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GET BACK UP: A Feel-Good Story with Blue October

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Alternative Addiction recently chatted with Furstenfeld about the upcoming release of the band’s documentary GET BACK UP and the band’s work on an upcoming album.

May 11, 2020


At a time where we could all use a feel-good story, we’re about to get one. Get Back Up will be released this month. It’s the documentary directed by Norry Niven that chronicles Justin Furstenfeld and Blue October’s past eight years since the controversial singer got sober. It also documents Furstenfeld’s family and friend’s reaction to his struggles. It might not sound like a feel-good story, but it is. It’s the story of a man’s struggles with addiction and then his eventual ability to overcome those challenges. Alternative Addiction recently chatted with Furstenfeld about the upcoming release of the band’s documentary GET BACK UP and the band’s work on an upcoming album.



“I got sober seven years and eleven months ago,” stated Furstenfeld when explaining how the documentary came together. “I wasn’t a nice guy. I was a selfish piece of shit, ego maniac who thought my shit didn’t stink. When I got out and made my life change, one of the things that I decided that I was going to do, I was going to start a record label. One of the things I wanted to do was make a documentary about being intendent in the music business. So, we started making that. Then, right in the middle of it all I had this really big drug and alcohol problem. When I got out of rehab I talked to my partners in the company and said, ‘look, why don’t we make an insurance policy on keeping me sober because this business won’t run without it. So, let’s put the cameras on it, and let’s make a film about what it takes to stay sober in the music business and let’s see if I can stay sober.’ We kept the cameras on, and life kept getting better the longer I stayed sober. The band’s music got more organic and less self-absorbed. The business got better, my family got better, and after seven years – we shut the cameras down and finished the film. It’s the most remarkable piece of art I’ve been involved with, mainly because I didn’t direct it.”

If Furstenfeld himself directed it, Get Back Up would have been a fluff piece. That’s why he and his team hired Nevin to do it. The Blue October front man told a story about why they chose to have somebody else piece things together rather than himself or someone close to him.

“I watched a documentary on Sting years ago, and I thought, ‘he looks so awesome, he works out all the time, he’s so handsome and pretty!’” said a laughing Furstenfeld. “Then at the end of the movie it said directed and filmed by Sting. And I was like, that’s a bunch of bullshit. [more laughs] I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make people smile, make people laugh, I wanted to make people realize the importance of recovery and that some of us have an allergy to alcohol and drugs that others don’t. It’s a cool film and I’m pretty proud of it.”

That allergy to drugs and alcohol has cost Furstenfeld a lot in his life, but he’s far from the only touring musician to develop that problem. There are even touring musicians out there who say that it’s basically impossible to be a touring musician and not have problems with drugs and/or alcohol. Justin disagrees with that.

“I used to think that too. Then I realized I had the power to change my life. To let myself know that I was strong enough to overcome that. I realized that I want to be a success story. I don’t want to be a tragedy. I think you have a choice. You can be a badass or you can be a baby about things and let them get the best of you.”

That self-responsibility seems to be a theme with the Blue October frontman these days. He’s owning up to a lot of his mistakes and failures as a person. As an example, him sitting down and talking about his problems and memories from his sordid past didn’t affect him nearly as much as hearing other people recall some of their stories of things that happened when Furstenfeld was unwell.

“I wasn’t allowed to watch the interviews until the end when it was done or else, I would have asked them to change it. Once I got to watch it, it was brutal. The things that I had done to these people were awful and I had no clue. I had literally torn their lives apart. I get asked whether it was hard for me to talk about all of this stuff. It wasn’t hard for me to talk about. It was hard for the other people that it affected. They had to rehash it. They had to open up that wound again. When I watched it for the first time, I learned a lot about what I looked like on the outside as compared to what I felt on the inside. It was hard to watch, but it ended so sweetly that I was taken aback.”

With the documentary coming out on May 15th, there will be some promotion behind it, but with quarantine and social distancing, Blue October and Furstenfeld can only do remote things to push that. So, while he’s working on doing some interviews and things of that nature for the documentary, he and the rest of the band will also be finishing up their work on the upcoming album.

“The album is called This is What I Live For. We’re pretty proud of it. We went back to our roots. It’s the band set up in a room and me producing it as a rock band. It’s about making friends with your depression. I’ve always dealt with it. It’s about just getting along with it. It’s not about how life should change and how life should change you, or anything that nauseating, but it’s definitely one of the most exciting albums I’ve ever been a part of.”

It's unclear if the album will be released on time or not – the plan is for a September release, but things have been known to change in the time we live in. The one thing that didn’t change however was the release date of the documentary. It would make sense to delay it and have Furstenfeld tour around and have some discussion type things about it to promote. Instead, the documentary is getting released now, and with good reason.

“We’re releasing it in May because we don’t want to make people wait. We just want people to see it. It’s not Titanic. It’s not going to blow up and make everybody rich. It’s a feel-good piece that the world needs to watch right now. We want to give it to them while they’re in isolation so they can maybe be inspired to make some changes in themselves if they feel it.”-aa




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GET BACK UP: A Feel-Good Story with Blue October

May 11, 2020

Image

Alternative Addiction recently chatted with Furstenfeld about the upcoming release of the band’s documentary GET BACK UP and the band’s work on an upcoming album.

