Busby Marou

Queensland’s Busby Marou have just released their second album, Farewell Fitzroy, and are touring nationally, hitting the Fly By Night on Saturday, November 30. JOSH FERGEUS speaks with Jeremy Marou.

“We toured so much last year,” Jeremy Marou says. “We love it.”

Marou is one half of Busby Marou, the Rockhampton duo who broke through with their self-titled album and hit single, Biding My Time, in 2011.

“I think we needed a song off that first album to do well and get us out there,” he reflects. “It got a lot of mainstream airplay which was important for us to sell this album and tour it. When we first chose the song we thought it was perhaps a bit slow, a bit of a love ballad, but I guess now we look back and know it’s been great for us.  It’s set us up to tour and sell tickets and without airplay and without people connecting to a particular song it’s hard to tour, it’s hard for bands to make money.

“That song, for us, is the one that put us on the map and it’s a favourite. Although we might get sick of playing it sometimes, it’s been good to us and people still love listening to it.”

Their second album, Farewell Fitzroy, has just been unleashed on Australian ears. The duo recorded the series of songs with Nashville producer, Brad Jones, well known for his work with artists such as Missy Higgins and Justin Townes Earle. “It was different, it was very different,” says Marou. “Comparing it to the first album where we tracked everything individually and everything was tracked perfectly; with this album we went into the studio and recorded it all live all in one room. We did say we wanted the sound we get at our live show on an album and that was one of the big reasons we chose Brad, he can record live very well.

“The good thing about Brad is, it’s good having a muso as a producer. He changed the structure of a lot of songs, put in bridges and chord changes.  He played a big part in that whereas in the first album that was up to Tom and I to do off our own back. I didn’t agree with all of the things he did and we changed a couple of the songs after when we got the masters back, but that’s just how it works. In terms of learning stuff and the whole Nashville experience, it was a lot of fun and we learned so much.”

Asked what reaction he expects Farewell Fitzroy will receive, Marou is up front.  “We’ve definitely got expectations. Tom and I want to keep doing music full-time. In order to do that, the album has to sell; it has to get a lot of airplay.  We want a song that charts, we want the album to chart, to go gold at least.

“That has a lot to do with signing with Warner as well. The first album was just ours. Our family bought it. Our expectations for this album are a lot higher than the first one. We feel confident about it, all the feedback we’ve got so far has been very positive and if we can go out there and do a cracking tour and display what we’ve got then that will give it a bit of a boost as well. There’s definitely some big expectations that we have for the album and if we meet them we meet them and if we don’t we go and do another one.”