Justin Steward Furstenfeld (born December 14, 1975 in Houston, Texas) is a record producer, artist, author, and the lead singer, guitarist, and lyricist of the rock band Blue October.
When not touring with his band, Furstenfeld resides in San Marcos, Texas. He is the brother of Blue October drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld. Justin Furstenfeld has battled with bipolar disorder with psychotic tendencies through most of his life and anxiety issues as well. He admits to a past of self-harm in his teen years, and suicidal thoughts throughout his life. He has a daughter, named Blue, to whom he dedicated the album Any Man in America.
On June 13, 2012, Justin proposed to his pregnant girlfriend Sarah. On July 28, 2012 they were married in a private ceremony in Wimberley, Texas. Together they have a girl named Sayde Bell.
Growing up, Furstenfeld listened to hip-hop, rock, country, dance; his favorite artists included Marvin Gaye, The Smiths, Red House Painters and Pink Floyd. His first musical memory was Roy Orbison's ballad, "Crying".
During his high school years at Houston's prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), he formed a band The Last Wish, which he played in from the age of 13 until 1995. When performing solo, Furstenfeld uses the moniker 5591, the number 5591 being his patient number when he was admitted to a mental institution following a breakup with his then-girlfriend Amanda. He tells this story in the confessionals on the Argue With a Tree DVD (found in the Special Features).
His vocal and performance style has been likened to Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Dave Matthews Band and "Fish" of Marillion.
He has written over 500 songs and counts among his influences: Michael Stipe, The Cure, The Smiths, The Pixies, Peter Gabriel, Idaho, Elliott Smith, Blue Miller, George Winston, Jean-Michel Basquiat and U2.
Furstenfeld also co-wrote and performed guest vocals on the Canvas song "All About You" from their album Four Days Awake.
In August 2008, Furstenfeld toured with Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, in a sold out 4-city book/concert tour.
On October 22, 2009, the Pick Up The Phone Tour was cancelled after Justin was admitted to a hospital for an extreme anxiety attack, though the band still played two November dates in Austin.
Furstenfeld is also a painter, and his paintings have appeared on the covers of two Blue October albums, The Answers and History for Sale. His artwork is also featured on T-shirts and posters for the band. He wrote many songs about his depression after his breakup; he assures his fans that he is here to write and stay.
In April 2009, Justin published his first book, Crazy Making - The Words and Lyrics of Justin Furstenfeld, in which Justin goes into explicit detail about the inspiration behind each and every Blue October song to date. The description of the book from the band's online store is as follows:
Okay, you asked for the book, and here it is. This amazing package includes Justin's first book spanning over 90 pages and including all lyrics from The Answers through Approaching Normal, and Justin's own thoughts on the how, why and when many of these songs came to life. The perfect companion piece to listen through all of the albums. This is a high quality hard cover, full color book.