He’d been writing music and making albums since he was 15, and by the age of 26, he felt like he was spinning his wheels. He knew he needed a change, so he ended his old band Sequoyah Prep School and moved to Cuba. He thought he might be done with music for a while, but the songs just kept coming.
“I had this idea in my mind that I was going to try and join some kind of Latin American Leftist movement. I wanted to jump off a cliff,” Osborne says. “Once I got there I immediately started hanging out with musicians and going to shows. I started showing them the songs from this project that was kind of just an idea in my head.
“They were like, ‘man, don’t throw away your passport, go home and continue to make music,'” he says. “I was encouraged by them to try again.”
Osborne ended the relationship he was in, started touring and writing constantly and eventually dropped out of school with just one paper and exam left to finish. He also made an aesthetic upgrade, getting the words “Acid Boys” tattooed across his knuckles.
Introducing MUSIC MONDAY, MusicBham’s weekly feature for Magic City Weekend. Every Monday we highlight the week’s shows performing in Birmingham! Check out our video and artist’s Spotify playlist below, and as always, don’t forget to follow us @MusicBham and @MagicCityWeekend on FaceBook and Instagram! In this edition, we preview the show’s for April 30 – May 6.
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.”
SUSTO is the brainchild of Justin Osborne. It was born out of collaboration between Osborne & various colleagues including but not limited to Johnny Delaware, Wolfgang Zimmerman, Nicholas Scott Woodley & Camilo Miranda. These collaborations took place between 2011 & 2013 in Charleston & Havana.
Early writing & recording for SUSTO began in late 2011.
In early 2013 Osborne began performing solo in South Carolina & Cuba under the name of SUSTO. By August of that year SUSTO was performing as a full band. In addition to Osborne covering rhythm guitar, keyboards, & lead vocals, this line-up included Taylor McCleskey on drums, Eric Mixon on bass and Johnny Delaware on lead guitar & background vocals.
By early 2014 the debut self titled album was finalized & subsequently released by Osborne & Delaware’s label Peninsula Records on April Fool’s Day (04/01/2014).
After an extensive North American solo tour (Summer 2014) in support of SUSTO’s debut album, Osborne returned to Charleston and began to solidify a permanent live band. SUSTO’s full band line-up eventually came to be Corey Campbell (Guitar, Keys, Vocals), Johnny Delaware (Guitar, Keys, Vocals), Jordan Hicks (Bass Guitar), Marshall Hudson (Drums/Percussion) and Justin Osborne (Vocals, Guitar, Keys).