At a time where we could all use a feel-good story, we’re about to get one. Get Back Up will be released this month. It’s the documentary directed by Norry Niven that chronicles Justin Furstenfeld and Blue October’s past eight years since the controversial singer got sober. It also documents Furstenfeld’s family and friend’s reaction to his struggles. It might not sound like a feel-good story, but it is. It’s the story of a man’s struggles with addiction and then his eventual ability to overcome those challenges. Alternative Addiction recently chatted with Furstenfeld about the upcoming release of the band’s documentary GET BACK UP and the band’s work on an upcoming album.



“I got sober seven years and eleven months ago,” stated Furstenfeld when explaining how the documentary came together. “I wasn’t a nice guy. I was a selfish piece of shit, ego maniac who thought my shit didn’t stink. When I got out and made my life change, one of the things that I decided that I was going to do, I was going to start a record label. One of the things I wanted to do was make a documentary about being intendent in the music business. So, we started making that. Then, right in the middle of it all I had this really big drug and alcohol problem. When I got out of rehab I talked to my partners in the company and said, ‘look, why don’t we make an insurance policy on keeping me sober because this business won’t run without it. So, let’s put the cameras on it, and let’s make a film about what it takes to stay sober in the music business and let’s see if I can stay sober.’ We kept the cameras on, and life kept getting better the longer I stayed sober. The band’s music got more organic and less self-absorbed. The business got better, my family got better, and after seven years – we shut the cameras down and finished the film. It’s the most remarkable piece of art I’ve been involved with, mainly because I didn’t direct it.”

If Furstenfeld himself directed it, Get Back Up would have been a fluff piece. That’s why he and his team hired Nevin to do it. The Blue October front man told a story about why they chose to have somebody else piece things together rather than himself or someone close to him.

“I watched a documentary on Sting years ago, and I thought, ‘he looks so awesome, he works out all the time, he’s so handsome and pretty!’” said a laughing Furstenfeld. “Then at the end of the movie it said directed and filmed by Sting. And I was like, that’s a bunch of bullshit. [more laughs] I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make people smile, make people laugh, I wanted to make people realize the importance of recovery and that some of us have an allergy to alcohol and drugs that others don’t. It’s a cool film and I’m pretty proud of it.”

That allergy to drugs and alcohol has cost Furstenfeld a lot in his life, but he’s far from the only touring musician to develop that problem. There are even touring musicians out there who say that it’s basically impossible to be a touring musician and not have problems with drugs and/or alcohol. Justin disagrees with that.

“I used to think that too. Then I realized I had the power to change my life. To let myself know that I was strong enough to overcome that. I realized that I want to be a success story. I don’t want to be a tragedy. I think you have a choice. You can be a badass or you can be a baby about things and let them get the best of you.”

That self-responsibility seems to be a theme with the Blue October frontman these days. He’s owning up to a lot of his mistakes and failures as a person. As an example, him sitting down and talking about his problems and memories from his sordid past didn’t affect him nearly as much as hearing other people recall some of their stories of things that happened when Furstenfeld was unwell.

“I wasn’t allowed to watch the interviews until the end when it was done or else, I would have asked them to change it. Once I got to watch it, it was brutal. The things that I had done to these people were awful and I had no clue. I had literally torn their lives apart. I get asked whether it was hard for me to talk about all of this stuff. It wasn’t hard for me to talk about. It was hard for the other people that it affected. They had to rehash it. They had to open up that wound again. When I watched it for the first time, I learned a lot about what I looked like on the outside as compared to what I felt on the inside. It was hard to watch, but it ended so sweetly that I was taken aback.”

With the documentary coming out on May 15th, there will be some promotion behind it, but with quarantine and social distancing, Blue October and Furstenfeld can only do remote things to push that. So, while he’s working on doing some interviews and things of that nature for the documentary, he and the rest of the band will also be finishing up their work on the upcoming album.

“The album is called This is What I Live For. We’re pretty proud of it. We went back to our roots. It’s the band set up in a room and me producing it as a rock band. It’s about making friends with your depression. I’ve always dealt with it. It’s about just getting along with it. It’s not about how life should change and how life should change you, or anything that nauseating, but it’s definitely one of the most exciting albums I’ve ever been a part of.”

It's unclear if the album will be released on time or not – the plan is for a September release, but things have been known to change in the time we live in. The one thing that didn’t change however was the release date of the documentary. It would make sense to delay it and have Furstenfeld tour around and have some discussion type things about it to promote. Instead, the documentary is getting released now, and with good reason.

“We’re releasing it in May because we don’t want to make people wait. We just want people to see it. It’s not Titanic. It’s not going to blow up and make everybody rich. It’s a feel-good piece that the world needs to watch right now. We want to give it to them while they’re in isolation so they can maybe be inspired to make some changes in themselves if they feel it.”-aa

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