Busby Marou does it their way
Busby Marou will perform at Corinbank. Photo: Supplied
There's no real secret to a successful cover song, Jeremy Marou feels - you've just got to be yourself.
''We just do it the way … we sing our originals, so we do it the way we would like it,'' Marou said, going on to note a cover of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun for Triple J last year.
''I think it was so popular because we didn't try to do it the way people would want to hear it, but rather we did it the way that we would play it, just doing it our natural, Busby Marou way.''
Having captured the nation's attention with their interpretation of the Crowded House classic, Better Be Home Soon, it's fitting that Busby Marou was born of a cover band.
Several years ago, when Marou was fresh out of school in Rockhampton, he and some mates formed a pop rock cover band that was supported by a solo guitarist, Tom Busby.
''Tom actually used to come in the middle of our sets and play some original songs, which are some of the songs that we play today,'' Marou says. ''That's how Tom and I met.''
As they grew older and their mates began to depart Rockhampton, Marou and Busby were ''sort of stuck here, still working. So Tom gave me a call and said, 'Let's try something.' ''
Marou stopped by for a quiet jam one day, which yielded some promising results.
''We got the guitars out and had a muck around, and it just seemed easy, it was hassle-free,'' Marou says. ''I loved the songs that he had, and he loved the way I changed them around and put my guitar into it.''
In the years since, the indie-folk act has released a critically-acclaimed debut album, earned regular airtime on Triple J and mainstream radio, and picked up several awards - including, most recently, the APRA song of the year award at the 2012 Deadlys for Biding My Time.
''This year and last year, we've toured so hard - we've done four tours just of Australia - so getting awards is great,'' Marou says. ''We don't expect it and we don't write songs to win awards, obviously; it's just an added bonus, I guess.''
Outside their busy domestic tour schedule, Busby Marou also toured North America in March, which included a string of shows at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
''Things have taken off for us extremely quickly in Australia, and that was good to get out of the country and go and see how big the world music scene really is,'' Marou says.
''I guess for us it was probably more of a laidback holiday, our little showcases were tiny, we had maybe 100 people at our showcases, but it was good … just to take some time off and chill for a bit.''
Laidback though it might have been, Busby Marou's trip to North America resulted in a booking agent deal.
''We're heading back to Nashville [Tennessee] in two weeks to work on the new album, but we're also heading to Canada early next year to tour,'' Marou says. ''So it's all sort of full steam ahead overseas.''
Their second album is already well underway, with prototype versions laid down for several tracks - important, given that Busby Marou is now signed to a major label, Warner Music.
While the Warner backing has brought some additional pressures, Marou said the label has also been very supportive.
''They're pretty cruisy with us, they're letting us do our thing - at this stage,'' Marou says. ''They said to us the other day they want … 20 cracking songs before we even walk into the studio.''
Marou says they have also received some heavy support and mentorship from country music icon Troy Cassar-Daley - ''he's not only a good musician, he's a top bloke as well'' - who recently helped Busby Marou earn the endorsement of Takamine Guitars.
''It's just one of those things that we've wanted forever, and he helped us get the guitar endorsement and we owe it to him,'' Marou says.
''In saying that, we just stole his keyboard player off him, so he's probably a bit shitty with us.''
Busby Marou @ Corinbank
WHERE: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
WHEN: November 30-December 2
■ Douglas Fry is a Canberran by default, dance music fan and fast approaching the point of being that creepily enthusiastic old guy at raves