Blue October singer Justin Furstenfeld has witnessed the rollercoaster rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
He let depression, as well as drugs and alcohol abuse consume his life. But his wife, Sarah, gave him the inevitable ultimatum—along with his bandmates, management and fans.
Now platinum-selling Blue October is getting ready to release the music documentary “Get Back Up,” by Emmy-winning director Norry Niven (“Dexter,” “Chasing Shakespeare,” “American Idol”).
“What made it so special is I wanted to maintain a certain style of living, which was a positive one. If you have cameras filming you the whole time, you don’t want to go back down the negative route.
“It’s an insurance policy for sobriety and good living. I had to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.”
On Friday, August 9, Furstenfeld’s “An Open Book” tour comes to the Van Buren in Phoenix, where he’ll discuss his career, his demons and fans.
“It’s basically a spoken word piece,” Furstenfeld says about the show. “It’s a real inspirational piece of art that I’ve put together and shared with people who might be going through stuff.
“It’s just a chance to get really up close and personal with people and have a conversation about how precious life is. I share the tools we can use to continue doing our best as human beings. I’m really proud of it.”
Furstenfeld says he likes to see his solo events top out at 500 people. It gives him the chance to have an open conversation with his fans, “instead of it being flashy and hazy with loud music.”
With Furstenfeld’s recovery, Blue October has bounced back as well. Blue October’s ninth album, “I Hope You’re Happy,” debuted at No. 7 on Billboard’s Album Chart and No. 2 on its Alternative Album Chart.
Known for songs like “Into the Ocean,” “Hate Me” and “Calling You,” Furstenfeld uses his new lease on life to share new messages. The newest album spawned the hits “I Hope You’re Happy” and “Daylight.”
The Texan is looking forward to the tour and the release of “Get Back Up.” Blue October is planning a live record that was recorded in Manchester, England; and is writing a “really good raw, rock album.”
The documentary is on the forefront of Furstenfeld’s mind, as he’s a big fan of the medium.
“I’m super proud of it,” he says. “We’ve been filming it for six and a half years. It’s quite eye opening, and beautiful, and touching all at the same time.
“An Open Book: An Evening with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October”
The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, thevanburenphx.com, 8 p.m. Friday, August 9, $30-$47.