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The Opera House

735 Queen St E

Toronto, ON M4M 1H1


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King Tour - Fall 2019 with guests Longwave

About this Event

In this age of quotidian nihilism, of pervasive and boundless

jadedness, you might be forgiven for being taken aback when

someone says to you: “I hope you’re happy.” It’d 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, you’d probably be right. But in the case of seminal musicians

Blue October, the statement is disarmingly sincere.

It’s a surprise, to be sure. But “I Hope You’re Happy,” the title

track representative of the Texas outfit’s forthcoming body of

work in both word and sound, is the first burst in a salvo of

overwhelming positivity—a sonically abundant, rich, lusciously

atmospheric, lovingly produced record.

Early fans of the band’s work, those who haven’t kept track of

the band’s journey in its latter years, might be hard-pressed to

recognize the foursome—comprised of Ryan Delahoussaye, the

band’s multi-instrumentalist; Matt Noveskey on bass; and

brothers Jeremy and Justin Furstenfeld, the band’s drummer and

front man, respectively. The group, once known for its stormy

dynamic and self-destructive tendencies, couldn’t 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 they’re in, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. “We’ve

had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and we’ve come

out the other side,” says Noveskey, who describes the record as


Such is the subject matter of a soon-to-be-released documentary

detailing the band’s 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 band’s dynamic is

multifaceted, and what we’re privy to on camera is but a

snapshot into the group’s 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 band’s 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 band’s frontman and guitarist,

Justin Furstenfeld, would be at the helm—his 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 You’re 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 today’s day and age, as a producer, you learn so

much from people; like, I’ve worked with Tim Palmer and Steve

Lillywhite.” Furstenfeld’s 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 don’t care if you practiced it or it’s perfect, if it’s

hooky, I’ll make it work and use it. It’s art for me.”

The rest of the band was fully on board with Justin’s vision,

placing their faith in him to produce a record above and beyond

what Blue October had done before. “Justin’s 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. It’s a gift, how he can hear everything. Like the song’s

there, it’s done.”

A major component of the new record can be found in the

massive string arrangements composed by Delahoussaye. “If

you’ve got a string player that plays all these instruments, you

get in the studio and see what he’s got,” says Justin Furstenfeld.

“It’s beautiful and when you hear it, you’ll 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 it’s a film. He can

really shine on this record,” says Noveskey.

The record itself seemingly can’t be categorized, according to

Blue October. “I don’t even consider us a rock band in the first

place. This record has no genre,” says Justin Furstenfeld. Per

Furstenfeld, the post-production process for the new record

entailed “having an urban mixer mix an alternative band

produced like art rock.” Perhaps that’s why Blue October’s canon

is so eminently accessible, because the band defies genre—and

what’s more, because their message is so relentlessly positive

as to doubtless brighten the effect of fans and listeners, new and

old alike.

I Hope You’re Happy is out on August 17th on Up/Down

Records, in partnership with Brando Records, a record label

founded by Justin Furstenfeld, who remains the label’s president.

But the record is already available for preorder on iTunes,

Amazon, and directly through the band. The album’s title track

has already cracked the top 20 on the Billboard Alternative chart,

the 11th single over Blue October’s nine studio albums to reach

Top 40 on the US airplay charts.

With a brand new record on the horizon, the boys from Blue

October 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 You’re Happy is about wishing your enemies

well… anyone who’s touched my life, or I’ve touched your life—

life’s so short, and I hope you’re happy.”


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The Opera House

735 Queen St E

Toronto, ON M4M 1H1


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