SUSTO began as the project of Justin Osborne, who after being worn out from over ten years of writing and making music dissolved his band Sequoyah Prep School and took a trip to Cuba. The voyage served as a catalyst for the creation of SUSTO. After releasing their first self-titled album in 2014, SUSTO relied heavily on live performances for exposure. The meaning of the word is derived from a cultural illness amongst Latin American cultures, a condition of suffering following an emotional traumatic experience or the witness of one.
We spent some time with Osborne as he talked up his favorite venue in Charleston, The Royal American.
The Royal American is kind of a central piece in the Charleston music scene because of the variety of shows they have here. Also it’s one of everyone’s favorite bars. I’m a little partial to it because I used to work here before I started playing music full-time. You always run into someone you know up here, which can be good or bad, but it’s usually a good thing. Royal American is bar food at its finest. You can always find something to do even if you don’t know what’s going on. If you’re gonna spend more than a couple hours on one of the porches at Royal American then you’re probably gonna have at least one round of rum punch. They go down really smooth and make you feel really nice. There’s music here sometimes as many as five times a week. Definitely on the weekends though, you can count on there being a good show at the Royal American, whether it’s someone in town having a big show or someone regional or a touring band coming through.
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