Blue October

"'Sway' is an empowering record. It's a record that I always wanted to make but didn't know how."
– Blue October's Justin Furstenfeld

BLUE OCTOBER, the San Marcos, TX-based band known for shimmering rock songs and haunting lyrics on albums such as 2009's Billboard Top 15 debut, Approaching Normal, 2011's Billboard Top Ten debut Any Man In America and the Platinum-selling Foiled, makes a triumphant return with Sway (Up/Down
Records), the band's first album in two years.

With lush, atmospheric songs such as "Bleed Out," "Angels In Everything" and "Fear," and the edgy rocker "Put It In," the Texas four-piece comes back strong with a revitalized energy and a positive outlook. As singer Justin Furstenfeld puts it: "This album is about why life is so beautiful. It's about facing fears and
recognizing miracles every day. It's about enjoying yourself and realizing that life is not something you can half-ass."

The band began writing the album after coming off a series of tour dates in 2012. Drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld echoes his brother's attitude. ", "The band is in a really great space now, everyone is healthy, happy, and doing well. That's changed our point of view, and you can hear that new perspective on the album."

Produced by Justin Furstenfeld and David Castell (who also produced the band's History for Sale and co-produced the Platinum Foiled) and recorded at Fire StationStudios in San Marcus, TX, the writing for the new album began with Justin. "I had about 60 songs...we recorded fifteen, and then decided on thirteen of those for the album. I usually write all the songs and then we get together." But the singer is quick to point out that Blue October's music is a band effort. "I've got all these songs, songs that would be good with a piano and acoustic guitar; then Ryan comes in and he laces them together with beautiful harmonies and cellos and violins and that gives the songs that sensitive side. Matt is about structure: he makes sure the songs are tight and the sounds are good – he's also a producer so he knows when to take something out, if a verse is going too long or a part needs to be cut. He's a genius. And my brother, Jeremy, our drummer, is really good at locking down what works for the song."

With so many songs to choose from, Blue October focused on their favorites and channeled the band's renewed optimism into creating one standout after the next. From the exciting and contagious "Bleed Out" to the wistful "Fear," the upbeat "Angels In Everything," and the beautiful "Not Broken Anymore," Matt drives it home: "I don't think there's a weak song on the record."

"Bleed Out' is one of my favorites," says Justin. "There was a guy named Jeremy Raby who sent me some music, and when I was writing the lyrics it really inspired me to finish the song. I was pretty nailed down by addiction for a while and the song comes from my wife's point-of-view from watching someone self-destruct. I'm always honest about the pain I've gone through in the past: and this album is not about that anymore. It's recognizing the people who I might have hurt: and 'Bleed Out' is definitely that."

Matt agrees, "It's definitely one of my favorites. The music was co-written by one of my very close friends and Justin heard it and turned it into a complete song. Lyrically he came in with something so strong, it reminded me of what a really special, talented guy I work with. And I think as a band, everybody shines…it's one of those rare songs where every single instrument has a moment." The song, with its aching melody and beautiful crescendos, surges upward to the poignant chorus, "Don't let me bleed out here alone." Ryan adds, "It's a really powerful song with a great message."

Miracles and beauty abound on Sway. Justin points out the song "Angels In Everything." "It was inspired by my wife, who showed me that that there are angels in everything you do. You don't have to be alone; and that the heart that's beating when we're together is so special and something to be cherished. I think that's one song that I love so much because it reminds me of a guy just taking his wife out to a river, under the moon, and telling her that "you've changed my life and thank you so much…'"

After Justin formed Up/Down Records, the band elected to try a Pledge Music campaign to help fund the new album. The response overwhelmed them (to date, they've raised 180% of their goal). As Matt points out, "I couldn't be more sincere when I say that our lifeblood and our fuel, flows from our fans. We've had concert promoters and even other bands comment about how loyal and how rabid our fans are and there's never been a moment in our career when we've taken that for granted."

Justin describes the process of how the band took up this new challenge. "Our manager suggested it; he found Pledge Music where we could have 5% of the proceeds go to MusicCares, which provides financial aid for musicians without insurance who are in need of help. The platform has allowed us to get closer with
our fans, and allows them to become part of the fabric of the making of the new album. We love them for it and we're very blessed that they would do that for us. We hit our goal in a week!"

For Jeremy, making music is a passion. "We're just a bunch of guys who like to stay true and are blessed to be able to make music for so many years, even through the rough times. We're a band of brothers who stick by each other and help each other out when we need it whether it's music or not. As long as I can walk and as long as my hands will allow me to keep playing, and as long as we're honest with each other, which we are, I want to keep playing and we will keep playing." The members of Blue October are unanimous in their enthusiasm for the new record and its new direction. As Ryan puts it: "We are absolutely very much a band: we were a performing band before we ever made any records and that's what we are today. We're four guys who are humbled and blessed to be able to do
what we dream about."

Matt is effusive. "The wonderful thing about playing in the band, for a long time, the message has always stayed the same. Which is to put out music that has a message and substance. Every single song has a purpose or a reason, even if the themes change, we always have something to say. I think that's really special and that's really special to be a part of." Sway authenticates the strength of Blue October. The songs are moving, emotional and dynamic; the lyrics are poignant and the sound is breathtaking. As Justin
puts it, "We're tighter than we've ever been, as a band and as a family. We've been through so much together and it comes through in the music. We're stronger, and I think people will hear that, because the music truly shines."

The Unlikely Candidates

Who would've thought small town boredom, adrenaline, and a lust for recklessness mixed together on the suburban streets of Forth Worth, TX would end up producing raw, real, and infectious rock anthems? Although they didn't know each-other yet, Cole Male and Kyle Morris were booked on separate accounts of grand theft auto and ended up in a Ft .Worth Juvenile dentition center together. The two became fast friends, and as their brush with the law came to an end, they decided to focus their energies elsewhere...music. Influenced by Bob Dylan, The Strokes, and The Beatles, these best friends quickly found a style all their own, a local crowd in the hundreds, and some local radio love from Dallas Alt. station 102.1 the Edge...their sound...bohemians with a drunken Texan drawl. While backpacking and street performing through Prague and Amsterdam at eighteen, Kyle began to feel a transcendence of identity. He conceived an album that reflected his new found romance with the land of his ancestors, while sharpening his affection and affliction to his roots in the States. Back home in Texas, uniting with classmates Kevin Goddard (Drums), Josiah Maughn (Lead Guitar), and Brenton Carney (Bass), The Unlikely Candidates were born. With an authentic sound and an ability to paint vivid pictures with their lyrics, The Unlikely Candidates transcend trends with a focus on the art of the song.

Not yet 20, Lubbock singer-songwriter Tori Vasquez is quick to admit she is shy, that she still really does not like being out of her comfort zone. Born in Shallowater,Texas, Tori Vasquez is as a third generation member of a family of instrumentalists, singers and songwriters. She is quickly becoming an accomplished multi-instrumentalist herself; after compelling her parents to let her learn violin/fiddle at age 8, Tori took her first voice lesson at age 9, picked up the guitar at 10, with piano following la few years later. She performed her first solo showcase at age 15 for a major label out of Nashville; as a result, Tori has had the privilege of participating in several songwriting sessions, one of which involved Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter Pete Orta. As of now, she is working with producer Clif Magness and writing new material for her debut album. Currently signed by Austin's own Rainmaker Artists, the young musician appears destined to become the next West Texan to sculpt a career as a professional musician.

$28.50 - $40.00

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The Sway Tour

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Varsity Theater

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Blue October with The Unlikely Candidates, Tori Vasquez

Thursday, October 24 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM at Varsity Theater