South Carolina-based indie rock group SUSTO is a band on the up and up. They just released their sophomore album, & I’m Fine Today. Also exciting, SUSTO will be opening up for The Lumineers on their North American tour. AXS recently had a chance to talk with primary songwriter and bandleader, Justin Osborne, about the new record and touring with the Lumineers.
When we caught up with Justin, SUSTO was preparing for some shows around their home state of South Carolina, a little warm up before hopping on the road with The Lumineers on their North American tour. Justin related the story of how the band first got the news that they would be opening for the successful indie band.
“We were actually in Canada when we found out about [The Lumineers tour]. We were in Canada for the first time and we had just gone to see Niagara Falls. None of us really had service so we didn’t know that our management team was frantically trying to get in touch with us. Our drummer does graphic design from the road and he was at a coffee shop. So they got in touch with him first. But then somebody turned their service on for GPS or something and all these messages flooded in. So we were like, ‘we’d better call.’ I was actually asleep in the back through all of this. Everybody woke me up and were like, ‘dude, we just got offered a month long tour with The Lumineers.’”
But the newly awakened Osborne was a bit incredulous to the news. “I was like, ‘bullsh*t, stop f**king with me. That’s not true.’ Because we’re a band, but we’re not a big band. Kaleo is the other band on the tour and they’re huge. But we found out later that their booking agent was a big fan of ours and showed [The Lumineers] our band. They loved it and chose us,” Osborne said. While SUSTO may not be a “big band,” they are certainly making moves and have been playing to sold-out rooms where their new album, & I’m Fine Today, has been a big hit.
“We’ve been playing small rooms, but we’re excited that the crowds have been coming out. We’ve sold out a bunch of the shows and there hasn’t been a bad show on the whole tour. For me, I’ve been touring for a decade so I’m used to rolling up to shows and being happy there are 10 people there. There have been crowds at all the shows on this tour. It’s really exciting and it makes it more fun for us. It keeps the morale up. So it’s been a really good tour. We’ve been playing all the new songs and have gotten to do some fun press stuff along the way. So it’s been a great year so far.”
Osborne also talked about how responsive those packed rooms have been to & I’m Fine Today and how the new album has helped turn fans on to their older material. “A lot of the shows on the tour, people have been really into it. They’re singing along, not just the lyrics to one song, but every song! The response to the new material has been really positive. Sometimes people know the new songs but they don’t know the old songs. So it’s been cool that people are finding us through this record.”
& I’m Fine Today was released Friday, January 13. The record sees the band expanding from their alt-country roots and experimenting with indie rock, Caribbean and psychedelic sounds. You can find more information on how to get & I’m Fine Today via the band’s website.
SUSTO will be kicking off their tour with The Lumineers on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in Dallas at Verizon Theater at Grand Prairie. Click here for tickets. Or follow this link to browse AXS for select Lumineers tickets in a city near you. Also, check out our photos and video of SUSTO's sold out show at Denver's Lost Lake.