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When pondering the status of Honolulu’s Indie music scene – amidst a landscape rife with American Idol hopefuls and karaoke posturing, the inevitable question becomes, “Does Honolulu even HAVE an indie music scene?”. The answer can be summed up in one simple, albeit challenging to pronounce, word: Busekrus.

Already a fixture on local stages, Busekrus (pronounced booz-ee-cruise) shows promise and possibility where they’re local music brethren tend to fall short – original music. Real original music. Local band aficionados and passersby alike can relate to the notion that Honolulu Indie music – at least in recent years, has been derivative, at best.

On their 2008 release “On the Rocks” (© 2008 Busekrus/Pass Out Records), Busekrus, named for the band’s singer/guitarist and bass player (Marcus and LJ, respectively) personify inspiration, talent and goofiness – all at once, and all at long last.
The lineup, rounded out by drummer Mike Jones, has built its reputation on a rock-solid live show, a loyal following and a no-nonsense approach to crafting their sound.

And how about that sound? To categorize this trio is no small task, as “On the Rocks” 12 tracks take the listener from early 80’s reggae/rock, to modern punk rock – each song packaged in thoughtfully crafted hooks, and honestly written lyrics. Marcus Busekrus’ vocal delivery, easily one of the most unique in the Honolulu scene, evokes shades of Mathew Sweet, Duncan Sheik and “old soul” styling – all wrapped in a very contemporary “we’re here to destroy you”, abandon. They do it all while remembering to “bring the funny”, as evidenced in their Myspace page (myspace.com/busekrustheband), which paints the band as cartoon characters, of sorts - their self professed mission to “make enough bones to bust out Brady ‘The Mange’ Jones - their three legged tomcat cohort – from the local pound. Their only hope to make enough money for the job is to write and perform their original tunes.”

With an ever-expanding catalog of original music, the question of the next CD comes to mind. Until then, Busekrus will continue to dominate local stages and decimate local ears. Catch them live on their already jam-packed summer gig schedule or take a listen to their latest recordings on myspace.com/busekrustheband.
The status of Honolulu’s Indie music scene? Safe and sound.

- www.examiner.com


It’s pronounced: boo-zee-cruz.

No, it’s not some phonetic spelling for drinking (booze) and driving (cruise). Band members LJ, Mike and Marcus would never stand for that. It’s actually LJ and Marcus’ last name.

Yup, catchy name - at least that’s one of the reasons why they chose it.

“There’s a lot of people who take on their band name as their stage last name, but with us it’s the other way around,” says Marcus. “We took our real last name and made it into our band name.”

For the high school buddies and brothers, playing music began as an outlet for their spirituality. Their musical beginning was about 10 years ago, when the trio started a praise and worship band at their high school (Hawaii Baptist Academy).

“From there, we did a Christian rock band, and then we all took a break right after high school,” says LJ."We only got back as Busekrus about two years ago.”

This month marks the culmination of many years of friendship and a lot of practice, with the release of their first album, On The Rocks. It’s a full-length, all original album that dabbles in a plethora of music styles, true to the musical tastes of the band members themselves.

“We listen to every single style of music, and it’s not that we’re opposed to being categorized in a genre, but we just don’t fit in just one,” says Marcus. “We’re influenced by so many different styles of music.”

As Mike Jones explains creatively, “Our music sounds like you went to a big house party on the beach and you’re just having a lot of fun. The first music that would come to mind would be our music.”

The album features 12 tracks written by Marcus that are the handpicked favorites of the group.

“I’ve got a list of maybe 30 or 40 throwaways (songs) because sometimes you write stuff and it’s just not good enough,” says Marcus. “It just doesn’t have the feeling, or doesn’t have the hook, or the lyrics just don’t link up perfectly with the music. Once we had enough songs that we loved, we made an album.”

A blend of indie, rock and punk pop, the Kailua-based band really credits the closeness of the music scene in Hawaii as one of the pluses of doing music in Hawaii. The camaraderie is something that they also value within their own band.

