posted on May 02, 2011 00:00
Blue October is a band that is hard to describe. One part energy, one part immense talent and many parts emotion, all adding up to one of the most powerful bands I have ever come across. Now, this story may be slightly biased as Blue has been a favorite of mine for many years and I have had the pleasure of speaking with them on a few occasions. One thing that always strikes me about these guys is how REAL and “normal” they are. Normal being a relative term when speaking of any band, of course.
The realness in these guys and this band comes across glaringly in their songs and really hits home to their fans all over the world. That is why they have developed such a fiercely devoted following and many fans describe their live shows as a “therapeutic experience”. I would not discount that description as I have seen it myself many times over at their live shows. The way they connect to an audience with front man Justin Furstenfeld leading the way is truly something special. You can feel the emotion in the room when these guys are doing what they do. From breaking out in Texas with an undeniable live show, to hitting the main stream with songs like “Hate Me”, “Dirt Room” and “Into The Ocean”, this band has come all the way up and is still pushing along full steam ahead.
Now, Blue will offer up a little something different and stripped down in the form of a new live release titled “Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October” due out on May 10th. I had a chance to catch up with drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld to chat about their upcoming live release “Ugly Side” and impending 14 date acoustic tour in support. One of those dates will stop at The Pageant in The Loop on Friday, May 6th. Furstenfeld was very upbeat in talking about the tour saying “I am looking forward to getting back to the way these songs were written and to play them in a more intimate, exposed setting.”
“Ugly Side” is a collection of songs that was recorded over a short acoustic run in Texas in July 2010. The 11 song release features Blue classics, a previously unreleased track (Colorado 5591) and more importantly, some interesting new slants on the songs in the catalog. Older songs like “Come In Closer” take on a more ominous tone…but in a good way. It is refreshing to hear variations in the song structures and arrangements. This music, being played this way, brings the emotion out even more so than the originals and will surely please Blue October fans old and new.
I asked Jeremy if this was a planned release, he said “We planned to record it, but not on the release…. but after going back through it, we were like you know there is some good stuff in here”. He also stressed the importance to stay out there in front of people in this age of mass information so this release would be a good bridge to their next studio album because “people are quick to move on to the next thing.”
So what can fans expect from this tour and what they could expect to hear? “We will definitely play all the songs on the album. We have about 30 or so ready to go so we will switch it up a little night to night. Some older stuff that has not been heard in a while and maybe some songs from the new album coming out in August.“ With a full arsenal of songs and some surprises definitely in store, these acoustic evenings should be something special to hear.
I asked Jeremy about the new the new studio album, Blue October’s 6th, which is planned for a late Summer release. He said it is in the final mixing stages and the working title is “Any Man In America”. The album is being produced by Tim Palmer who has previously worked with Pearl Jam amongst other top name acts. Lead singer Justin Furstenfeld already released a few snippets of 4 songs on KROX-FM in Austin this past February. If those previews are any indication, this album could be Blue October’s best work yet. To listen to the song previews CLICK HERE.
Blue will bring their “Ugly Side” acoustic tour to The Pageant this Friday night along with The Soldier Thread and tickets are now SOLD OUT. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of “Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October” out on May 10th and be sure not to miss a chance to see this band live, you will NOT leave disappointed. After all, everyone can use a little therapy now and then.
WIN: You can now WIN a copy of “Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October” before you can buy it! All you need to do to enter the contest is send your name and email address to Contest@insideSTL.com. We will pick a winner at random and send you a copy of the new Blue October acoustic release before you can buy it.
UPDATE: The contest winners have been chosen! Congrats to Laura C, Danya W and Brian T. You win a copy of the NEW Blue October acoustic CD before you can buy it. Thanks to everyone who entered!
For more on Blue October visit: www.blueoctoberfan.com
Follow Blue Ocotber on Twitter: @BlueOctober
Follow my ramblings on Twitter: @Jboyd024