‘Before Going To The Studio We Were Doing Gigs’: Q’s With Martin Grégoire Of Glass Museum

Glass Museum at Iceland Airwaves 2019
Alexander Matukhno
– Glass Museum at Iceland Airwaves 2019
The performance took place Nov. 7 at Gamla bíó in Reykjavik, Iceland

Pollstar used the opportunity of being at a showcase event like Iceland Airwaves to speak to an emerging act about what it takes to make it as a new band in 2019. 
We caught Martin Grégoire, the drummer of Belgium electronic jazz duo Glass Museum, before the band’s performance at Gamla Bíó in Reykjavik, Nov. 7, to ask him a few questions.
On stage, Grégoire is joined by Antione Flipo on keys. Both artist face each other and improvise a lot while building up their cinematic musical landscapes. Listening to a Glass Museum track is like listening to the soundtrack of a dramatic movie, with a lot of powerful, but also quite moments in-between.   
Martin Grégoire of Glass Museum
Alexander Matukhno
– Martin Grégoire of Glass Museum
Performing at Gamla bíó in Reykjavik, Iceland during Airwaves 2019


What does it take to make it as a new band in 2019?
There’s a chance for every new band to get known, because of the internet, and the facility to go into a studio and make music. 30 years ago it was difficult to get the equipment and to get know. Now, everyone can make music ono their computer and broadcast it online.
It has also become more difficult because of competition. There are new bands constantly, careers have become much shorter. You need to constantly create new things, because people are getting new stuff all the time. It’s difficult to stay in a good position in terms of career. The moment a musical genre becomes fashionable it is already old-fashioned.
How important is live touring in the whole mix?
Glass Museum is a live band. We are more focused on live than the studio. We produce a lot to create our albums, but for us it’s very important to tour a lot, and to go abroad to get known. We’re positioned in quite a narrow genre, so we’re dependent on live much more than other genres that get broadcasted a lot on radio. 
Before going to the studio we were doing gigs. Belgium is very tiny, at one point you will have played every festival. You can’t just live off the Belgian scene, so you need to go outside.
Did you find playing showcase festivals useful at all?
Yeah, we did many of them. The first showcase festival we did was Waves Vienna in Austria. It was the very beginning of the band, we didn’t have any EP at the time, so it was a bit early. But then we did Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, and Eurosonic [in Groningen], and those two were very important for us, because there were many curators, many festivals there.
We had the chance to go play the Czech Republic and Romania just by being seen by those festival curators. So it’s important for the independent scene to go to that sort of festival. It’s a chance to be seen by pros, and to get a chance to go play outside your home country after that.
Antoine Flipo of Glass Museum
Alexander Matukhno
– Antoine Flipo of Glass Museum
Performing at Gamla bíó in Reykjavik, Iceland during Airwaves 2019

How do you prepare for a showcase gig?
The important thing before the festival is to get in touch with pros, to send mails, and to prepare, because if you go to that sort of festival without seeing anyone, without any appointments, it’s difficult to get results from it. You need to invite people to come see you, to know the right people on site, people who could approach you to play at another festival. So, the time before and after is really important.
And it’s also important to do a nice gig, because it’s the only time those people will see us.
What’s next for your Glass Museum?
Last year, we released our first album, called Deux. After we released it, we had the chance to play at many European festivals. Now, after two years of touring with that EP, we are working on our upcoming album that will be out in spring 2020, and the we’ll try to go abroad again and continue touring.