“We love hanging out and seeing the scene do well and see new bands come in,” says Marcus. “It’s totally about the music and hanging out and having a good time. Most of the other bands on the scene are like that, but we definitely like to make that a huge priority.”

To experience Busekrus, catch them at one of their live gigs at Red Lion University, Red Lion Waikiki, Anna Bannana’s, Boardriders and Kemoo Farms. Coming up: Feb. 16 at Kemoo, Feb. 22 at Red Lion Waikiki and Feb. 29 at Pipeline Cafe.

To find out more about their gigs or the band, visit www.myspace.com/busekrustheband
- Midweek


Busekrus, consisting of Marcus Busekrus (guitar and vocals), L.J. Busekrus (bass and vocals), and Mike Jones (drums), won the most votes and accepted the award for Best Rock Band at this year’s award show.

“It was very cool to be the ones who were representing the rock genre,” said Marcus Busekrus. “It was a proud moment and it felt good to be there. A lot of well-known people in the music industry were at the award show. To be recognized together alongside these great people was an honor.”
Typically in Hawai'i, reggae and Hawaiian music is what most people are familiar with hearing. Busekrus was able to take the stage and show the audience a different sound. “We are stoked. We are happy to be part of the rock scene in Hawai'i as it gains more momentum,” said L.J. Busekrus

Throughout their years of playing in the local scene, they have shared the stage and have made friends with many other great bands. “We really wanted to honor all the other rock bands who share an equal stake in this scene because every single band is great in their unique way,” said Marcus Büsekrüs. “Its kinda bittersweet that there are so many amazing rock bands here in the islands, but we were the only one who was honored at the HMAs.”

Mike Jones added, “It felt like they were saying, ‘Here is the Hawai'i rock scene: Büsekrüs,’ but we wanted to say that there is so much more to it. It was very nice to be recognized, but we want everyone out there to know that we are just one small piece of an amazing Aloha Rock scene.”

Büsekrüs was the last to perform at the Hawai'i Music Awards. They ended the show with a bang to the tune of their latest song, “We Are the Youth.”
They also want their fans to know that they will begin recording their new album starting next month. It will be a follow up to their debut album “On the Rocks” which was released in 2008. This album is leading the band in a new direction and will sound a little different from their first album. “We are more focused and cohesive,” said Marcus Büsekrüs. “In the first album we were experimenting and exploring our sound. In the second album we have really begun to find ourselves.”
The band is aiming towards having their album completed by the end of August. They will be recording their album at LowBrow Studios in Kailua. Demitri Marmash, the owner of LowBrow Studios and bassist of Upstanding Youth, will be helping the band record and produce the album. “It is such a benefit to have an extra person in the studio to help with the album – especially one with a trained ear and years of experience,” said Marcus Büsekrüs.

In late September, shortly after launching their second album, Büsekrüs plans on going on their second U.S. mainland tour. They will start in Los Angeles and make their way up to Seattle and then return to Los Angeles. “The music scene over there is so much bigger,” said L.J. Büsekrüs. “The people are very open to hear what we have to offer. But we still love Hawai'i the most.”

Since they didn’t get a chance to send out “Thank You’s” at the HMAs, they wanted to thank a few people through the Zine. Büsekrüs would like to thank Brady Jones of Half/Jones Promotions, Hanasaurex, Katie Whitman, Shawn Davenport, and all the other bands and promoters that they are friends with. From the bottom of our hearts, we love you! This is for you!
- The 808 Scene Zine


Two years ago, three boys with a shared dream of playing music in front of a live audience came together. Armed with a powerful sound and groovy lyrics, they called themselves Büsekrüs ("boozy-cruise"), a name that Lead singer/guitar Marcus Busekrus and back up vocals/bass LJ Busekrus were set on long before the band was formed. The three musicians, completed by drummer Mike Jones, had played together in a high-school rock band, solidifying a history that would be reborn after they had gone their separate ways for college and then returned after four years.



