By their own admission, 2014 has been a big year for Busby Marou. Backing up from an Australia-wide tour supporting James Blunt, as well as an acoustic duo tour of their own, the band has just released their latest single, Days of Gold.
Potentially one of the hardest working bands in Australia currently, Busby Marou are not averse to touring, in fact, they rather enjoy it, particularly in a more intimate setting. Whilst they are thankful for the opportunities presented to them by supporting larger acts, ‘There’s something special about playing in our little hometown, where we’ve got familiar faces in the crowd,’ Tom Busby said.
Unlike their support shows, their acoustic duo tour has seen them discard their band and return to their roots. The more intimate set up of their latest tour focuses on the harmonies, acoustics and storytelling upon which the pair prides themselves. This sees them playing songs which are often neglected when forming a set list for a larger audience. When asked, they credit their current favourite songs from their own catalogue as being This Moment, Wage a War, Moving On and Widow, mainly for the enjoyment they get out of playing them.
Slightly more upbeat than their previous songs, Days of Gold features on a special edition of their sophomore album ‘Farewell Fitzroy’, along with acoustic versions of their previous tracks. But with such an extensive tour schedule, you could be forgiven for wondering how they find the time to write new music. ‘A lot of people say, ‘how do you write songs on the road, but we find a lot of our songs come from the road, sitting in the bus, playing guitar,’ Jeremy Marou says.
In fact, Days of Gold came about by accident, when Tom Busby teamed up with a pop songwriter, writing songs for other artists. ‘John Farnham really liked it but Jeremy said no, let’s keep it,’ he says. And so comes a promising introduction to their new music. Whilst future projects will still have that same Busby Marou flavour, complete with the “salt of the earth” sound fans have come to love, new music may have a more upbeat feel, which in turn is reflective of the comfortable place in which the band find themselves.
When not on tour, the band relish in the chance to return home and spend time with family, doing the day-to-day activities such as cooking and fishing, that others may take for granted. Despite the extraordinary experiences and people they encounter on the road, they admit that life is difficult and liken their jobs to that of miners, making the time they do spend with loved ones all that more precious.
Originally from the Capricorn coast, Busby Marou came together after school, through friends of friends. When Tom would visit home during holidays, he would join in with his friend’s band, in which Jeremy was playing. It was this that led to the duo forming a band of their own. Whilst they both had day jobs with the Department of Communities, it soon became clear that Busby Marou were not cut out for the nine to five daily grind. Ten years on, Busby Marou have won various awards and been nominated for many more, including a 2014 Aria Award for Best Video for their single My Second Mistake.
Despite the success the band has achieved to date, it is playing music that matters most to Busby Marou. For this laid back pair, the epitome of success, rather than winning swags of awards and lifelong fame, is being able to play music day in, day out. Both come from musical families, so the craft is, one could say, in their blood. Christmas times growing up saw Tom Busby singing around the piano with family members whereas Jeremy Marou’s Torres Strait Islander culture heavily influenced his introduction to music. ‘Regardless of whether Tom and I did this (music) as a full time job, we’d be doing it anyway,’ he says.
‘Farewell Fitzroy: Days of Gold Edition’ is out now.
(Editor/Author Note: I’ve been lucky enough to interview Busby Marou twice. This article was originally published by cargoART Magazine, but if you want to view the 2017 interview for AMNplify, click here.)