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      Blue October in Athens

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      May 2, 2019

      Thursday   8:00 PM

      215 North Lumpkin Street
      Athens, Georgia 30606

      Blue October

      with Mona
      In this age of quotidian nihilism, of pervasive and boundlessjadedness, you might be forgiven for being taken aback whensomeone says to you: I hope youre happy. Itd be easy to load that phrase with acerbic meaning, to interpret it foremost as coming from a place of spite and sarcasm. And nine times out of 10, youd probably be right. But in the case of seminal musicians Blue October, the statement is disarmingly sincere.Its a surprise, to be sure. But I Hope Youre Happy, the titletrack representative of the Texas outfits forthcoming body ofwork in both word and sound, is the first burst in a salvo ofoverwhelming positivitya sonically abundant, rich, lusciously atmospheric, lovingly produced record.Early fans of the bands work, those who havent kept track ofthe bands journey in its latter years, might be hard-pressed to recognize the foursomecomprised of Ryan Delahoussaye, the bands multi-instrumentalist; Matt Noveskey on bass; and brothers Jeremy and Justin Furstenfeld, the bands drummer and front man, respectively. The group, once known for its stormy dynamic and self-destructive tendencies, couldnt be more distinct, today, from the band it once was. And the members of Blue October want everyone they encounter to know the great place theyre in, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Weve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and weve come out the other side, says Noveskey, who describes the record as emotional.Such is the subject matter of a soon-to-be-released documentary detailing the bands transformation from sordid to solid, from ravaged by the tempest of addiction to blessed by the joys of family life. Just like any other relationship, the bands dynamic is multifaceted, and what were privy to on camera is but a snapshot into the groups complex world.While the documentary documents the band in its stormier days, today, it looks like smooth sailing for the boys of Blue October. With their last record, the bands 2016 effort Home, behind them, the band was ready to start writing their follow-up album. We were in a great spot, coming off of a great record. We were all in a great place, says Delahoussaye. But one thing was going to be different with this record: The bands frontman and guitarist, Justin Furstenfeld, would be at the helmhis first time producing an album.Justin had a specific vision; we trusted he knew what it needed to sound like, offers Noveskey.And even though I Hope Youre Happy was the first record Justin Furstenfeld produced, he still managed to push the envelope, leading his band to new heights in terms of sound and production. I really had to take the training wheels off this time, he says. In todays day and age, as a producer, you learn so much from people; like, Ive worked with Tim Palmer and Steve Lillywhite. Furstenfelds production style was the result of years of studying the craft and taking notes from storied producers then stepping out of his comfort zone to experiment in a way that would yield a truly lush soundscape. If it works, it works, says Furstenfeld. I dont care if you practiced it or its perfect, if its hooky, Ill make it work and use it. Its art for me.The rest of the band was fully on board with Justins vision,placing their faith in him to produce a record above and beyond what Blue October had done before. Justins got this gift where he can envision, like a movie, what the entire song is going to sound like before he even plays a note, says Jeremy Furstenfeld. Like, the song is already written completely, part by part. Its a gift, how he can hear everything. Like the songs there, its done.A major component of the new record can be found in the massive string arrangements composed by Delahoussaye. If youve got a string player that plays all these instruments, youget in the studio and see what hes got, says Justin Furstenfeld. Its beautiful and when you hear it, youll be touched.One of the things that I love about this record is that Ryan can provide an entire orchestra by himself. He can bring in this whole cinematic aspect to a song; it makes it feel like its a film. He can really shine on this record, says Noveskey.The record itself seemingly cant be categorized, according toBlue October. I dont even consider us a rock band in the firstplace. This record has no genre, says Justin Furstenfeld. PerFurstenfeld, the post-production process for the new record entailed having an urban mixer mix an alternative bandproduced like art rock. Perhaps thats why Blue Octobers canon is so eminently accessible, because the band defies genreand whats more, because their message is so relentlessly positive as to doubtless brighten the effect of fans and listeners, new and old alike.I Hope Youre Happy is out on August 17th on Up/DownRecords, in partnership with Brando Records, a record labelfounded by Justin Furstenfeld, who remains the labels president. But the record is already available for preorder on iTunes, Amazon, and directly through the band. The albums title track has already cracked the top 20 on the Billboard Alternative chart, the 11th single over Blue Octobers nine studio albums to reach Top 40 on the US airplay charts.With a brand new record on the horizon, the boys from BlueOctober are putting their full weight behind this release. Justin has now been sober (and loving it!) for six years; the band is happy and enjoying life both on the road and at home with their families; and they want the best for everyone in their lives. Says Justin: I Hope Youre Happy is about wishing your enemies well anyone whos touched my life, or Ive touched your life lifes so short, and I hope youre happy.

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