Blue October guitarist CB Hudson has always loved being on stage. Each night on tour, he stands besides his band mates and entertains packed crowds of young music fans.
“As a kid, I always saw myself on stage making people smile,” Hudson said.
The band may seem like an overnight success to those who just discovered the band’s single “Hate Me” last summer. However, Blue October have been performing together and recording since lead singer Justin Furstenfeld, drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld and violinist/pianist Ryan Delahoussaye formed the band in 1996. They found success in the small Texas and Midwest music scenes and were signed to Universal Records in 1999.
Hudson was an MBA student at Texas State when he met Justin Furstenfeld at a local hangout. Blue October was looking for a guitarist and Hudson was looking for a band. After years of performing in bands that would never leave the garage, Hudson took the opportunity to put together a demo CD and gave it to Furstenfeld.
“I saw the potential to play with creative and talented people,” Hudson said. Multiple auditions and incessant phone calls later, Hudson worked his way into the band.
After two albums and little success, Universal dropped Blue October in 2002. Hudson said leaving Universal was hard for the band. “We all just got back up and said, ‘Are we in this to be signed to a label or to make music?'”
“History for Sale,” their third full-length album, proved the band was in it for the music. Released on Brando Records, “History” featured the single “Razorblade” which received marginal radio airplay as well as “Calling You” which was included on the “American Wedding” Soundtrack.
The band, especially Furstenfeld, gained even wider recognition in the Midwest from their relentless touring and emotional performances. The band’s hard work paid off in 2005 when they were resigned to Universal.
Furstenfeld left the band for five months to write the new album in L.A. There, he had little to no contact with the band and his family and friends. Out of this process of shutting his life down from family and friends, the song “Hate Me” was born. Hudson said it was an apology to the people in his life who felt shut out, especially his band mates.
Last April, Blue October released “Foiled,” featuring the radio sensation “Hate Me.” For the first time, the band had national recognition on radio, Internet, and television. The guys who once drove four hour shifts in a small bus to shows across the Midwest were quickly traveling in large tour vans with lounges, bedrooms, and a driver.
“We were a struggling band. We were always working hard,” said Hudson. After years of looking out into the audience and slowly seeing the crowds fill the small, dank venues, the crowds doubled and sometimes tripled. They were now selling out larger venues in markets they had never attempted to reach. “After nearly ten years, you can’t really say it happened over-night, but it did.”
The band is currently on tour finishing up dates from last summer when injuries forced the band to reschedule. Blue October will play the 9:30 Club Tuesday, January 23. The show is sold out.