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Susto embarks on a new journey

By Amber Donoghue

January 9, 2017

The Charleston-based band Susto is on the cusp of metamorphosis. Since their brilliant self-titled album in 2014 they’ve gained attention from big name bands, music writers, and live music enthusiasts across the country. After playing at Stagecoach 2016, opening for Ben Bridwell and Iron & Wine, SXSW, and touring for a full year, Susto is prepared to spend the next few months touring with folk music superstars, The Lumineers. “We’ve gotten to play all over the place and it’s really set the stage,” said Justin Osborne, lead singer. “There was a lot of building in 2016. It was a big prep year. We were exposed to a lot of new fans.”

Premiering their sophomore album & I’m Fine Today in Charlotte at Visulite Theatre, Osborne told us about the choice to use the Queen City as a springboard for the tour ahead. “The first show I ever played (with Susto) was a house show in Charlotte.” Osborne said. “It feels like it’s a second home. It just feels right. The Visulite is a cool venue and those guys have always been supportive of us. The people in Charlotte are great. It feels like family when we are there.”

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Justin Osborne of SUSTO. Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure

Susto has gone through a serious growth spurt over the last year with new management and a top-notch publicity outfit, Sacks & Co. “The past year has been a lot of work. We have gotten better live… and we’ve gotten to know each other better,” Osborne mentioned.

Growth has not come without loss. Johnny Delaware, former guitarist and songwriter for Susto recently left the band seeking his own musical endeavors and will not be joining the tour. “I don’t know how it’s going to change,” he said about Delaware’s departure. “We kinda left it open ended; working together in the future in the studio.” In their early days as musicians, Osborne and his friends were looking to make something of their talents. While fighting to legitimize their ambitions, a support system was established and the Acid Boys were born. Osborne originally coined the term “Acid Boys” as a turn of phrase to describe the Charleston music scene and its players. “We are always going to be friends…We are a tight knit community and we will always be rooting each other on,” he said.

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SUSTO October 2015 at Visulite Theatre. Photo by Kim Casanova

“Susto” is a Spanish word referring to a spiritual illness in Latin America culture. As an anthropology student Osborne learned that its meaning translates to “panic attack.” It is also interpreted as the soul separating from the body, wandering. For him, his music is something that needs to be out in the world. & I’m Fine Today is an honest interpretation of life’s most difficult questions; when music touches a string of identification in us. The band’s second album is a candid expression of reality: “It comes in waves. It’ll knock you off and drown you if you can’t get past the break.”

Check out SUSTO’s 2017 tour dates.

Listen to “Waves” from the album & Im Fine Today. 

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