INTERVIEW: Busby Marou
Off the back of a trip to the States where they supported folk and country greats like KD Lang, Dolly Parton and Tim McGraw, Rockhampton duo Busby Marou are all set to get back to their Aussie roots on their upcoming national tour.
The duo’s’ upbeat sound and country-boy sensibility has landed them a contract with Warner Music’s indie imprint, Footstomp records, on which they released their self-titled debut album last year.
Of their latest stint overseas, Tom mused that “[North America] was a totally different experience. Firstly, the crowds – because we’re starting from the ground up over there – are smaller and we played smaller venues. But in terms of just the excitement it was like playing your first big gig all over again. We couldn’t get the smiles off our faces. Playing at all those iconic venues … it was quite a thrill.”
But the Rocky boys wouldn’t let it get to their heads.
“We went on tour with Pete Murray late last year. I was talking to Pete in the dressing rooms and … I suppose you’d say that Pete Murray and our manager look kind of alike. They’re sort of like tall with dark hair. So, Pete was lying down on the couch and our bass player is the most well-mannered, really quiet bloke that we know. Doesn’t talk much, just really nice, you know? And he’s walked up to me as I’m talking to Pete Murray, and he thought it was our manager on the couch so he’s kinked his leg and farted right in his face. And he’s clicked his finger and pointed at [Pete] and gone, ‘Where are the car keys?’ and saw that it was Pete Murray and went, ‘Oh my God.’ Pete was laughing about it non-stop. We thought it was the funniest thing but [our bass player] felt so bad about it, he was apologising for about four days.”
The band’s two frontmen, Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou, met when Busby went home after he’d finished studying in Brisbane. Busby played his “little love songs” in support of a friend’s covers band, and when he saw how Marou could shred, he poached the guitarist and they’ve never looked back.
“I remember thinking, ‘I need this bloke one of these days. One of these days I’m going to pinch him off my mate.’ And that’s pretty much what I did. A few years later I finished uni and went back home and to save up some coin to go overseas. I rang Jeremy after a couple of months asking, ‘Do you want to help me put some songs together?’ and he came over and we met in my brother’s shed out the back and the chemistry was so instant, it was obvious we just had to keep playing. We played about five gigs a night for about a year straight in Rockhampton. I didn’t end up going overseas, I had to stay about.”
According to Busby, the current album reflects their formative years in Queensland, but has no doubts that their time on the road will influence their future releases.
“The first makes me feel like I’m back home and I think of all these places, all these destinations, and that summer kind of feel. I mean, in a way, we’ve got a real Australian way of songwriting. And we didn’t set out to do that but that’s what’s happened, and I’m happy about that. But writing the second album’s a little bit different. I suppose it’s got a completely different feel because we’ve been living a different life for the last two years and so a lot of our writing’s been influenced by experiences of travelling abroad or interstate: by world adventure.”
Although there is nothing like travelling the world as a musician, Busby is excited to get back to headlining their own shows in cities more familiar to them.
“We always love visiting Sydney and Melbourne. We’ve got heaps of friends there and it’s always good fun. But I can’t wait to hit Canberra and Adelaide this time. We haven’t played in Canberra on our own yet. The cities remind us of Rockhampton, because everyone’s really friendly.”
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Busby Marou Australian Tour Dates:
Wednesday June 20th – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong
Friday June 22nd – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday June 23rd – Zierholz, Canberra
Sunday June 24th – The New Albury Hotel, Albury
Wednesday June 27th – The Bended Elbow, Geelong
Thursday June 28th – The Corner Hotel Melbourne
Friday June 29th – Fowlers, Adelaide
Friday July 6th – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
Saturday July 7th – Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Sunday July 8th – Newport Hotel, Fremantle
Thursday July 12th – Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast
Friday July 13th – The SoundLounge, Gold Coast
Saturday July 14th – The Tivoli, Brisbane
Sunday July 15th – Great Northern, Byron Bay