Blue October’s lead singer Justin Furstenfeld talks new album, family life

Carlos Garcia

Houston native Justin Furstenfeld and lead singer of Blue October has been touring with the band’s most recent release, Home. Before their performance this weekend at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, The Daily Texan spoke to Furstenfeld about the new album, family life and his early influences.

The Daily Texan: Your latest album Home was released in April. How did the recording process go?

Justin Furstenfeld: It was amazing, man. You know, right now as a songwriter the subject matter is family, living good and enjoying life. It was great, because I own a studio at my house in San Marcos, and it was great [being able to] wake up to the kids, go for a jog, kiss my kids, step outside and there’s my job. The fact that I was with my family and the guys were with theirs was inspiring. It was very fitting.

DT: You’ve changed a lot since your first album. How has being a part of this band opened your eyes?

JF: Being part of Blue October has opened my eyes because of the people that are in this band. They have been such a support team. It’s not just guys in the band — it’s their wives and kids. We’ve all been through so much. The old stuff from Blue October was so selfish and negative. It's so nice not to be doing that anymore, and [I] attribute that to the guys. I stopped drinking and I realized that it was not all about me. It’s about these guys and our kids.

DT: Last time you were here it was for Batfest. What are you looking for in ACL?

JF: ACL is pretty exciting, man. I haven’t played ACL since 2007. It is such an honor to play. It makes me realize how grateful and blessed I am to be doing this everyday. I always thought that 2007 was our big year because of sales. But I believe that this year is our big year because of our message and the music we’re putting out there. It finally feels like we are becoming a partner with these people who are giving us these amazing opportunities for the right reasons.

DT: Who influenced you before you started a band?

JF: Peter Gabriel, The Smiths, The Cure, and Sigur Rós. But my two favorite bands are Red House Painters and Idaho. They are everything. They taught me how to be creative. They taught me that the lyrics are important.

DT: What about now?

JF: Twenty One Pilots. I love them. I love what they have to say. I love the production. I’m really happy they are popular right now, and I’m just so proud of them.

DT: Home comes full circle, coming from where you have been to where you are now. What can we expect from Blue October in the future?

JF: Better, bigger, and more awesome. If Home is what I’m writing now, I can’t wait to see what I’m writing in the future.

Blue October will perform Friday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. on the Honda stage.