Blue October's Justin Furstenfeld has always been known for his extremely personal writing style, but on the band's upcoming album "Any Man In America," Furstenfeld has taken his lyrics to a whole new level as he fights for custody of his daughter.
It’s not uncommon to find an album deeply inspired personal events of its writer, but you’ll be hard pressed to find an album more emotionally charged than the one that Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld just finished writing in the midst of a long custody battle for his daughter. “I always write about myself and what is going on around me. This last year and a half was probably the most eye opening, the most beautiful, and the most sick and twisted,” Furstenfeld told Alternative Addiction in a recent interview. “I’ve been fighting for custody, going broke and getting frustrated at how I can never see her. I’ve been flying back and forth during my time off trying to see her as much as I can. I am discovering that America really doesn’t back guys on that subject, they basically say whatever the ex-wife says goes.” Even more frustrating is that lawyers and judges have actually used Blue October lyrics written by Furstenfeld as evidence why he’s unfit to be a father. “I saw a lot of people that you are supposed to look up to like lawyers, judges, police officers completely lie because of the fact of some of my lyrics in other songs fictitiously talking about killing people, and they claimed I was going to kill my ex-wife.” That doesn’t mean that Furstenfeld is going to let an injustice in today’s society stop him from fighting for his right to be a father. Rather than let those around him use his music to keep him from his daughter, he’s using his music to fund the battle for her custody. “All I wanted to do was spend time with my little girl. I will continue to tour in order to fund to keep fighting [for custody],” explains Furstenfeld. “These days it’s not about fame and how cool you are, it’s about what you leave behind when you are gone.” For the upcoming album, titled Any Man In America, Furstenfeld co-produced the effort with producer Tim Palmer, marking the first time Furstenfeld produced an album since the band’s breakthrough album Foiled. Working with Palmer was a sharp contrast to Furstenfeld’s experience working with Steve Lillywhite on the band’s previous album, Approaching Normal. “Working with me is hard, because I am constantly trying to suck things in, I am a sponge, I want to learn. Steve Lillywhite saw it as – “Oh, he does not trust me” and I don’t I’m sorry. If it was Jesus in there I would not trust him, he’s responsible for the final product, and I wanna watch that.” Furstenfeld said that Palmer actually encouraged him to dig deep in his emotion, and bring that out in his voice on the album. “Tim gave me the permission to say what I wanted to say and go that extra mile like I did on Foiled,” Furstenfeld explained. “All I know is being way honest, to the point where you make people uncomfortable and they have to talk about it.” Fans have already been talking, not only to the band’s hit single “The Chills,” but also the riveting video for another track off the album called “The Feel Again (Stay)” which is clearly inspired by Furstenfeld turmoil due to his custody battle.