Since their first show at Detox in August of '06 they have played over 60 shows at such locations as Kemoo Pub, Detox/SoundHouse Bar, Boardriders Bar and Grill, Tropics, The Hale Koa Hotel, Red Lion Waikiki, Red Lion University, Next Door, Anna Bananas, Don Ho's Bar and Grill, U.H. Campus Center, U.H. Manoa Gardens, The X-factory, The O Lounge, Live on KTUH radio, The Hard Rock Cafe, Mad Dog Saloon and The Lava Rock Lounge. They have also performed live on channel 5’s “Night Time with Andy Bumatai.”



Their catchy, tight and smart original songs have been described as "radio ready." The big news now is Büsekrüs’ release of all those original tunes on their first full length album! The CD, titled "On the Rocks,” drops February 1, 2008, and will be promoted by four CD release parties. The first show is 21+ on Friday, February 1st at the Red Lion University with good buddies Missing Dave, Pimpbot and Lovechile. Then, on Saturday, February 2nd, Büsekrus will host an 18+ show at The Loft with friends Breaking the Innocent, The Upstanding Youth, Black Square, The Hell Caminos, Supersonic Space Monkeys, and Pimpbot. On Friday, February 8th they return home to Kailua Town to rock out their local haunt, Boardriders. The last chance to celebrate with Büsekrüs is at an all ages show Saturday, February 9th at Coffee Talk when they perform alongside rock bands Temporary Lovers and Bari Bari 13.



One thing that Büsekrüs has learned in their year and a half in the circuit, is that the Aloha spirit binds them together. It’s what makes the local music scene in Hawaii so special. Their original goal was to write songs and perform them. But now that they have tasted the fruits of their labors, they have found a far greater reward: friendship. To them, it’s a great opportunity to meet so many amazing people.



Büsekrüs is also on a mission to let the world know this serious and strong underground music scene in the Hawaiian Islands. Peel off the layers of Hawaiian and Jawaiian mainstream local bands to find a strong foundation for a whole new generation of music fans. From rock to roots, from psychobilly to ska, from indie to emo, from hip hop to jazz, there are brilliant musicians popping up all over the islands in this new musical renaissance. Büsekrüs is proud to be a part of the local music scene and they strive to bring what is currently in the underground onto the surface. Hopefully, one day, the tradition of sending all of our bands with serious potential off to Southern California, never to return, will end.



They say that destruction is just another form of creation. This rings especially true here in Hawaii. Since the Wave Waikiki died just over a year ago, many saw the live music scene declining. What they failed to realize thought is that the scene is just evolving, and it's the cohesiveness of the musicians here, as believers in the same goal, holding it together.



Busekrus’ enthusiasm is palpable: “Like any band, it's our dream to play our original music for an audience. There are few things in the world as rewarding as being on stage and knowing that everyone there wants to see what you've got. Regardless of who's in the front row, it's always a blessing and it's always an adventure. We love the challenge.”



"On the Rocks" will be released by Pass-Out Records and will be available at most local retailers and in jukeboxes throughout the islands, but your best bet is to come out to a show, rock out with the band and then scoop one up. Meet the band! They’re jolly nice chaps and they want to get to know you too.

www.myspace.com/Büsekrüstheband
- The 808 Scene Zine


•Genre: Rock.


•Distinguishing notes:

Busekrus — pronounced "booz-ee-cruise" — is a Kailua-based trio enmeshed in thumping, pumping tempos that are refreshing in the sense that it avoids the dominant Jawaiian-reggae riffs from their musical peers. Suffice to know that the trio, composed of LJ, Mike and Marcus, are making noise and getting noticed.

You might say that the 12 tunes — all originals — dwell in the alt-rock, pop-rock and punk-rock groove, targeting young audiences at local clubs. The CD cover art is inventive (three hip cartoon cats, jamming atop a garbage bin in an alley, with an audience of rats) and suggests that these dudes are ready for their closeup.

