Psychedelic Panic Attack Invades Birmingham
& I’m Brewing Ayahuasca Today
By Andy Harris
If you’re looking for a new favorite band, one that should have a Budweiser sponsorship but doesn’t, one that spent most of this spring opening for The Lumineers, and one that is fronted by a psychedelic atheist, then look no further than SUSTO.
“We are looking forward to getting back to Saturn,” says Justin Osborne, songwriter and frontman of SUSTO. “It’s one of our favorite places to play. And we’re playing on a national holiday (4/20), so it’s gonna be a lot of fun for all who are celebrating.”
The band has a lot of reasons to celebrate. SUSTO’s sophomore album, & I’m Fine Today, has been released in the US and Canada via Caroline Records. They’ve been touring the entire country in 2017, and have begun a headline tour of their own after wrapping up a short run with The Lumineers.
“We’ve been touring with The Lumineers, which is a pretty big opportunity,” says Osborn. “We’re playing everywhere we’ve ever played and then some.”
Part of the “then some” includes large arenas with the above mentioned newsie cap wearing, hobo twee-rock flag bearers. Osborne explains how they got hooked up with The Lumineers.
“They’re one of the biggest bands out there. We thankfully don’t have to worry about booking ourselves anymore since we have people taking care of that now. There were about one hundred bands who had a chance to get the opening spot that we ended up with. The Lumineers ended up with an advance copy of our album and really liked it a lot and they wanted us to be a part of the tour. We feel fortunate and honored that they asked us.”
One of their shows with The Lumineers took place at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, Canada. Based on that performance alone, and their titanic video for “Chillin On The Beach With My Best Friend Jesus Christ,” the fine folks at Budweiser should be sponsoring SUSTO. But that hasn’t happened yet.
“Oh man. I wish!” exclaims Osborne. “If anyone at Budweiser is reading this and wants to sponsor us, we’d be more than happy to wear any gear we need to, do some promos, put some stickers all over town. Drink a Bud Light.”
The song is already done. The slogan is written. The video is already there. They just need to use it.
“But I don’t know if they’d necessarily approve of the branding,” says Osborne. “Maybe everybody doesn’t find Jesus Christ so funny.”
And the pixelated dong might not work with their ad campaign.
“Yea, that’s hard to miss for sure.” Osborne continues, “That was a funny video to make. We had to kinda get that song out of our system before we made the record. The album has a much more somber tone to it. We had the chilling on the beach song. In the recording process, we went back and forth whether or not it should go on the record. We decided to put it out as a fun kinda summer track and just to have something released. Some people liked it. Some people hated it. I’m just glad we got it out of our system.”
And now, a note about the album art.
“The cover is a painting by Pablo Amaringo. He was a Peruvian artist, rainforest preservation activist, and an ayahuasca shaman. Marshall Hudson, our drummer, controls the visual aspects of the band. I love the rainbows. The cyclical nature of life. That particular painting felt perfect to everybody. I love how colorful it is.”
When asked about performing on 4/20 preparations, Osbourne answered, “Well. I mean. It’s 4/20. But you can interpret that how you want. If you listen to the record, you can figure with just the first few songs what we would do.”
Do what Susto (pronounced SOOS-TOE) would do on Thursday, April 20th at Saturn Birmingham
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
$10 Advance – $12 Day of Show
Parker Gispert opens
Buy tickets here