The psyche of Joey Culver, when based on an impression drawn from his lyrics, is one of despondent, self-imposed isolation. That first read is in reality far from the true spiritual being of this Mississippi native. He has come out of a debilitating, mentally unstable upbringing with a perspective of hope for a future far better than his past.
Culver was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in the heart of the Gulf coast to parents who had recently divorced during the pregnancy. His mother married young, and had two children with his father. Another child, a second daughter came later. The only male figure in his life was his Uncle Joe, also his namesake, as his stepfather worked off-shore in oil exploration. Later as his adult life began, a relationship with his biological father would come at 18th.
Culver began his life in a household that upon birth was normal and nurturing. By the age of eight, with two other children to care for, a young Culver became too much to handle and his mother placed him in a behavioral hospital. From the ages of eight to fourteen, he was in mental institutions and boys homes. At fourteen, for two years he was in foster care, as a ward of The State of Texas. Child Protective Services released him to his birth mother at the age of sixteen. When he returned to Mississippi, he dropped out of school, got his GED, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his seventeenth birthday.
After a year, he was offered a section eight medical discharge under what is the equivalent of a “one-strike, you’re out” philosophy. Culver had not been entirely forthcoming about his past when enlisting, and it came back to bite him in the ass. His entire life, music had been his only escape – singing whenever he got the chance. Naturally, he immediately joined a band, and over the next several years fronted five of them including Wind-Up Recording artists Atomship and Papercut Massacre.
The difference in Joey Culver is he has no reservations in being forthcoming about his troubled past and what has gotten him to this day. If we all lived at such peace, therapists would lose a large percentage of the population utilizing their services. [+]