"One & Only" and "Don't Run" have melodic hooks, natural for the dance floor, and sing- and clap-along; "When I Wake Up" is a four-alarm fire of punch and stamina; all tunes are composed by band member Marcus.

For more on the band: www.myspace.com/busekrustheband.



•Our take:

Still under the radar, Busekrus is on a cruise to recognition. - The Honolulu Advertiser


Busekrus is a local rock band that musically dances on the lines of modern Pop-Punk, Emo and Alternative. (Think All Time Low, Plain White Tees , Cartel). Busekrus is made up of three pieces: brothers Marcus Busekrus (Lead vocals/guitar) and LJ Busekrus (backup vocals/bass) as well as long-time friend Mike Jones (drums). Hailing from Kailua, these boys have been playing music together off and on since 1998, but only formed their current project in 2006. They love writing and performing music and plan to make their part time passion into their full time careers in the very near future.

With one Hawaii Music Award winning album under their belts and another album in the works right now (due out in Sept, 2009) as well as one US West Coast Tour under their belts and another on the way (planned for Sept, 2009), these boys are progressing with no lack of haste or fervor .

Their goals are twofold – to chase their dream of being professional musicians persistently until they reach it, and to cultivate the local rock scene around them as they do so. “We love the scene here and we want nothing more than to see it grow in leaps and bounds. The attitudes of all the bands here are so supportive. There is so much talent, so much hard work and so much Aloha here, but there is comparatively negligible support from radio or venues. But this just makes us that much stronger as a whole. Anybody who makes it happen here already has a head start compared to those who make it happen on the mainland. And we would love to see everybody here get their chance to make it happen.”

Check them out on their Myspace page at myspace.com/busekrustheband or e-mail their manager Brady Jones from Half/Jones Productions at busekrus.theband@gmail.com.
- The 808 Scene Zine


Discography

Their first album, called "On The Rocks," is released on Pass Out Records 2008. Their second album, Welkin, also release on Pass Out Records (2009) features two songs that have received airplay and praise on a local Clear Channel radio station (the only mainstream rock station on the island).

Photos

Bio

A hard working band, curiously named Busekrus (that's Boo-zee-cruise), has emerged with a sound that has audiences buzzing. Composed of members Marcus Busekrus (lead vocals/guitar), L.J. Busekrus (bass guitar/backup vocals), and Mike Jones (drums), this group has virtually exploded onto Hawaii's music scene over the past two years. Rocking more than 170 shows at 30+ island venues, they have enjoyed such highlights as performances at the Hard Rock Café, the Andy Bumatai Show and the world famous Pipeline Café, not to mention two whirlwind tours of the US Mainland West Coast in July of '08 and September of '09. Their explosive concerts never fail to turn heads, engage audiences, launch people out of their seats and suck listeners into their tasty combination of smart lyrics, catchy hooks, creative tunes and palpable energy.

Recently these gentlement have been graced with a 2009 Hawaii Music Award for Best Rock Album and a 2009 Scene Choice Award for Band of the Year. They have also just released their sophomore album on local label Pass-Out Records to much acclaim. And now with two mainland tours spanning a total distance of almost 10,000 miles (not including over 12,000 miles of airplane travel) under their belts, these boys are charging full speed ahead to reach their dreams.

Members of the Busekrus fan base enjoy such bands as the All-American Rejects, All-Time Low, Switchfoot and Jimmy Eat World. Yet, in spite of such influences, Busekrus has firmly established a style and sound all their own. Each member is committed to practicing until every note and beat finds its rightful place, to learning from any and all mistakes, and to honoring their loyal fans. These boys constantly seek to fulfill their goals as musicians, entertainers and businessmen. It's been said, "If you're not moving forward, you're falling behind." One thing's for sure, you won't find this ambitious trio sitting around waiting for something big to happen. They're too busy making it happen themselves.