Blue October Frontman Talks New Inspiration For New Album

(Radio.com) For Houston rock band Blue October, best known for hits like 2006′s "Hate Me" and helping inspire author Stephenie Meyer to write Twilight novel New Moon, coming together to make the group's seventh full-length album, Sway, was a brand new beginning. Frontman Justin Furstenfeld (second from right, above), after years of struggling with a crippling alcohol addiction, was clean, sober, and making music with an inspiration he was drawing from for the first time.

"Sway is about trying to find solutions to problems instead of dwelling in the problems," Furstenfeld told Radio.com from his home base in San Marcos, Texas. "It's about recognizing that you have to be proactive with your life if you really want to make it through to the other side and enjoy it I spent so much time just being pissed off. My wife said it best towards the end of my drinking career, as I would call it. She said, 'Nobody grieves this way. You're a hypocrite. You need to man up, like seriously. Enough is enough.' When she said that, it was like a stepping stone in my life. I always go back to that."

With a renewed determination to venerate his family, his band, and their legions of fans, Furstenfeld wrote songs that reflected on his newfound perspective, such as the emotional ballad, "Not Broken Anymore," which he calls the most personal tune on Sway.

"That's the first song I attempted to tackle when I found this new way of life," he said. "It means so much to me because I wrote it for my wife, what she did for me and all the things she empowered me with.

"I didn't want to write complex songs anymore. Not on this album, at least. I wanted to write songs you could get after one listen. It wasn't about how sad I am, it wasn't about how much turmoil I was in. It's just giving thanks. So when I hear ('Not Broken Anymore'), it just makes me remember all of the things I put my wife through and how she still stood up to me."

Blue October's new album is also the band's latest foray into independence, releasing it on their own label, Up/Down, with fans financing the endeavor via crowd-sourcing website PledgeMusic in record time.

"That is the definition of blessed," Furstenfeld marveled of the band reaching their PledgeMusic goal is less than a week. "I'd still be working as an exterminator in Houston. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of it. We were able to fund the album and half of the documentary that we're shooting by what they've done for us. The marketing, the videos, everything going into this album is a direct result of the fans' passion. I don't know how to say thank you enough. So every day I have to honor them with my sobriety, my honesty and showing them there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is now. A lot more.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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