Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld on His Bi-Polar Disorder and Divorce
Later this summer, Blue October will release ‘Any Man in America,’ their sixth studio album. The brooding melodic rockers are led by singer-songwriter Justin Furstenfeld, a frontman known for pouring the most uncomfortable moments of his private life into his lyrics.
In the first installment of our exclusive interview with the vocalist, Furstenfeld spoke candidly about his mental breakdown and bi-polar diagnosis during the promotional tour for their 2009 ‘Approaching Normal’ album. For the second part of our conversation, Noisecreep asked the Blue October star if he’s worried that being bi-polar will be something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
“Yeah, that’s something that I definitely worry about,” the singer admits. “I didn’t even know I was bi-polar until my incident on the airplane. I just thought I blacked out all the time from drinking too much alcohol. Also, when I was a kid I used to cut myself and I thought that was for attention. That was my thought process back then. I was a dumbs—.
“But when I found out my ex was cheating on me with some guy and that my daughter was calling him ‘Daddy,’ I lost my mind. I said to myself, ‘I just lost my daughter.’ So getting on a plane at that point and mixing alcohol with the stress did me in. It was a sad moment in life, but at least my bi-polar issues got diagnosed after I freaked out. That’s the only good that came of it.”
Since being released from the hospital after his arrest, Furstenfeld has been embroiled in a bitter divorce battle with his wife. “It’s been rough, dude,” he says. “The court stuff has been brutal. The new Blue October album is going to be called ‘Any Man in America’ because in the past two years I’ve learned that men in this country get screwed by the judicial system. I had people telling me that I had to lay back and take it like rape. They said I wasn’t necessarily going to enjoy it, but that I had I to deal with it. All my ex had to do is say that I was cheating too and they said, ‘He’s a rock star, he’s got tons of money.’ But I don’t have a lot of money — she spent it all!
“They fought for a year and a half in court. They even used lyrics to a song I had written four years before I had even met my wife about a guy killing someone. My ex said I had written it about her, which was complete bulls—, but they believed her. All of a sudden I had warrants out on me and I they wouldn’t allow me to see my daughter because I was ‘dangerous.’ I was like, ‘What the hell is going on with my life!’”
Noisecreep asks Furstenfeld why things got so bad between him and his estranged wife. “I’m not really sure, but I loved her so much,” he replied. “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her for the first time. When we first got together there was something called Facebook that was just starting getting popular [laughs]. But seriously, I think that site helps destroy relationships all the time, especially if you’re a touring musician and you’re with someone that doesn’t trust you anyway. I don’t cheat. You either love me or leave me alone, but as I was traveling people were writing all kinds of stuff about me on there. I’m talking about straight-up lies.
“I even had a guy sending me death threats saying he was going to put a bullet in my head because I had supposedly left my wife and child abandoned. This one guy messed with me for an entire year. I wasn’t even allowed to talk about it, so my band just thinks I’m losing my mind. It was a nightmare.”
Stay tuned to Noisecreep for the third part of our exclusive interview with Justin Furstenfeld.
Watch the video for ‘The Feel Again (Stay)’