll instincts. The album's brilliant closer, "Amazing," mimics the inner monologue of a young man uncertain of the heart's true intentions.
That kind of truth-telling defined Blue October from the start. The genesis of the band goes back to the Houston high school days of Justin and his friend Ryan Delahoussaye, who would team up on arrangements of their original songs. Though initially captivated by theater and poetry, Justin redirected his creative energies into music. With brother Jeremy added as drummer, Blue October was quickly up and running. The band released a debut indie CD, THE ANSWERS, in the early 90s, while also touring. In time, they shared the bill with acts like Incubus, Papa Roach, 311, Stone Temple Pilots among others.
Eventually, the band signed with Universal Records, releasing CONSENT TO TREATMENT in 2001. That album drew national attention, leading to a management deal with Rainmaker Artists. From there, Blue October toured nonstop, making friends from coast to coast. Says Justin, "We went all over, again and again. If you keep riding the wave, keep speaking your peace, they'll remember you." The band briefly left Universal, put out HISTORY FOR SALE regionally on Brando Records, then came full circle by forging a partnership for HISTORY's national release between Brando and Universal. "We're excited about working together again," says Justin of the band's joint relationship with Universal and Brando "We hugged, kissed, made amends, and now we're having the best sex ever."
With HISTORY FOR SALE out, a grueling tour schedule set, and the song "Calling You" slated for inclusion on the "American Pie 3" soundtrack, the months ahead look promising for Blue October. But the band remains focused on what's most important. "All I do is write," says Justin.
Since he never stops writing, it looks like the well will never run dry for Blue October. Given the depth and scope of their music, that's a good thing. For as the band's new album shows, history may be for sale, but never honor, never spirit, never soul.
--- from the official Blue October website