Blue October was formed by lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Justin Furstenfeld, his brother Jeremy, and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Delahoussaye. The band was discovered by former Kid Rock manager Michael Rand performing at the Atchafalaya River Cafe. While working with Rand, fellow ATI agent David Kanaan proceeded to book over 350 dates on the group unsigned. Extensive publicity and artist development was regimented. This work eventually led to Michael bringing the band to Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris under the direction of long time A&R rep Reen Nalli.They were later joined by former guitarist/vocalist C.B. Hudson and bassist Matt Noveskey.
Managed by Justin and Jeremy's parents under the name "RoDan Entertainment," Blue October released their first album, The Answers, in 1998, a well-received debut which sold over 5,000 copies in Houston alone. Due to a fan-based connection with ABC's KTRK-TV (Channel 13), Blue October was able to schedule early-morning news performance — the band's first live television performance. Other unreleased songs from this period, such as "Rust", "Colorado 5591", "His Name Is Crazy", "Gun Metal Blue", "Dollar 30 Gravy", and "5 Day Walk" can be found on YouTube. Blue October moved to Austin Texas in 2001 and appeared many times on local radio stations 93.7 KLBJ's morning show. They did several on air performances and special radio concerts as well as recently[when?] being active on sister station 101X.
Consent to Treatment
Blue October caught the attention of the major record labels while working with producer dB (Don Byczynski) in early 1998. Pre-production started for getting Blue October a more "radio ready" sound, with new songs and to rewrite material off The Answers. Tracking was done in a studio setup at Justin's home in San Marcos, Texas. The recordings were sent to Universal, then in 1999 Blue October signed to Universal Records for the release of their second album, Consent to Treatment. The band was dropped by Universal Records in 2002.
History for Sale
After being dropped, the band got together with new guitarist C.B. Hudson, recorded and self-released History for Sale. Due to larger-than-expected album sales, the band was re-signed to Universal and the album was subsequently re-released on Universal. History for Sale was largely a response to the control the label had placed on the group during the Consent to Treatmentproduction process. This is evident in songs such as "Somebody" and "Inner Glow."
Blue October received a larger audience as their single "Calling You," featured on the American Wedding movie soundtrack, as well as on the third episode of The CW show Life is Wild, and began to get radio play in Dallas. The band was invited to play at a large annual concert in Dallas, TX hosted by local radio station, KDGE 102.1 (The Edge), known as Edgefest in 2003. Blue October main evented the free pre-show, with The Rocket Summer, Socialburn, and SouthFM, on Friday and then played the following day for the actual concert event. "Calling You" was played in heavy rotation on KDGE for promotion of the event.
The band made their network television premiere on April 14, 2006, performing "Hate Me," the first single from Foiled on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. They appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!on June 28, 2006. Blue October was also on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2006. On November 14, 2006 Blue October opened for the Rolling Stones in Boise, Idaho. Hate Me peaked at number two on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. The music video for "Hate Me" debuted on VH1, later making a splash at No. 13 on VH1's user-controlled video countdown show VSpot Top 20 Countdown. It eventually peaked at No. 12 for the week ending on May 5, 2006. "Into the Ocean", the second single from the album, was released on July 17, 2006. The music video for the song debuted at number three on VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown during the show's final week of 2006 and reached the number one spot in mid-February 2007. The next single from the band was "She's My Ride Home", which they performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on April 25, 2007.
An updated version of Foiled, titled Foiled for the Last Time, was released on September 25, 2007. This contained a new remix of the band's minor hit from History for Sale, "Calling You." A new video for "Calling You" began airing on VH1 in late 2007.
As a result of reaching a new audience that Blue October has found with its Foiled album, Blue October has recently[when?] undergone an expansion of its tour locations. Originally restricted to Texas and parts of the Midwest and Southwest United States, Blue October is now touring locations covering the entire continental United States, in addition adding locations in Alaska, Hawaii,Canada, Mexico, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands to their schedule.
In August 2008, Justin featured in a sold out 4-city tour with Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series. During this tour, Justin premiered two new songs, "Blue Skies" and "My Never," which would be included on the band's fifth studio album. Twilight author Stephanie Meyer is a fan of Blue October, and their music has helped inspire part of the popular book series.
The band's fifth studio album, Approaching Normal, was released on March 24, 2009. It was distributed via—as its predecessors—Universal; however, the band opted to use a different production style, by using digital audio workstations like FL Studio instead of recording it with live instruments. Also, rather than Justin Furstenfeld producing the album, Approaching Normal was produced by Steve Lillywhite (U2, Peter Gabriel, Dave Matthews Band). The album debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band released two versions of the album, each with a different bonus track: an "explicit" version, with "The End" as the bonus track, and a "clean" version, with "Graceful Dancing" as the bonus track. "Graceful Dancing" was also released in late 2008 as a "special gift" to fans signed under the band's email list.
"Dirt Room" was the first single from the album, released on December 23, 2008. "Say It" was released as the second single on April 24, 2009. The song was first performed at Edgefest 17 on April 27, 2008 in Dallas, TX.
In May 2009, Blue October's show in Pittsburgh was cancelled by the Fire Marshal and the Pittsburgh Police Department due to overcrowding and unsafe conditions. Not wanting to disappoint fans, the band setup their gear on the corner outside the venue and played a mini-set to the delight of fans.
On October 22, 2009, Blue October announced that the rest of the tour had been canceled due to Justin Furstenfield suffering a severe mental anxiety attack. He returned to perform at Stubb's Theater in Texas a month or two after his attack. The tour was re-scheduled in 2010.
Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening With Blue October
In July 2010 Blue October played a series of acoustic concerts that were recorded for a live unplugged album, entitled Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening With Blue October, to be released in May 2011.[dated info] In February 2011, the band announced on their website that they will embark on an acoustic tour between March and May 2011.
Any Man In America
On June 1, 2010 the band announced they were beginning pre-production on their next studio album to be produced by Tim Palmer. During the winter of 2010/2011, they headed back to the studio to finish recording the album and debuted it August 16th 2011. The title of the new album is Any Man In America.
During the week of February 14–18, Blue October singer Justin Furstenfeld did a stint as a guest DJ on Austin's KROX-FM radio station. Justin previewed four new tracks on the air, presumably on the new album, titled "The Chills", "The Waiting, "The Getting Over It Part" and "The Flight (Lincoln to Minneapolis)". On April 3, 2011 Justin Furstenfeld announced that the album would be distributed by RED Distribution, a Sony imprint for independent artists. Their former label, Universal Motown had offered them a 360 deal, which the band rejected, opting instead to become independent and form their own label, Up/Down Records. On May 4, 2011 Blue October played the first full song of the new album live, called "The Feel Again". On May 6, 2011 Blue October played a second song in Saint Louis, Missouri from their upcoming album titled "The Follow Through". Justin performed a duet with Patricia from the band "The Soldier Thread" for the song.
On Monday, July 25, 2011, the official music video for the first single, "The Chills", was released via the band's YouTube Vevo channel.