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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

When Busby Met Marou

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Mandy Nolan

In the couple of years since the release of their debut self-titled album, Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou have travelled the far four corners of the globe making friends. They’re on the road again and will celebrate the October 4 release of their new album Farewell Fitzroy by playing at Boomerang Festival.

How has your friendship influenced how you play? Our friendship is best displayed while both onstage. We often have onstage jokes going and enjoy laughing at each other’s mistakes. Having a good friend on stage beside you makes all the difference when it comes to relaxing and having fun while performing.

Can you tell me how you two met? Tom and I are both Rockhampton boys, a few years apart but became friends shortly after school through mutual friends. After the bands we were both playing with fell apart Tom approached me to have a play with a few of his cover songs. We started playing the pub scene in Rocky – just acoustic (which was never done). One thing led to another and we have never looked back.

What’s it like meeting musically with someone? Is there this moment when you realise you speak the same language? We are the most un-muso type band you will find; however, recently when recording our new album we found ourselves speaking in some studio lingo like ‘patch some of that sizzle into my cans’. We were quick to pay ourselves out.

How do the people you play with change how you play? They don’t. We have a band around us that play to the Busby Marou sound. This takes unique skills.

At times I might play different guitar and use different sounds to suit full band or duo, but it should never change the way I play.

We attend jam sessions that our drummer hosts; these situations are different and are designed to push your limits and play outside your comfort zone.

Can you tell me a little about what is happening in Nashville for your recording? We spent three weeks in Nashville recording our new album Farewell Fitzroy. Unlike any other recordings we have done, this album was tracked all live, including all of Tom’s vocals. We took our amazing band so we could capture on the album a bit of what we sound like live. You can really hear the live feel in the album.

busby-marouYou’re known for being a bit irreverent? Have you always been a bit subversive? Is it part of being ‘outside the square’ as it were of mainstream? We never try sound like anyone else on the radio. Tom’s and my influences are very different. It wasn’t until we recorded our first album we realised regardless of how I play my country-style guitar the song will never be just a country sounding song; this is because of the way Tom delivers it vocally. Tom’s a singer/songwriter with influences such as Paul Kelly and Crowded House; my influences are Keith Urban and John Mayer. Put all this together and you get a Busby Marou sound.

What are the things that you want to say in your music? Anything good. It’s amazing how people interpret our songs. As long as our songs continue to touch people in special ways we are doing our job.

We want our music to tell stories of central Queensland, places and people we love. More recently tell stories of life on the road and travelling.

What should we expect for Boomerang? Old favourites, songs from the new album. And Australia’s greatest band. The best show you will ever see.

Boomerang Festival will take place on the Bluesfest site at Tyagarah Tea-Tree Farm over the October long weekend (4–6). Single- and three-day passes available. www.boomerangfestival.com.au.

Latest off the presses is that John Williamson and Warren H Williams have joined the lineup!


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