Promoting their new album “& I’m Fine Today” that was released in Jan. 2017, alternative band Susto has been touring the U.S. and Canada. Susto opened for The Lumineers at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth on March 8. The Technique had the opportunity to speak with the lead vocalist Justin Osborne before their performance.
Technique: First of all, how would you describe the sound of your band?
Osborne: I would say it’s like a mixture of folk music, electronic music, punk rock and 90s bangers. We want to keep it eclectic, keep it interesting and fun, so we try different things.
Technique: How did you get into music, and can you tell me some backstory about how Susto came about?
Osborne: I got into music just from falling in love with listening to music. I really wanted to write my own songs, so I started doing that around when I was 13. Then I started doing it as my job, and I love it.
I was in another band for nine years, and I was tired of touring and trying to make it, so I dropped out of the band and went to school for a few years or so. I went down to Cuba to study Latin American culture as an anthropology major. I made some different demos when I was there, and I showed them to some friends and people thought they were really good, so I came back and some friends joined me along the way. We made the second record recently, and it’s become my career.
Technique: How did you decide the band name?
Osborne: While studying Latin American culture, I found this word called “susto.” It’s a Spanish word which means “when your soul is separated from
Technique: Is there anything you would have done differently so far in your career?
Osborne: There’s one pair of shoes I bought, and I underestimated the size when I should have bought a size bigger. That’s
Technique: Susto just released their second album on Jan. 13, “Far Out Feeling.” Congrats on the new release. What does this album mean to you? And how does it differ from your first album?
Osborne: Every Susto album, every time you finish an album and put it out, it’s a special moment. You think of it as a long-term project. It feels good now, but we were stressed out in the months leading up to the record. You have it finished, but then you have to wait on it to come out, and you can’t change it. It was a really happy moment getting it out.
Compared to the first record, it was a new, more expansive sound. It feels good to get it out there; it feels different from our first record … different genres to
Technique: What song you would most recommend to people who have never heard SUSTO?
Osborne: I think it depends on what you’re into. I think the one most people could appreciate is “Far Out Feeling.” It’s the first song on the album. It’s an interesting song, a bit of a dark song. And yeah, hopefully you like that song and keep going since it’s the first song on the record.
Technique: You guys are about to embark on an arena tour opening for The Lumineers. That’s amazing. How do you feel about it? How did you react to knowing you were booked on this tour?
Osborne: It’s a huge deal! We’re excited about it. We’re nervous but also excited. It’s going to be a big thing for the band: we’ve never played shows this big, and we’re going to be playing a lot of them! I’m really excited for the next month. It’s also really fun playing shows. So many people will be hearing us for the first time. Some people might not like you; some people might really like you. So we have no idea what to expect and that’s really exciting.
It’s a really cool thing for The Lumineers to bring us on the road. It really helps to give us a push, especially with our new album just coming out. So I feel very, very fortunate; we all do and we’re all very excited.
Technique: So what’s the plan after the Lumineers tour?
Osborne: We’re touring for another five weeks after The Lumineers tour, and then we’ll go home for the summer. We’ll go out playing different festivals. Then we’ll tour more in the early fall. I really want to go to Australia this year too, but we’ll see, maybe we’ll wait until next year for that.
The record is still new, so we’re determined to be on the road promoting it for the rest of the year and the first half of next year. Then we’ll chip away at the next record and continue.
Technique: Is there anything else you would like your Atlanta fans to know?
Osborne: We love Atlanta, and we can’t wait to come back. It feels like home every time we play here. We’re so excited to go to the South on this tour, and we can’t wait to come back.