As a quiet provincial town near the Ardennes, Namur is not particularly known for its influential music scene. Yet, the Meuse city has recently sprouted one of the most exciting new bands in the country.
rock? Rap? Electronica? It’s a refreshing mix of all that and more. The group
of five has taken the live circuit by storm last year. With just two singles
out, they racked up hundreds of shows. Now, the debut Glauque EP is out,
affirming what many already knew: these guys are on to something. We sat down
with the two founding members: Aaron Godfroid and Louis Lemage.
You guys went from nothing to doing hundreds of shows in the space of one year with just two songs out. How did you manage that?
Louis: “We were finalists in the Concours Circuit 2018 (the yearly music prizes handed out by Court-Circuit, ed), where we caught the attention of a couple promoters and bookers. Many of our biggest bookings were made that same night. Once we played big stages like Dour Festivals, it became a little easier to convince smaller venues to book us”.
Given this situation, don’t you feel pressured to come up with a debut album faster than you would normally?
Louis: “Not really, we didn’t feel pressured at all. On the contrary, we did not have to come up with new material fast just to get new shows. If anything, it gave us more time. That doesn’t bother us at all. The group is built around our shared interest for live shows, so it felt like a perfect start”.
We wanted a richer stage experience than just a rapper and a DJ. From our first concert, playing with a full live band has been our goal.
So how did you guys come together?
Louis: “At first we were just
two guys: the beatmaker and the rapper. It was just a fun little side project.
Then we had our first show in Namur – and that’s here the idea for a full live
band came together. We started looking for artists to join the gang. We wanted
a richer experience than just a rapper and a DJ. From our first concert since,
that has been the goal”.
What do you like most about doing live shows?
Aaron: “Every live show has its own challenges; overcoming them is where we get our thrills from. The other band members are professionals who have a lot more experience than us. So in the two years we’ve been playing together, we have learned how to be more efficient, step by step. We are really doubling down on the live performance. This is what defines us, rather than a recorded song in the studio”.
Can you think of any live shows where everything went horribly wrong?
Aaron: “Sometimes it all goes
south, like that one time at the Verdur
in Namur, when our main laptop broke down mid-set because of the ridiculous summer
heat (laughs). Alternatively, there was a show in Paris where we had to stop
because the rain was just pouring down relentlessly. We had to stop immediately
to avoid damaging our gear. Then there have been a couple of blown-up speakers,
but nothing too serious (laughs)”.
Every live show has its own challenges; overcoming them is where we get our thrills from.
What was it like to grow up as music nerds in a city like Namur?
Louis: It’s true that there aren’t many things to do for a music fan in Namur, but that has actually been a blessing for us. It’s the reason why were blessed with a lot of early opportunities over there, since there aren’t many others doing the same thing. It has been fairly easy to find locations for rehearsals, for example. That said, Namur is definitely not the ideal place for a night out. We like the quiet atmosphere over there. The slow pace of things makes it easier to remain focused”.
The debut EP is out now, but are you already working on new material?
Louis: “Yes we are. Just to have
something else. This EP is like closing a chapter, so we can focus on the next
one. In fact, we could already drop an album now if we wanted to, but we know
that it wouldn’t fit the current story we’re bringing. You can rest assured,
there’s an album in the pipeline”.