Boys Just Wanna Have Fun
Tom Busby, one half of the duo BUSBY MAROU, was having a good Thursday. It’s not surprising; planning an upcoming tour and preparing for a weekend party doesn’t sound too bad at all. However, good things don’t often come without hard work and, in this case, a lot of talent.
Busby Marou’s break came in 2009 as a recipient of an award from the Government’s ‘Breakthrough’ program for new Indigenous contemporary musicians. “It gave us the cash to kick off our album, a lot of confidence and contacts with the right people.”
They released their debut album as the first signing to Warner Music Australia’s Footstomp Records. “Luckily, we’d already put the album together independently and we were encouraged that Warner wanted to grab it without changes. They were very supportive and helped with marketing.”
They have a long-distance arrangement as Tom currently resides in Brisbane, though both are originally from Rockhampton – breeding experiences which have manifested in the album’s lyrics. “My themes come from family, friends, sweethearts and growing up in Rocky. The second album may be different though, as I haven’t lived in Rocky for a while.”
Their musical style is more difficult to explain. “It’s been described variously but I like to think of it as folk-inspired pop with a little of Jeremy’s country guitar in the mix. My musical inspiration comes from The Beatles, Springsteen and Crowded House.”
Busby Marou received a 2009 Deadly Award for ‘Most Promising New Talent in Music’. “It means a lot to Jeremy [of Torres Strait Islander heritage]. However, we don’t make a big deal of it. We’re just a black fella and a white fella who are friends playing music together.”
The deluxe version of the album contains both originals and covers, showcasing the duo’s thematic and musical diversity. Of the politically-engendered Lhasa, Tom states, “We were shocked by what we saw during a visit to Tibet and surprised by how much we didn’t know about what goes on there. We really felt for the Tibetan people.” Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, on the other hand, was included for different reasons. “I got the idea from hearing Megan Washington sing the tune on Spicks and Specks. I was inspired by the melody and we used it for [triple j’s] ‘Like A Version’.”
Their versatility carries right through to their roles within the band. “I strum a bit but my main role is singing. Jeremy is great on the bass, with an incredible sense of rhythm. He also plays drums, piano and harmonica.” The boys played their first Canberra gig at the AIS in 2011 and will be playing again in June as part of their I Still Don’t Believe tour.
Sooth your souls with Busby Marou at Zierholz @ UC, Saturday June 23 at 8pm. Supported by The Hello Morning and Leader Cheetah. Tickets are $20 from Moshtix.