Blue October singer Justin Furstenfeld is in a good mood.
It sounds insignificant, but Furstenfeld didn’t always feel this way. He’s been hospitalized for anxiety, admitted to self-harm and suffered from addiction. These days, things are different.
“We’re just a bunch of dudes hanging out in our underwear because we just woke up,” Furstenfeld said with a laugh when he answers his phone while on his tour bus.
Furstenfeld’s disposition isn’t the only change in Blue October, which plays the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Saturday, Dec. 15. On Blue October’s latest album, I Hope You’re Happy, Furstenfeld writes about others.
“It’s definitely my favorite album we’ve done because it’s just so creative,” he said. “The songs are coming from such a positive, peaceful place. And it’s not about it. It’s not about Justin. Yay! The songs are about other people’s lives. That makes me feel good.”
I Hope You’re Happy was released in August. Furstenfeld already is writing his next album. He’s forging along with that same egoless writing process.
“I’m always working on new stuff,” he said. “It’s going to be another awesome album. The next album is going to have more of an Americana feel like Band of Horses or Kings of Leon. You know, ‘less is more,’ like Chris Stapleton. It’s going to rock.
“I’m sure Chris Stapleton and Kings of Leon are telling people their next album is going to sound like Blue October. Chris Stapleton tries to get in touch with me all the time,” he adds with a laugh.
Jokes aside, Furstenfeld carefully keeps an eye on his depression by taking medication and working out daily. He abstains from drugs and alcohol.
“It’s a lot easier to cope with depression now,” he said. “When I feel inspired, I have people by me every day. Life is beautiful if you let it. I tend to focus on that.
“If there are dramatic people in my life or negative people in my life, I pray for them and keep them out. My emotions are fragile. I have to be very careful. If you have a weak stomach, you don’t want to eat fried chicken. If you have an upset tummy, you have crackers and the good stuff.”
His drummer shouts a new slogan from the back of the bus: “#tooblessedtobedepressed.”
That attitude is clear at Blue October shows.
“Fans can expect life-changing, life-altering, awesome music,” Furstenfeld said. “You leave a better person. Seriously, we just love what we do. Our live shows bring out the best in as many people as we can. We want people to feel inspired to live their lives to the fullest.”