Lone Star State rockers Blue October emerged during the mid-'90s, delivering an emotionally charged amalgam of heart-heavy post-grunge and slick modern rock. They found favor in 2006 with their platinum-selling fourth long-player, Foiled, which featured the chart-topping singles "Hate Me" and "Into the Ocean," and built on that success via a succession of albums that saw them go from radio-ready, post-grunge act (2011's Any Man in America) to stadium-sized synth rockers with an unabashed flair for the melodramatic (2016's Home).
The band was formed in 1995 in Houston, Texas by vocalist/guitarist Justin Furstenfeld, who had begun penning angst-ridden rock songs with the help of his brother, drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld, and violinist Ryan Delahoussaye. Bassist Liz Mullaly completed the band's initial lineup, and Blue October released an independent debut album, The Answers, in 1998. The band's emotive brand of post-grunge led to the sale of 5,000 copies in their native Houston alone. Two years later, Blue October made their major-label debut on Universal with Consent to Treatment, with Matt Noveskey replacing Mullaly.
By the time Blue October began prepping for their third album, 2003's History for Sale, C.B. Hudson (guitar/vocals) had been added to the lineup. The album's first single, "Calling You," became a Top 40 hit thanks to its inclusion on the American Wedding soundtrack. The live CD/DVD package Argue with a Tree was released in 2004, following 18 months of touring. Noveskey had briefly left the band for health reasons in 2002, but he returned in time to record Blue October's first studio album in three years, Foiled, which was issued in April 2006 and went platinum one year later on the strength of a pair of powerhouse singles. Before the band went on tour with Yellowcard in September 2007, Universal/Motown released Foiled for the Last Time, a two-disc set consisting of a full version of Foiled, 14 newly recorded songs performed live, and several alternative remixes.
Recording sessions for the band's fifth studio album, Approaching Normal, commenced in mid-2008 with producer Steve Lillywhite, and the finished product appeared early the following year. The tour in support of the album was cut short due to the (eventually openly discussed) mental health issues of their frontman. They returned with two albums in 2011, Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October (recorded live in Austin, Dallas, and Houston) and the darker Any Man in America, made during Justin Furstenfeld's divorce and loss of child custodial rights. After his seeking treatment including rehab, the group's seventh studio album, the more positive, PledgeMusic-funded Sway, followed in 2013. In 2014, Furstenfeld recorded and released a solo voice-and-guitar album titled Songs from an Open Book, which included his versions of songs by either Blue October or the Last Wish (his first group). The full band reassembled for Blue October's second concert film, Things We Do at Night (Live from Texas), which was recorded at the Dallas House of Blues in November 2014 and released a year later.
Blue October appeared to be back on track as their well-received eighth studio album, Home, arrived in the spring of 2016. However, it was soon revealed that Hudson had been injured in a biking accident. Matthew Ostrander took over lead guitar on the supporting tour. The band returned in early 2018 with their ninth full-length effort, I Hope You're Happy. ~ MacKenzie Wilson