We recently interviewed Justin Osborne of SUSTO, our headlining band for Sunday in the Park ft. Tunes from the Tombs. Learn more about Sunday in the Park (happening at Oakland on September 25) and get your tickets here.
If you could collaborate with one artist living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d love to write a song with Cat Power (Chan Marshall). She’s one of my favorite artists of all time, and it would be amazing to collaborate with her.
What overall message do you hope to impart with your music?
I think generally we try to convey a message of hope. Our songs deal with some difficult topics, but we always try to shine a light on hope and the beauty of life.
What does “Susto” mean to you, both as a literal concept and as a musical project?
Well, the definition of susto as a folk illness definitely informs my relationship to SUSTO as a musical project. It’s a platform for me to explore the different transformative experiences of my life through songs, and then use those songs to connect with people about similar experiences they may have had. The definition of susto being something like “soul-loss” reminds me to put my soul into the music and to try and document my own life through music, especially those big experiences that feel like they take a piece of you. Commemoration of life’s joys and traumas, plus the continued personal evolution they bring, is a key part of my songwriting.
How has SUSTO’s sound developed over the years?
We continue to expand our sound live and in the studio. It’s a never-ending exercise of trying to be the best we can be. Different members coming in and out of the lineup has definitely had an effect on the band’s sound, too. With our current lineup including Johnny Delaware & myself, I think we’ve returned to some of the classic SUSTO sounds, while also continuing to push the boundaries a bit.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration for our music comes from lived experiences, some joyful and some difficult or painful…all of it comes from a real place, though.
What is one piece of musical (or life) advice that you would give your younger self?
Don’t give up. Don’t get too discouraged when things start to feel hopeless, and enjoy the journey of life as much as possible. Be here now!
Image courtesy of sustoisreal.com