INTERVIEW: Justin Osborne of Susto on VH1 Storytellers, Intimate Shows, and Private Silent Discos!

It doesn’t take a lot of time to realize that Justin Osborne of the Charleston, SC band Susto, is a story driven songwriter. That’s why the band’s YouTube video series telling the behind the scenes of the songs from both their self-titled album and their second album “& I’m Fine Today” were so compelling. The “Susto Stories” YouTube series was so compelling that it became an album as well. Now it’s a tour — a different tour than what we’re used to seeing from Susto for sure, but that’s what has us at Never Nervous so excited about it. So excited that we decided to reach out to lead singer and songwriter Justin Osborne to see how things have changed and where they are headed.

Before you go see the Susto Stories Tour at Zanzabar tonight (Doors at 8pm), read on to find out what Justin had to say about VH1 Storytellers, intimate shows, and Silent Discos in an AirBnB. 

Never Nervous: For those that don’t know, what is Susto stories?

Justin Osborne: So, I put out an album earlier this year called “SUSTO stories” which began as a YouTube series. The SUSTO Stories series was really a companion piece to the sophomore album ‘& I’m Fine Today’ where the band and I would do stripped down performances of songs from the record and provide a little background info on how each one came to be written. That concept of the stories behind the songs was something that started to make its way into my live sets as I toured solo around Europe the last few years and it was an interactive feature that I really wanted to try out closer to home.

So all of these things lead to, The SUSTO Stories Tour, a short tour around the South East & Midwest where I’m performing stripped down versions of the songs and doing an obnoxious amount of talking in between haha. I’m also accompanied by my friend and bandmate Jordan Igoe who is singing harmonies and playing piano on some of songs.

NN: What are the shows like on this tour? Who have you brought with you?

JO: Well I think I accidentally answered this question in response the previous one, but to expand a bit… The shows have been really fun on this tour with great crowds in some amazing intimate listening rooms. It’s been fun to put my personal story out there a little more and to give people who are already fans of Susto, a story behind the music they enjoy.

NN: How is it different touring solo?

“It’s been fun to put my personal story out there a little more and to give people who are already fans of Susto, a story behind the music they enjoy.”

JO: Well, this tour isn’t completely solo because I have a backing singer and a tour manager with me, so the travel isn’t so different, it’s nice to have companionship on the road. Musically though, there’s a huge difference. Our band is loud, intense and energetic and I love it! This tour is quiet, light hearted and cozy which I also love. It feels like the perfect time of year for a tour like this, it feels like the holidays.

NN: What is the future for Susto as a band?

JO: Well, we have a new album out early next year, and several big tours to follow so I’m very excited for that whole new chapter to begin.

NN: What’s your album of the year for 2018?

JO: I’ve loved C’est La Vie by Phosphorescent, it’s so good, one of my favorites of all time I think.

NN: Do you have a favorite gas station on the road? I prefer Sheetz if they are in the area.

JO: Haha I love them all man. Always just happy to get out of the van and grab a snack.

NN: What’s your favorite VH1 Storytellers performance?

JO: Hmmm, gonna have to say Counting Crows.

NN: Have you had a moment on this tour that may be worthy of a story or song?

JO: Haha, yeah a few. The first night in Atlanta someone gave us molly so a few nights after the shows we have had little 3 person raves at our hotels/bnb. We even had our own silent disco in DC the other day.