Today we are premiering the new track from Charleston, SC-based band SUSTO
, "Waves." As Justin Osborne, the heart and soul of the project, explains more in-depth below, the song is about "trying to understand what the world is and what our place (my place) in it is." And although the beach-y lyrics are quite sentimental, the music is cheery. Osborne delivers a raw energy packed with soaring guitars and husky vocals. The song is off of their upcoming album & I'm Fine Today
, out January 13.
You've been making music since you were fifteen years old -- What got you into it?
I don't really remember, it's not like my folks were crazy into music or anything. My brothers and I were definitely into music though, same with all of our friends. I just always wanted to write songs and play/sing. My granddad left my mom an old Yamaha guitar when I was about 14 and my brothers and I all kind of learned to play on it because it was around; there was also a piano in the house - we all learned to play. So somewhere along the way, I just started writing my own lyrics, basically from the beginning. That led to forming bands and eventually touring, which I've basically been doing since about age 20 - with some college and roaming mixed in.
You actually took a break during your career, fled to Cuba, and thought that you might take a break from music, but you continued. What made you continue? How did you not lose total faith?
I went to Cuba because I was having a crisis of the soul, "susto." It happens to me every so often, sometimes for an extended time. I think it happens to everyone.
I was burnt out on chasing a dream that seemed stagnant and I felt the pressure (that a lot of people in their mid-twenties feel) to have something more to show for my time - to have a better since of direction.
So, I moved to Cuba, with the plan of getting involved in something totally different - something political. Almost immediately though, I was hanging with musicians and songwriters - hanging around with them, going to shows... playing shows. They were very encouraging about the new songs I had been working on for this project SUSTO, they also encouraged me to get back to the states and pursue it. So I did.
I got home and finished the record with a bunch of my friends. I sold a bunch of stuff and got "ACID BOYS" (a song from our first record) tattooed on my knuckles and I started touring as much as I could until I could do it full time. I quit riding the fence, so to speak. As far as losing faith goes - I've been lucky to have the support of some really wonderful people from the beginning of this, so I've drawn a lot of faith from the support of the community of people I live my life around.
Can you tell us a little bit about "Waves" and what it means to you?
"Waves" is a song about trying to understand what the world is and what our place (my place) in it is. It's about coming to terms with humanity and how it relates to or differs from your (my) own self. The world is crazy, but it's such an incredible coincidence that we are all here to begin with, it's so great and so hard to be alive - all at once. I want to see things better and I want to help; I think a lot of people (most of us) do too.
Tell us a little bit about your upcoming album & I'm Fine Today?
& I'm Fine Today
is thematically a lot like "Waves" - it deals with some of the same themes. The approach is different for every song though; some songs are stories and memories, some are thoughts and questions, some are anthems or mantras. The soundscapes are unique for each song too. We tried to marry and juxtapose a few genres and influences; I think we succeeded.
How does this new album differ from the last?
I think that SUSTO and & I'm Fine Today
are very much just the next chapter in the bands' book. SUSTO came from the same place as this record, just earlier on the timeline. We've definitely introduced new tricks sonically and musically - I'd say we've done that in terms of songwriting and lyrics as well, but it comes from the same place narratively. They both feel very authentic to me and everyone else involved - that is a good feeling. We are happy with the work we are doing and we enjoy doing it. I think everyone close to the production and release of this record is really excited to see how it is received publicly.